Nothing thrills the heart of a true explorer like the stunning diversity of outdoor adventure that awaits in the state of Texas! From the beauty of the Gulf Coast to the High Plains, Texas offers terrain that varies between mountains, woodlands, rolling hills, semi-arid plains and high desert. With more than 78 state parks and numerous wildlife areas, historic sites and natural attractions, Texas truly has something for everyone.
Insiders know that camping in Texas is much more than just hanging out around the campfire. In a state that boasts everything is bigger, natural features as well as wildlife areas are vast and rich, begging the weary traveler to indulge in all the sights and experiences this type of diversity provides. The variety of parks, campgrounds and backcountry offers the full range of adventure for those looking to ‘rough it’ all the way to those who choose to enjoy nature with a few more comforts.
South Central Texas is a prime area of the state to explore. Known far and wide as the Hill Country, it is so named for its rolling hills and woodlands. Famous for its excellent wineries, historic small towns and natural beauty, the Hill Country also boasts a unique offering for campers known as Enchanted Rock State Park.
Enchanted Rock is a large pink granite dome that rises 425 feet above the surrounding terrain and is the largest granite monadock in the United States. Indians, Spaniards and early settlers all had stories of magical, spiritual or unexplained happenings around the rock which gave the feature its name. These days, one of the most intriguing sights is at night, after a rain. The wet dome seems to glitter in the moonlight and while regarded as a simple play of light on the granite, the effect adds to both the mystery and enchantment of the area.
Another intriguing site in the Hill Country is Jacob’s Well, a short 78 miles southeast from Enchanted Rock State Park. Fed by a natural artesian spring, Jacob’s Well consists of a large pool connected to a vast underground cavern system that sprawls more than 4300 feet. The spring is connected to the Trinity Aquifer and emits thousands of gallons of water each day where visitors can enjoy the cool 68 degree water. Jacob’s Well is a popular and welcome retreat from the famous Texas heat!
Texas is the second largest state and for some, camping in Texas can, and does, turn into a life-long pursuit. With so many hidden gems, and areas to explore, it could take decades to experience it all. The Dyrt has you covered though! For the secret hideaways and must-see adventures in Texas, check back often to see the latest insider tips and places to explore!
Yes, there's not a lot of spaces between spots like there are in most state parks, but the residents are quiet. We had space D25 which is on the outside of the big loop by the river and boat ramp. Lots of space on the door side to the next unit, and nature behind us.
When they talk about deer being everywhere, they ain't kidding. And watch where you walk in the grass, the deer left presents.
Very friendly staff, and the couple of other campers we talked to were very nice. Being a Thousand Trails property, there was no loud music or rowdy camps.
They have free WiFi. It's reception is spotty, sometimes great, sometimes bad. Supposed to be better up by the activity center.
AT&T reception is LTE and varies by location and time. I had 1 bar to 4 bars at the same spot throughout the day.
Situated on Lake Livingston, it is located at the back of a golf course subdivision of interesting mix of houses. This was quite the campground back in the day. Some sites are on the lake and some have lake views. It is a quiet park with most sites unoccupied. It is a membership type park but they accept several camping groups like Passport America.
Beautiful park. Clean heated bathrooms. Tons of Bison and the views cant be beat. We stopped here on a whim and the campground was full. They were able to accommodate us for the night dry camping in the equestrian section. Was nice, not many people camping there. Staff were all super helpful and nice
My wife planned a trip to Nacogdoches more than a month ago for our kids and ourselves. We purchased tickets to the local Zip-Nac zip-line place and planned a tour of a few sites in town as well as visiting the cold spring at Camp Tonkawa and a wonderful meal at Auntie Pasta’s.
She called Camp Tonkawa park and spoke to a woman named Francis whom my wife believed seemed to be being fed the responses she was giving her because she could hear someone else talking and what she could make out from the other person was then repeated over the phone by Francis. Francis took our name, wrote it down for the dates in question and that was that.
When my wife and I discussed the call, I told her I wasn't very comfortable with the idea that someone who may have been getting trained or new or didn't seem to know that much given she was being told what to say actually had set a solid reservation for us. I asked if she paid and my wife said she had not so she called back a day or two later to try to pay and firm up our reservation.
