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Beautiful facility. Small campground, maybe 20 sites. Most of them open with no shade, although we had some morning shade with ours. Lovely lake and fishing and very friendly staff. The food at the restaurant is very reasonably priced and delicious. We camped at Matilda's Lakeside Store & RV Park in a travel trailer.
Full hook ups. Friendly staff. Roads were paved it a little run down. Crushed stone pads were flat and easy to stabilize. Also good for keeping the dirt out. Cement area with picnic table was at every site. Several long time guests on East edge the rest of the park was wide open. Had good space for dogs. Backed up to a river and had its own pond. Along the river there was no issue with road noise. No recycle collection or Propane on site. Was a nice quiet stay in Early March
We are full time campers at this RV park and absolutely love it. It's quiet, clean and the owners are constantly improving the facilities. It was good before but it keeps getting better. There is a new BBQ pit area with picnic tables that was added a few months ago. A dog park, water filling and propane filling station are in the works. We are right across from a free public boat ramp where we can launch our kayaks with breeze. The fishing on Lake Amon Carter is the best. There is a laundry, shower and restroom facility with keypad entry. A convenience store that sells excellent food. We have stayed in many parks and this is by far the best.
Quiet and peaceful RV Park. The ladies at the office were very helpful and friendly. They are pet friendly with a nice dog walk area. The restrooms are spacious, clean, and have large residential style showers. We couldn’t have asked for more for our weekend visit during my daughter’s softball tournament.
To Check Out Lake Arrowhead State Park CLICK HERE
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I have passed by the sign to Lake Arrowhead State Park probably hundreds of times and never stopped in. It was always intriguing, but like most places in your own backyard you tend to neglect sometimes the most obvious places to stop in for some rest and relaxation while trying to run off to the next big adventure up the road. But finally I had enough and just had to make a stop after seeing somethings online which swayed me to take the short exit off Highway 287 in North Texas.
Pulling into the park, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I have heard about this park mostly as a fishing destination, however what really brought me to the park were the Prairie Dogs. Yes, you heard me right… the Prairie Dogs. I am an animal lover, and anytime I get an opportunity to see so many cute free roaming animals, I simply cannot pass
I pulled in mid-day and was greeted by the Park Ranger who extended a map and trail map and gave me a brief understanding of the points of interest. Day use was only $4, something I felt would be totally worth the value for being able to have a day away. I mean, where else can you enjoy an entire day away for under $10?
The roads of the park are paved and wide enough for two lanes of traffic. I could easily see why boaters and RVers alike would enjoy coming out to the property based on how well maintained the roadways were. I first trolled through the campground itself to check out the three different options for camping.
I will say that of the camping options I would by far prefer the improved campsites at this campground. While primitive camping is great and I typically camp without amenities, I found that the primitive camping sites here had much higher grass and no fire rings or items which could be used for such. In this area of North Texas, the high grasses typically attract snakes, rattlesnakes specifically, so I couldn’t see myself trying to call this area home when other areas were just a few dollars more and were not only improved but also maintained at a higher standard. Price points varied from $10 for primitive camping to $22 with full hookups.
As I moved forward toward the lake a bit more the day use area was wide open with great lake views from all angles. The fishing pier and beach were along the same shoreline and because of recent rains the water levels were very high. This brought many of the critters right up to the grass including several breeds of waterfowl. And perhaps it was because of the recent rains, or perhaps it was because of the amount of in and out traffic leaving behind food, but this area was filled with Prairie Dog mounds and some very bold little furry friends.
I spent the better part of an hour grabbing some great photos of the infamous residents, the Black Tailed Prairie Dog, almost within petting distance. They were not fearful at all and instead were very curious and comical.
Leaving this area I moved on to the other side of the day use are which had a large boat ramp with plenty of parking for trailers, a basketball court, playground, picnic shelters and canoe and kayak rentals. This area seemed to be the busiest area in the park with several people out chatting after coming off the lake, some people having a late lunch under the shelters and even a family which looked like they had been swimming.
While this is not the most improved campground and facility I have seen at a Texas park and while I am sure they do have some room to work on modernizing, as a whole I would give the experience here five stars. The staff I encountered while at the park were all very friendly, the access to the lake was plentiful, the programs they offer were many and there were enough campsites to suit the needs of campers even on busy holiday weekends.
- Check out the Disc Golf course which runs alongside both the Onion Creek Trail and Dragonfly Trails.
