Date of Stay: November, 2015
We love staying at this park! Especially if we can get a spot in the Piney Shores loop. It is right on the bank of the beautiful Lake Livingston, where we enjoyed great sunsets and watching birds such as seagulls, pelicans, and anhingas. Most sites are spacious, level, and shaded. A few of them did have sewer hookups that were slightly uphill. Workers came by each morning to mow and clear leaves. We love that you can reserve a specific site at this park! Although the swimming pool has permanently closed, you can swim, boat, and fish in the lake, as well as hike, bike, and ride horses. It is quiet during the night, and stargazing it excellent. For those rainy days, we were able to get a strong 4G Verizon signal, and could get all TV networks except ABC.
Date of Stay: October, 2015
This is a beautiful park with great facilities and lots to do. There is camping, backpacking, hiking, geocaching, swimming, boating, water skiing, scuba diving and fishing. Most campsites have good spacing from neighbors and some shade. There is lots of interesting geology. There is a food trailer and grocery store, as well as canoe, kayak, and pedal boat rentals. Campsites are in good shape and close to the water. It is a very popular park, so reservations are recommended for weekends and holidays. And make sure you know and follow all the rules, or the park police and/or host will be all over you!
Date of Stay: May, 2015
This park is quiet, peaceful, and scenic. Most sites are on the small side, and have significant slope both front to back and side to side, so bring lots of leveling blocks. Our site had a loose electrical connection, but a ranger repaired it within an hour. Site 18 & 19 have great views of the lake. Note that the turnaround at the end of the camping area is very tight. Restrooms and showers were clean and cell and TV reception were good, but we preferred to sit outside and enjoy the views of the lake, beavers, and birds. Pets and tents are allowed, and there are many miles of hiking and paddling trails to enjoy.
Date of Stay: April, 2015
We had a rough start to our visit here. We were told that the office hours were from 8:00AM to 5:00PM. We arrived at 4:45 and were told that the lobby closed at 4:30 and they would not check us in, but we could go pick any site that was not occupied and to come back before 9:00 the next morning to check in. We drove in and picked site #20 which was empty and had no tag to indicate it was taken. It was tricky to get our 34 foot trailer into the site but we managed to do it and it had a nice view of the lake. We set up camp and enjoyed our first evening there. The next morning I went to pay and was told we would have to move to another site because a "local man" had already paid for that site for the whole week! What a disappointment since we had already set everything up! So we had to load up and move to site 47, which is nice but had no lake view. To make matters worse, the "local man" didn't show up to actually use his site until several days later! In spite of all that, it is a nice park with sites that are well spaced, shady, and have vegetation to provide separation and privacy from adjacent sites. Some sites are level, while others require about 3 inches of leveling blocks. Our first site had good Verizon cell phone reception but poor TV reception, while the second site had good TV reception but poor cell phone reception. Water and electricity work well, although we did have a brief outage during a storm. They have several miles of hiking trails, but they were too muddy for us to make it very far during our stay. Pets and tents are allowed.
Date of Stay: March, 2015
This park is on the shores of Granger Lake and some of the sites have nice views of the water. Some are shaded and some are not. Most sites are very spacious and level and are surrounded by lush green grass. Parking at each site is back-in, but is very large and easy to get into. Each site has a picnic table which is covered by a large and sturdy shade shelter. There is reliable 50/30/20 amp electric service, water, fire ring, and covered grill at each site. Restrooms and showers are a bit dated and were a bit dirty, probably due to several large groups using the park at the time. The campground was quiet the first 2 days, but became noisy when the skiers started blasting their stereo just off shore. No wifi but strong Verizon signal. There is a swimming area and boat ramp. The biggest downer came at the end of our visit, when we went to the dump station. Unbeknownst to us, the drain was full and/or clogged, and we had a big mess when we opened the valve to our black tank! And when we reported this to the gate attendant, she said it had happened a couple of weeks ago also! Park entrance hours are from 6:00am - 10:00pm.
Date of Stay: February, 2015
This park is a quiet oasis in the West Texas desert. It is easy to get in, out, and around in the park with its wide paved roads and no trees to dodge. However the lack of trees means there is no shade from the sweltering sun in the summer, other than the shade shelters over the tables. Be sure to bring sufficient food, fuel, and firewood, as none is available near the park. In the cooler seasons, it is a great place to camp, hike, bike, and study nature. Fate Bell Shelter, in the canyon, contains some of North America's oldest Native American pictographs and is one of the oldest cave dwellings in North America. Be sure to call or check the website for dates and times of guided hikes. There is also a nice visitor's center with nice displays, as well as an area from which to get your first view of the canyon. The Canyon Rim Trail is also a great way to see several miles of the canyon up close. The campsites are spacious and fairly level, and range anywhere from dry camping to water and electric hookups. All have covered picnic tables and fire rings with grills. The power did go out for a couple of hours one day during our stay. There is no cell phone service, at least from Verizon, and only one over the air TV station which is in Spanish, but there is wifi in the campground, although it tends to be a slow connection. Pets are welcome anywhere in the park outside of buildings and as long as they are kept on a leash. The nearby restrooms and showers are kept very clean by the friendly camp hosts. This is a very quiet park, and is a great place to enjoy star-gazing and nature study.