Francis answered again and when my wife offered to pay Francis told her that she did not know how to charge her(perhaps because it was over the phone?). She offered to write down the card number and have someone else do it later. My wife was not comfortable with that what with credit card fraud being so rampant and already going through cancelling a card once this year. Francis said we could pay when we came. My wife decided to follow up on our details again. This time they discussed our arrival time as being around 8pm. Francis said that we could not come in after 7pm. My wife indicated that there was no way we could get there by as we are nearly 3 hours away with no stops. She informed Francis that she would talk it over with me and see if we could perhaps get the kids out of school and leave a little earlier.
After we spoke about it, I suggested making alternate plans; however, my wife had already sold the kids on the place and was genuinely interested in seeing the springs. She decided to call back a 3rd time and offer to pay(using a one use card number from our credit card company this time) and see if we could come just a little late.
When she called again, Francis was in her car this time and said she definitely could not handle the payment right then. Francis again talked about closing time at 7 and my wife told her that we could not make it. Possibly the best we could do was 7:30 but that was a stretch. Francis talked about how hard it was to get someone to stay even until 7 so she didn't see how it would work out. She further explained that when people come late they often set up outside and wait until morning to come in however when she realized we were coming with a pop-up camper she concluded that we probably couldn't do that. My wife agreed indicating that this probably was not going to work out. Francis then said ok well look, I’m going to let you do this one time but don't tell anyone I let you do this(Sorry Francis). She told us to just come in because they do not lock the gate, take one of the first two spots A2 or A3, and come and check in the next morning. In fact, my wife could again hear someone in the background in the car giving Francis those site numbers that she repeated to us. My wife was thrilled and thought we were good to go. She thanked Francis and hung up. She told me the news but I was still not convinced this was going to work out.
Fast forward a few weeks and days before we are set to go our kids ask if we will be able to have a fire. I don't see info on fire rings etc.. on their website so I call the day before we are leaving and get their"assistant" as she was described to us later. I tell her our name, and the sites we were told to pick from. The assistant tells me she sees our name on the calendar but not on the sites. She says some sites have fire rings but not all but from where she is in the office she cannot see if either of those two have a fire ring because there is a big camper in the way right now. For some reason I bring up our arrival time and she immediately informs me that after 7 isn't allowed. I tell her that we were given permission to come in and pay in the morning. She tells me that was what they"used to allow" but no longer as they were under new management and continues to explain that they have"sugar sand"?!? on some sites and they prefer to guide people in to the spots. She further tells me that she is not a decision maker and that I should call back at 4:30 pm to talk to Francis.(at that time I did not know the name of the person my wife had been talking to)
I get off the phone and tell my wife what was said via text and she replies,"Oh, Francis is who I have been talking to and she is who said we could come in". She doesn't feel the need to call back and talk to someone that has already told us what to do but I still really don't have a great feeling this is going to end well:/ I ask her to look and see if there are any state parks nearby we could use which she does but they are all full for the weekend.
I have given you all this detail so far to put you in our shoes so you know how thorough we tried to be making these arrangements and understand our shock at what follows……
Now it is arrival day. I take the day off work to prepare so we can leave as quickly as possible after the kids get home from school. I even dropped my wife off at work and picked her up since she is a high school teacher and often has a hard time getting out quickly due to traffic from students. We did everything we could to try to arrive as early possible. We had a 15-minute delay because we had a last minute power problem with the trailer. We stopped once for a restroom break and arrived at the campground just after 8pm. We drove in and I walked up to the office because the sign said"Open" but it was indeed locked. We drove up to the first sites~60 yards from the office and looked for A2 or A3. We did not realize we had already passed it so we kept going all the way around the loop and came back to the front and I saw"A2" on a pole/box. We stopped and my wife and I got out with flashlights to inspect the site before pulling in so we could be sure we would not hit anything of have a problem. While looking we hear a golf cart with lights on the front start moving our way from about 20 to 30 yards away. My wife has a headlamp on and looks in the direction of the golf cart and I hear this surly voice yell"Get that light outa my eyes" as he rolls up. Perhaps that set the tone for our encounter with Francis's husband but what follows is truly unpleasant and uncomfortable. He starts in with"Now listen…" and proceeds to man-splain to my wife and I that we can't just come in here and pick any site we like and just set up. He said he believes we were the people who talked with his wife, Francis, on the phone because we have a popup so it must be us and we said we told them we would be there by 7pm. I reply,"No sir, every time we spoke with someone on the phone about arrival times we made it clear 7pm was not really possible". My wife tries to explain that we were told we could use A2 or A3, register, and pay in the morning. His response"No one told you that…"(That is 1). She tries to explain again but he again cuts her off and says you said you would get here by 7, its dark now. You see, he says, people come in here after dark and run over these power boxes or the water and break them and then I have to get out here at night and fix them!(To which I wanted to reply that we were trying to be careful and inspect the site when he rolled up rather than just carelessly pull in but I let my wife handle it as she was talking). She apologized and said we thought we were OK and that we were just doing what we were told to do to which he replied again that we weren't told we could just come in after 7.(that is 2) He further informs us we can go find another place to stay and continues to speak and say we would never have given us A2 as a site because we were in a popup and he would have put us closer to the restroom.
