Date of Stay: September, 2010
I was very impressed with this campground. For years we always drove past and wondered why anyone would want to camp under a highway. Well, we decided to try it out over Labor Day weekend. We had plans to stay at Garner State Park through Labor Day but we were getting tired of the crowd at the park and decided to leave early and head to New Braunfels. I called River Ranch to see if they had any sites and to my surprise they did. We arrived and were warmly greeted by the staff/owners. I asked jokingly if we could have their best site and they told me that it just became available. We got the corner waterfront site that had a beautiful view of the Guadalupe River and bridge. The water was no more than 10 feet from our trailer door. We couldn’t have asked for a better site. The park was immaculate. There was a park attendant driving around in a golf cart keeping all of the sites tidy. I was even impressed how he would wipe down each picnic table as people would leave their site. All of the sites were level and concrete and were in excellent shape. Each site had its own little patch of manicured grass with a picnic table. There really isn’t much shade unless you are in one of the water front sites. In the late afternoon, one of the bridges does offer shade for most of the park. The highway noise really didn’t bother us either. It’s a whole lot better than the sound of trains that rumble through other parts of town all day and night. Check out their website and look at the pictures of the park that way you know what to expect when you get there. One note of caution about this park, since it lies on the Guadalupe River, it is prone to flooding during heavy rains. Keep an eye on the weather during your stay. We didn’t watch the news in several days and had no idea about tropical storm Hermine which was barreling its way up to us. Luckily the park owners keep a close watch on weather and alerted us to the possibility of flooding along the river. We heeded their warning and moved our trailer to a site on higher ground. We headed back home on Tuesday just as the storm rolled in. We will definitely be back next season, hopefully with better weather.
Date of Stay: August, 2010
This is a huge park. It is within Dallas County and is very convenient to both Dallas, Arlington, Grand Prairie, and Ft. Worth. Most sites are shaded and have covered picnic tables on a slab. One of the camping loops has been re-paved and is very nice. There are some nice lake-front sites although they are very hard to get since it is first come first served. Try to get there when the office opens on an Thursday or Friday morning to get a waterfront site for the weekend. Since this is one of the busiest parks in Texas, the lines can get very long in the peak season so be prepared to wait at least 30 minutes if you get there after 5 PM on a Friday. There are several kiosks but the check-in process is very slow. The shower/restrooms facilities are plentiful in each loop and are usually well maintained/clean. Watch out for scorpions in the summer as well as chiggers. Both are abundant at this park.
Date of Stay: July, 2010
This park is one of my favorites. It is in the East Texas Pineywoods region about 15 miles east of Marshall, TX. This park is completely covered by the canopy of the towering pine trees. The park is pretty small but most sites are spread out nicely with vegetation separating them. Some of the sites can be tricky to back into since the main road is very narrow through the trees. There are no waterfront RV sites but there are a few tent sites although once you see the swampy surroundings you may not want to be that close to the water. The shower/restroom is clean but very old and small. The main walking trail in the woods is a nice hike and can get steep in some places. The best part of the park is the view from the lighted fishing pier overlooking Mill Pond. The bald cypress and lily pads are stunning. Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle around the area to experience more of the lake's beauty. A fun excursion from Caddo Lake State Park is to drive 5 mile to Uncertain, TX, have a quick breakfast at Crip's Camp and rent a Jon Boat. The motor boat is the best way to see the many sloughs and bayous of the lake. Make sure to get a map of the lake and follow the water markers so you don't get lost.