- Get your supplies before you come out to the campground in neighboring communities Wichita Falls, Jolly or Henrietta. Though the entry station sells firewood there are no additional supplies sold on the grounds.
- Bring your camera and go to the beach! This area is the most populated by the Prairie Dogs and will make for some of the most lasting memories of the park. This area is a MUST SEE!!
To Check Out Mountain House Products CLICK HERE
To See My Full VIDEO Review Of The Product Including A Recipe CLICK HERE
As a part of a program I belong to in conjunction with the website The Dyrt, where I serve as a Ranger, sometimes I am sent items to test along my many travels. I recently received an exciting package from Mountain House, an amazing company which provides food selections for hikers, preppers, travelers and even military usage in simplistic freeze dried form.
Information & Specs:
- Name: Mountain House Beef Stew
- Retail Price:
- Servings: 2.5 Serving Pouch
From the time I corresponded with Mountain House and the Dyrt to the day I received the item there was less than a week’s wait. I have previously also received items from Mountain House through other companies which sell and distribute their items, again with little to no delay on receipt.
The packaging for this product was slightly different than the item I had previously ordered, a Pro-Pack version of Mountain House which is designed and packed for higher altitudes and thus is sealed much more tightly. The directions on the packaging were clear and concise and it seemed as though it would be pretty simplistic to prepare.
In previous experiences with freeze-dried meals I had been a little less than excited by their flavors, many seemed flat or chalky tasting. Being that I am a texture eater as well I don't like the off putting feel of something being soggy when I eat, so I was very eager to see how Mountain House held up to the challenge, especially when it came to stew, something which typically can go pretty soggy when preparing.
At my location I wanted to test how easy the pouch would be to prepare, how far it would stretch and also how I could potentially easily incorporate it into my camping in a variety of ways. The meal itself was very easy to prepare with very little requirements for doing so. Basically I only needed a small bit of water and something to heat it to make it work, this I found to be key when I do more minimalist camping or backpacking. I prepared the meal in this way first to get an overall feel of the meal and gauge if I would respond well to the taste and texture. It was a success! After a total of less than 20 minutes to fully prepare the meal from start to finish, I was very pleased by the flavors, the perfect texture of the meat and potatoes and how the carrots and peas seemed to just melt in my mouth.
Though I often travel alone, making 2.5 servings more than enough to send me to bed in a food coma for the evening, upon occasion I do have additional people traveling with me. This made me think, what if I needed to stretch this meal a bit further because there were two people starving after a busy day? How would I do that? I put a lot of thought into options and concluded that there would be several ways you could do so.
If continuing to be on a minimalist prep you could simply take tortillas and with the added starch find a way to make the contents stretch. But what about having my full camp set up at my disposal, how then could I stretch my meal to accommodate another person? My conclusion was to prepare a delicious meat pie by adding just two ingredients (puff pastry and mushrooms). With this idea, you could of course add any items you want and make your pies as large or as small as you would like. I would also suggest peppers or onions if you really want to expand the contents without taking away from the flavors. These are all items which compliment the flavors of the pouch well.
I prepared with a single puff pastry 4 small pies and still had enough left over in the pouch that I could have made a solo meal out of that alone. By far Mountain House is one of the most diverse and flavorful providers of freeze-dried meals. No wonder around 70% of all freeze-dried meals sold in the US are Mountain House.
If I were rating this item I would have no questions in giving it a 5 of 5. I feel like the content of this items package standing alone is enough to speak for itself as the robust flavors bring you that little sense of home while in the wilderness. It is designed for the every day camper to have something which is easy to prepare but has the ability to transform into much more than a pre-packaged meal. This item is perfect well beyond the bounds of camping however, I am most excited about adding this item to my supplies for emergencies as well in case of power outages during cold winter months of bad weather which can often leave me without power living in the country.
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There are two sections of this campground. My first stay I stayed in the second camping loop which was closest to the boat ramp and had a lot of in and out traffic. This site, which was closer to the camp host and entrance seemed to be a more popular site for RVs.
As I pulled into this site I noticed that the restroom was close to the entry loop. The site had improved flush sensor toilets and running water. Each of the sites was equipped with the standard grill and picnic table but at this location they also had water spigots and electrical hook ups. The sites at this location had shade covers over the picnic tables and were split between back in spaces and pull through sites.
I noticed on this loop many people have pulled their boats up to the their lakeside sites and had easy access to the water.
Campsites were pretty large and spread out so even though there were more campers at this location it seemed pretty quiet. It looked as though many had set up for longer term camping, which is allowed up to 14 days at this location.
