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Abilene State Park is an interesting park to visit in the middle of Texas. The park is a short drive from the City of Abilene so it receives quite a few visitors on the weekend. During the weekday, you'll find considerably more peace and quiet.
You can pick up supplies in the city and there is also a small store within the park office with some snacks and souvenirs.
The park has a nice grove of trees scattered around the open spaces and the campsites which can provide sanctuary shade from the summer sun. The campsites have clearings for tents, picnic tables, fire pits and water. There are restrooms nearby which have sinks, toilets and shower, all of which could stand some updating. There's a swimming pool which is often the main attraction of this park.
When I was planning a visit to the park I thought that it would be nice to be right on the shores of Lake Abilene. However, I discovered that the main park area and campsites are in one area and the access point to the lake is in another area. You actually need to drive outside of the park, down the road and enter into another part of the park. There's a dirt road to access the lakefront and once you are at the lakefront there is a little beach. I guess that this is one reason why so many people appear to prefer hanging out at the swimming pool.
The arrangement of the facilities is a little strange and many of the facilities could use an update. For this reason I only rate this park 3 out of 5.
First impression- 112 is located perfectly right across from the bathrooms, and has a semi “easy to access” water’s edge. Not ideal for kayak releasing, but there was a small cubby hole in the rock where the water comes in that we discovered once the other half arrived. Only about a 35-45 minute drive to Hells Gate, which seems to be a hot spot for parties. Boats all tied together, bands playing, beer drinking, good time spot. That was where we met Carol, who allowed us to access her property to unload the kayaks, and proceeded to have an incredible time, being the only two people on kayaks in a multi million dollar neighborhood. Stopped at Boondocks Bar and Grill, and met the lady responsible for the pea salad... an unsung hero of the culinary world. Once back at the campsite, we had the privilege of meeting the state representative/ rule enforcer that happened to be on duty that night. He gave us a lesson on how to properly consume alcohol while on the campsite, even though no one was being harmed by the methods chosen to do so before he arrived. Someone from the group thought it would be a good idea to leave out the chips and queso, previously ordered at Boondock’s, for the raccoons. It would have been adorable to be able to feed them by hand, the chips, that we had learned they absolutely loved, not too long before. Once they arrived, we would surprise them from out of nowhere, and shower them with love and affection, in hopes they would take to us as family, and allow us to hand feed them. We were very surprised to find, not only were they not raccoons, they were skunks, but also, skunks also enjoy the salty taste of a tortilla chip or two as well. I regret to inform you, that we were not able to hand feed them like we hoped, but all in all, the skunks were an exciting addition to the adventure. Overall, I would say it was a trip that was
better than expected, in a very peaceful environment.
Located on Possum Kingdom Lake, Bug Beach has tent camping (without designated sites), a boat ramp and roped of swimming area. There are a few fire pits, picnic tables and shaded areas to pitch a tent along with restrooms. A general store is located 5-10 minutes down the road for drinking water and food needs. During the summer months this area gets busy but there is plenty of room to pitch a tent.
I used to go here a ton when I went to school in Abilene at Hardin-Simmons. It was not too far of a drive from the campus, and I even took class trips out here for our botany class. Campgrounds are decent (I have heard they have been much improved since I've been there). My times here were always fun little getaways from college life that provided me with a good time to unwind and relax. Trees aren't too tall for providing shade, and there are tons of mesquite trees, so watch out for thorns while you're walking.
We have been camping here for about 35 years. Started out tent camping and now prefer a RV. Love this park. Many of the campsites are directly on the water, the wind coming off the water will keep you cool in the summer. We camp here year round. We camp to relax and this is great place for this.