I grew up going to Erwin Park to camp. It was a well kept secret with spacious tent sites, picnic areas and hiking trails.
Located just outside of McKinney, it has become a popular spot with mountain bikers. That can create issues on the weekend when the trails are teeming with cyclists. It just gets crowded and parking can be a challenge. Hiking also isn’t as safe.
The park is maintained by parks & rec and can cleanliness can vary. Unfortunately we have noticed more litter and left over junk in the fire pits as its popularity has increased.
If you are a mountain biker, this park offers great creekbed, wooded trails. As I mentioned before, it’s a popular spot so bring your patience with other riders.
COE campground. $22/night which is cheaper than the usual $30 at COE campgrounds closer to the DFW area. About an hour and 20 minutes north of the Metroplex. There are actually 2 campgrounds in JP - Juniper Point East and West because they are divided by Hwy. 377. The road into Juniper East is paved with some curves, but no problems getting into the park even for the big rigs that I saw towing boats too.
I stayed on the East side 2 weeks after they reopened from the recent flooding which was substantial. It was also over 100 degrees! As far as I could see the flooding impacted many of the gravel sites which were not level and in some cases sloped off on one side. This was the case for my pad, but I just parked farther over. 30 amp hookup and water pressure was good. Sites come with a concrete picnic bench, campfire ring and a grill/camp stove/fish cleaning stand.
I camped in Site 29 which was at the end of the campground with direct Lake Texoma access and trees behind the site. There’s a mixture of trees, most of which are Junipers, thus the name ;) This makes for scant privacy between sites. I watched my neighbor clean his fish from my camp chair and was delighted by his 3 small dogs barking while he fished from the shore. Sigh…
On the plus side, there was a grassy area that sloped down to the lake which is better than poison ivy or dirt. The main positive for this campground is the location right on the water. Many of the campers pulled their boats up to shore and walked to their rigs. I could put my kayak in from my site as well. In addition, there are 2 boat ramps (one at East and West) and a bathhouse/toliets, but I didn’t use them so can’t speak to their status. I road my bike over to Juniper West. This meant crossing over Hwy 377 with traffic speeding by at 70 mph. Juniper West appears to be the newer of the 2 campgrounds, with concrete pads. However, the dump station (for both East & West) is located directly across from 4 sites. These sites wouldn’t be my choice.
Lastly, Juniper West has a rockier shore and a higher elevation so there seemed to be more of a breeze. The video is taken of the Juniper West shoreline. This is also where the Cross Timbers trail head is located. Great hiking for the area! I’m going to try camping at Juniper West and hike the Cross Timbers trail in the fall when it’s cooler.
This campground is not entirely close to the lake and you may have to drive or walk a ways to get there. However, my husband and I enjoyed this campground because it was spacious and quiet. It is located further away from the restrooms but it was definitely worth staying here if you are looking for a peaceful getaway.
My husband and I come here to enjoy some good ‘ol fashion camping. He especially likes this place because he is able to go trout fishing in the river next to the campsite. The only thing that this campground does not have is electric hook ups and there are only a few restrooms that are dispersed throughout the place. So depending where you stay, you might have to walk a ways to get to a restroom. It can also get pretty busy during the trout season and whenever they host trout derbies.
There are few lakes around this area, and even fewer campgrounds that I would even consider camping at, but this one is at the top of the list. The toilets/showers are clean, the campgrounds are spaced well with good surrounding trees, and the campers respect each other’s space. I’ve only been twice, but I would highly recommend this one before many of the others in the area. Ray Roberts is a much better lake for camping and all that entails, other lakes are known for their party atmosphere and rowdiness.
Stayed a night at this park. I preregistered and thought I was ready to go. The gate guard said I still had to go inside to check-in. They couldn’t find all of my info and it took forever to get straightened out. The State employees made me feel like a criminal. Ridiculous!
Stayed here for three nights with the family. Very nice lots with full hookups and cable. Owners were super nice and accommodating. Used the pool every day along with the game room. Nice to have a spot that has it all, dog park, fishing lake, pool good WiFi and great lots!
A very nice clean well kept state run camping resort. Many shaded spots. And great fishing! Some of the best hybrid Striper in the country. Price is great as well. Make sure to reserve your spot online if it is near a holiday. We will definitely be back.
We really love coming to Elephant Rock. It has great options- some spots are secluded in the trees and some are open in the middle areas if you want to be around people. It has lake access, great playgrounds for kids, close to town with everything you need.
This is a beautiful site with nice facilities. It is close enough for shopping and restaurants should that be needed and isolated enough to enjoy the outdoors.