I watched as he continued to tell us what was what and saw my wife's face as she, for the sake of our children, bit her lip and let this man unload on us about our egregious act of daring to enter the campground after 7 pm. He further says in his gruff, terse, unpleasant way“Tell me if you have heard this before, you we close at 7 and you can’t come in after 7.” He explains we would have only spoken to him, his wife or their assistant and no one told us that we could come in after 7”(that is 3). Looking at the frustration on my wife’s face, I speak up and say that I spoke to their assistant yesterday and she did indeed say we could not come in after 7. I said though that I told her what we were told about coming and paying in the morning and she informed me to call back at 4:30 and talk to( I forgot the name and misspoke at that moment) but it was Francis. I further say that when my wife and I spoke about that call she said Francis was who said to do this so we didn’t think we needed to call back. His response again“no you weren’t told that”(that is 4)
He finally says after another minute of berating,"I'm going to let you stay though but no one told you that you can come in here after 7(that is 5) and don't ever come in here again after 7”. My wife replied that he wouldn't have a problem us again as we wouldn't come back. He said,"I didn't say you can't come back". She stated that because we live too far away we would never get here by 7 so we simply wouldn't be able to come back. He then said to"follow him" to the site he had for us but couldn't just let it alone though and had to have his final say by berating us one last time saying"Now just tell the truth, nobody told you to come in this late" and then again“just tell the truth”.(that is 6).
At this point I had had enough of this surly, unpleasant, unhappy man. Truthfully, I was ready to leave about 20 seconds after he began to speak to us the way he did but like I said I took cues from my wife to try to keep the peace for her and the kids sake. I stopped walking to our van and turned and said in a calm, reasonable manner unlike this jerk had been towards us,“I think that is uncalled for, I don’t really appreciate you repeatedly calling my wife a liar.” Had I been allowed to continue to speak I would have added“at best this was a miscommunication or misunderstanding and that we would have never just come in to a park if we weren’t wanted to/allowed because after all we would have had to face the music eventually and risk being thrown out then so who would do that?!”
Instead we were told to“Get out” and“Leave” followed by“No one called you a liar”. If this super sleuth of the truth ever reads reviews, he will see he did so no less than 6 times but I doubt he cares either way. From my read of other reviews they only want older retired folks there and don’t want/hate kids as they seem to classify kids as unruly and misbehaved. He seems to treat everyone as if they are GOING to be his worst customer destroying the place rather than expect good things and address bad ones If they happen. The worst kind of manager/owner who rules with an iron fist.
I felt the worst though in all this for my youngest daughter who announced on the drive up that“This is going to be the best camping trip ever!” and well… you see how it started out. Fortunately, we did find an RV park closer to town that let us come in after 9 with no issues, complaints or a single unpleasant word. In fact, the gentlemen who helped us stayed until we were nearly completely set up offering assistance so apparently not all campgrounds in the area are run by disagreeable, unpleasant, unhappy people who would rather be left alone than actually have paying customers.
So if you ever want to get thrown out of a campground, book here and show up after 7 or just commit any infraction that offends this“new management” and I’m sure your wish will come true. I believe I counted two other RV’s on premises during our drive through(both times since we left that night) besides theirs and it’s no wonder they were nearly empty with their brand of wonderful customer service and attitude. Perhaps it won’t take long for these folks to run it in the ground and someone else gets put in charge with real customer service skills who doesn’t assume everyone is out to get them/break rules or destroy the place.