I chose a location close to the water but a little further away than some because the waterline was up and additional rains could push up onto sites even further. I noticed that the grass was well maintained at this site but it looked as though no one had stayed at this particular site in a while as there were scattered spiderwebs everywhere and some downed debris which hadn't been cleared.
Overall the location was much better than the second campground which seemed louder on my last visit. I checked out the campground's second camp on this trip and it seemed like no one was there at all so I believe my original assessment was based on seasonal traffic.
For improved campground I have always found KOA to maintain a certain level of consistency so when I went on a fun trip with some friends to check out the “rumored Texas Chainsaw Massacre” community just north of Wichita Falls we wanted to check out the KOA there. Now while you are reading this and probably thinking, “WHY WOULD YOU GO THERE??” Keep in mind it is the rumored house and there is no factual proof that it actually is there, instead we found some really interesting other creepy things to go check out, because why not.
Anyway, back to the campground itself.
I was very impressed with the green space, a lot of this area was already starting to brown because of the heat, but they were still looking fresh and soft and that would make for a much better location for our tent. The site itself was just under $30, one of three options they offer which are all only about $4 in difference in pricing. We sprung for the middle option with electrical hook ups, not because we needed them but because after driving around we liked the look of that site a bit more. The deluxe sites they offered were taken but they had bbq grills and a more private tent area, this has been my favorite at several other KOA locations because of the amenities however this again was taken so that wasn’t an option.
We settled in and noticed that there were very nice amenities, the pool was amazing and perfect for a cool down on the warm day. KOA usually has this kind of amenity available as well as some outdoor activities you can enjoy like playground or sports courts. We were told they do observe quiet hours however if we wanted to swim a bit later as long as we were not loud we could do so. I would ask if this is ok before just getting out there and doing it however!!
The shower area was very close to the tent space we had selected and as often is at a KOA, one of my favorite features because they are more home like than a typical National or State Park campground. The water was warm and the pressure was very good!!
I noticed there were several what looked to be long term campers there in RVs. While I personally am not effected by this, it did make the area they were staying in a little less kept looking. They were not over by the cabins and tents however so it wasn’t that off-putting to me, but I could see how if that is an RV stayers view it could be kind of annoying.
I used the WIFI here and it worked great, sometimes the campsites are a bit to far away and thus don’t get good connection, however I was able to use wifi for typical functions, although I did not fully test it with uploading anything major.
If you are interested in a Deluxe site book in advance there are very few and they go fast during heavy traffic seasons. Usually at this campsite there are tent sites which are walk in ready however.
Explore around the campground because they have some very interesting items if you are willing to just walk around and see them which are unique to this campground.
- Be careful for stickers. While the area we were in didn’t seem to have them we did notice when walking around especially near the dog walk area they seemed to be pretty bad.
This campground on paper is a great idea, plenty of sites and right by the lake. That seems like a great idea, but on a recent trip to Lawton I stopped to check it out for future camping and found that paper was a bit deceiving. I was greeted by a park attendant which let me drive in and check it out. I noticed this person was here most of the day so people could arrive late and still check in accordingly.
Because of its location it is a popular spot for those wanting to launch onto the lake. I don’t have any issue with sharing space, but when people park in the road it becomes a little bit of an issue. I have a small car so if I can barely fit around these parked vehicles I know it would be near impossible for an RV or even a van.
With that being said, I looked around at the sites themselves. They are advertised for their amenities which include electrical hook ups (various types) and water. It appeared they did indeed have these, but they did have any primitive site options for tent campers. While I do like to stay in improved sites it is nice to have the more affordable option for those which do not need or require these services. Many times when I stay in a tent, I have no reason to hook up to any of these services. In addition, there were no pad sites for tents so while they do allow tents the do not make special concessions for them in any way.
I went to check out the facilities which include showers and it seemed to be heavily used though there were not any real campers there I could find nearby. I assume this was from the traffic of those using the ramps. I did not check other restrooms to see if their quality was better than the one by the ramp area.
The setting itself was relatedly flat and though there were some trees, it didn’t seem very shady at all. I can only imagine this makes for quite the hot summer camping.
- Make a reservation for a site away from the ramp if you want quiet and less traffic.
- Check out local burn bans then if there is not one in the area purchase your firewood locally very inexpensively.
- If you are coming for the Rattlesnake Roundup, book in advance. The attendant did let me know that it is pretty busy that weekend with people traveling from around the country for the event. It is their busiest weekend of the year with the 4th of July running second.