Paradise on Lake Texoma is on the Big Mineral Arm of the lake, on the Texas side and only a short 90 minute drive from Dallas. This proximity makes it a great spot for a quick weekend getaway. Texas and Oklahoma’s border share the 89,000 surface area of Lake Texoma which just happens to be the 12th largest Corps of Engineers lake in the U.S. Lake Texoma is home to great fishing for Striper, Catfish, Black Bass and Crappie. Because of heavy rains in the Dallas area the boat ramp was closed. The area has cruise activities if you don’t have your own boat, and for those who prefer, kayaking is also available, or simply swimming. Believe it or not, Lake Texoma has sandy beaches!
The people at Paradise campground were amazing. We got a call the afternoon of our reservation to confirm that we would arrive before closing time and if not, they would give us after hours information. We did arrive in time and our hostess was pleasant and provided us with all the information we needed. We reserved a primitive campsite and were the only tent campers in the campground (it was a Monday night though). The primitive campsite is just a vacant lot on the waterfront across from a bathroom/shower area. Parking in the bathroom lot, you take a very short walk to the primitive site and pitch your tent in any spot you choose. The lot had been mowed and our only issue was mounds of fire ants which are rampant everywhere in Texas.
The bathrooms had not been cleaned and the recent users had left a bit of a mess. The bathrooms did have all the supplies we needed and we always welcome flush toilets and hot and cold running water.
Being a primitive site, there was no picnic table so we drove over to an empty spot to prepare and eat our dinner. A staff member came by to check our credentials and while we weren’t really supposed to be using that area/spot, he let us since the campground had plenty of room/spots. He was so friendly, he gave us lots of information about the lake and the campground. The RV sites and also lakefront and very roomy. The campground also has the cutest glamping tiny cabins and other regular size cabins to rent. There is a nice hammock garden which we took advantage of. Cell service was strong, no issues and the only noise we dealt with was the sound of the lake and the birds and critters.
We want to encourage our family to come to Paradise on Lake Texoma for a fun family weekend, we will definitely return.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time, today I am testing Wenzel’s Double Never Flat Fabric Air Pad. My husband and I had individual sleeping air pads, but were looking for something that wasn’t so slippery and would allow us to cuddle, this Air pad fit the bill, it was exactly what we wanted. It was very comfortable and roomy. We were able to use an existing pump for inflation which was great as I wasn’t sure about the specs for the pump. Deflating the air pad was easy and great news it fit back in the carry bag easily!
Went here for a week and it was okay. If you have a boat or love to fish it’s the perfect place. My tent was right by the water which was great but during the weekend too many kids were getting near my tent and too close to my personal belongings. I still had a good time but I would definitely go again when it’s not so busy
I really like the fact that we could boondock our camper with in reason of the table area. (side of the road) plenty of room to let the slide out.. Fishing was great on the bank. Bathrooms were not horrible.. and had toilet paper.. Loved the fact it had a fire pit. and a grill.. even a place to hang your lantern.. Was a great experience if you want better.. go to places that charge more than $6 a night.. Loved it.. will be going back again.. does have trails.. to explore.
For a more tranquil experience, book a site at the Hawthorne grounds. Showers are available at Deer Ridge and Quail Run campgrounds (less primitive). Hawthorne has water, restrooms, and some tree coverage. “Luxury” camping features can be found at other grounds (ex. Fish cleaning, electric). Camping tends to book up fast so plan your trip in advance. Fishing, swimming, lots of trails (horse, hike, bike).
I mean, a bad day camping is still better than a good day at work. We stayed in the Walnut camping circle and got site 62. The site was actually pretty nice. It had the most trees over the sites around us, to give us a “in the woods” feel. One thing wasn’t great about the site was the the fire ring is pretty close to the street, and sits in front of the parking bump (this was an rv site). We brought our Bonfire Solo Stove, so we were able to have a fire pit further off the road for a little privacy. Another thing that wasn’t my favorite was a paved walkway came right past the back of our site. People couldn’t really see us, but we could hear them as the walked/talked/yelled down the walkway. The last “con” I have to say it that on the Johnson Branch I didn’t see a store on the map. We didn’t need to buy anything, but other places we’ve been have stores and that’s where we’ve gotten the 411 on good hiking and places to see on the grounds. One of the nice thing was the tree coverage, like I said. We had a lot of trees so we could but up some lights and a slack line for the kids to play on. The tent pad was big enough for a 6 man tent and a four man tent, with room to spare, which was nice. The other nice thing from our site, was that we were about 1/4 mile from a little playground for the kids. The playground wasn’t anything grand, but it broke up the days for the kids some, which as all parents know is a gift.
This is an extremely well maintained TX State Park. They have walk in tent sights near the water with great views and chemical toilet within a reasonable distance . Lake Ray Roberts offers clean water fun with less motorized boat and jet ski activity then other lakes in the area. This is a great place for kayaking and trail hiking they also have a designated beach area for day trippers . Park staff is helpful and well versed on their state park.