The city park has a few pull-through sites and tent camping sites along the creek. Sites have water and electric. There is a dump station as you leave the park. The area is well shaded, and has a good sized playground for the little ones. Park has horseshoes, tennis, baseball diamonds, bike/walking trails, an a water park that is inexpensive. Great place to overnight or spend a couple of days
Link to photos of Windmill https://www.google.com/maps/place/Cottle+County,+TXfirstname.lastname@example.org,-100.3497895,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m8!1e2!3m6!1sAF1QipOd7ctPQACtRwBmY9ksnlAMOSASJ92jywgDm0O1!2e10!3e12!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipOd7ctPQACtRwBmY9ksnlAMOSASJ92jywgDm0O1%3Dw203-h152-k-no!7i4032!8i3024!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x0:0x0!2zMzPCsDU4JzE0LjIiTiAxMDDCsDI5JzE3LjUiVw!3b1!8m2!3d33.9706!4d-100.4882!3m4!1s0x8655347342181805:0x6e55c7217c22a10a!8m2!3d34.159117!4d-100.3497895
Would not drive down road, based on pictures too much abandoned metal.
807 W 1st st crosbyton, was listed as Silver Sky rv park and is permanently closed,……
809 w 1st st is either across the st but a picture of same site is listed on Silver Sky Rv park site so going to assume that the name changed as of Nov 2018 permanently closed.
McDowell Campground is a pleasant little campground on the shore of Lake McClellan right in the middle of the Texas panhandle. Signs on the interstate direct you to the exit for the recreation area, but after that don't expect any other signage to help you find the campground, the only other sign you will get is the National Grasslands sign when you reach the area. Use your GPS or Google Maps to find you way and you will not have any trouble. After entering the Grassland do not take the first entrance you see on the left(dirt road leading to East Bluff#1 campground), but take the second paved entrance. Neither have a sign. The road is paved all the way to the campground. Once you turn off the main road their will be a road to the right which leads to the dump station. Just past this is a fork in the road with a sign for Lake McClellan. Take the road to the left for McDowell Campground, going to the right will take you to Lake McClellan Campground. Pay station will be on your right as you drive in.
This is a nice pleasant quiet campground next to the lake. A few campsites sit on the shore of Lake McClellan. Very nice wooded sites through out the campground. The campground has hook up sites with electric and water($15), and non-hookup sites($10). Two vault toilets serve the campground, located on each end. Each site has a picnic table and metal fire ring, some sites also include pedestal grills as well. All sites are nice and level. This is a very pleasant campground and located away from the ATV trails so should be quieter that the near by Lake McClellan Campground. If you want a hot shower then head over to Lake McClellan Campground. Only a few other campers were here mid week in October. In true Texas still a working oil well can be seen right at the edge of the campground.
Lake McClellan Campground is a nice campground in the middle of the Texas panhandle. Signs on the interstate direct you to the exit, but after that don't expect any other signage to help you find the campground, the only other sign you will get is the National Grasslands sign when you reach the area. Use your GPS or Google Maps to find you way and you will not have any trouble. After entering the Grassland do not take the first entrance you see on the left(dirt road leading to East Bluff#1 campground), but take the second paved entrance. Neither have a sign. The road is paved all the way to the campground. Once you turn off the main road their will be a road to the right which leads to the dump station. Just past this is a fork in the road with a sign for Lake McClellan. Take the road to the right for Lake McClellan Campground, going to the left will take you to McDowell Campground. Pay station will be on your left as you drive in, continue past the pay station to the camping area.
The campground has hook up sites with electric and water($15), and non-hookup sites($10). The first 8 sites are just a large parking area for RVs, the remainder of the sites sit on small loops in the trees. All sites are nice and level. A few sites are missing their site numbers which made it a little difficult to figure out which site we were in. Campground has f4 lush toilets with hot showers, one of the two restroom/shower building was locked. Site could use a little upkeep but for$10 for a sight with flushing toilets and showers, this is a good deal. Only a few other campers mid week in October. This are has ATV trails, so I am guessing it might get busy on the weekends. All sites have picnic tables, metal fire rings and most have pedestal grills as well.
We were able to get a camp site side by side with our son and family. This was an awesome camp site and camp grounds! We saw a few deer also rented a double kayak and canoe to paddle to the Devils waterhole. This is a must do if you camp there. It was July in Texas so hit was extremely hot, but still had a great time!
This is the best Thousand Trails we have been to in Texas so far! They have the best and the cleanest bathroom/showers I have ever seen. The pool is large clean and great furniture! They have tennis, pickle ball, basketball, mini golf and beach volleyball. The only thing I did not care for is the pull thru RV sites are really close together! This is a must visit park!
There’s 10 tent camping spots on the island. Our camp had trash on the beach when we got there. You can hear the power plant all the time. The hike was pretty and we got to see a deer with two fawn. Tons of buzzerds on the trail who defend their young. We camped the beginning of October and there was only one other tent around. Nice view from P1.