Date of Stay: November, 2014
Beautiful setting, gorgeous lake and trees, nice trails. Big Pine loop is big rig friendly with large, mostly level pull through sites. The other camping areas have a few large campsites, but most are about 25 feet by 25 feet or smaller, and are not very level. All sites have asphalt pads. Very few people were there will we were there, so it was pretty quiet except for some traffic noise from the nearby highway. The restrooms are in great shape and very clean. WIFI is available at headquarters and the park store, but the signal is weak. Verizon service was strong 4G however. As far a television, we could only pick up two stations, ABC and Fox out of Shreveport. There is a fishing pier, cleaning station, and there are canoes, kayaks, and peddle boats for rent.
Date of Stay: May, 2014
This is a very nice, green, and shady park! It offers camping, picnicking, hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, playgrounds, and boating. For boating, you can launch your own, or rent one from the park store, which offers canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats for use on the lake. The store also rents inner tubes for floating on the San Marcos River, which runs through the park. The park has many trails available for hikers and bikers. It also has structures that were built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and an informative and scenic interpretive trail. There are a wide range of accommodations ranging from tent sites with water only, RV sites with water and electric, 1 full hookup RV site, and 1 mini-cabin. Some sites are very level, while others have a slope. Water and electric supplies are good. On the technology side, we received a few over-the-air TV stations, from Austin and San Antonio, but they were weak. Also got weak 3G cell phone service from Verizon. The park was quiet and peaceful, even on a holiday weekend, and it's sites are very shady to help keep you cool.
Date of Stay: March, 2014
This is a very nice campground. It is scenic, quiet, and clean. It has good shade provided by huge pine trees, and easy access to the lake. There are 2.5 miles of trails for hikers, and clean showers and restrooms. There is a boat dock and pretty picnic area right on the shore. Most sites are large, fairly level, and well spaced. Some have lake views. The only negatives we noticed was an intermittent hum from the nearby water treatment plant, and the host could have been friendlier. But other than that we loved the place and plan to return in the future.
Date of Stay: March, 2014
This park has about 6 miles of hiking & biking trails, but there has been some damage done by recent floods. The walk-in campground, visitor's center, and Rock Shelter trail are closed as a result. Some roads are narrow and some sites are not level. There are lots of birds singing, but unfortunately you also hear noise from the nearby vehicular and aircraft traffic. There is supposed to be WiFi at headquarters, but we got no signal at our nearby campsite. The falls are scenic and are worth checking out.
Date of Stay: February, 2014
Wow, this is a really nice park! Located just north of Tyler and I-20, it feels worlds apart from the hustle and bustle. It is quite large, hilly, and scenic with beautiful pines and hardwood trees, creeks, and a gorgeous lake. It offers camping, picnicking, hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, playgrounds, and boating. For boating, you can launch your own, or rent one from the park store, which offers canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, jon boats, and bike boats. The store also offers souvenirs as well as limited camping supplies and groceries. The park has scenic roads for vehicles and road bicycles, as well as 13 miles of trails for hikers and mountain bikers. It also has many structures that were built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. There are a wide range of accommodations ranging from tent sites with water only, all the way up to full hookup RV sites, screened shelters, and mini-cabins. Some sites are very level, while others have a slope. Water and electric supplies are good. On the technology side, we received about 30 over-the-air TV stations, 4G LTE cell phone service from Verizon, and Wi-Fi internet from the park, although it was slow at times. While all the sites are quite nice, our favorite area is the Lakeview tent and trailer camping area. It is right on the shores of the lake, has great views, and is right on the Lakeshore trail, which is a very scenic and easy 2-mile loop around the lake.
Date of Stay: November, 2013
This is a very nice state park with lots of hiking trails, wildlife, swimming, fishing, and even golfing. Most of the famous pine trees were killed in the big fire of 2011, but it is still a nice place to spend some time. There are 35 sites with water and 30A electricity, and 35 sites with water, 30/50A electricity, and sewer. The full hook-up sites are $20 a night. The restrooms in both campgrounds are currently being rebuilt. Portable toilets are available in both campgrounds, and a temporary shower facility is available in the Piney Hill campground. Hopefully the construction will be done soon and brand new facilities will be available.
Date of Stay: September, 2013
This is a beautiful park with great facilities and lots to do. There is camping, backpacking, hiking, geocaching, swimming, boating, water skiing, scuba diving, and fishing. Most campsites have good spacing from neighbors and some shade. There is lots of interesting geology and wildlife. There is a cafe and grocery store, as well as canoe, kayak, and pedal boat rentals. Campsites are in good shape and close to the water. It is a very popular park, so reservations are recommended for weekends and holidays.
Date of Stay: June, 2013
We stayed at this nice, shady park on our way home from visiting the Panhandle parks. There are shade trees everywhere and you can stay in tents, screen shelters, RVs, and even yurts! The sites are level, but we paid extra for one of the full-hookup sites and were disappointed to learn that the sewer hookup was not within reach of our hose! the water and electric were at the mid point of the trailer on the driver's side as usual, but the sewer connection was about 10 feet behind the rear of the trailer! That was about 30 feet from my drain. Other than that we enjoyed our stay. It was quiet at night, and there are lots of nice hiking trails, a nice big swimming pool, and a lake. Nearby points of interest include Lake Abilene; the Grace Cultural Center with the Abilene Fine Arts Museum, Historical Museum and Children's Museum; Paramount Theater; Abilene Zoological Gardens; Dyess Air Force Base's vintage aircraft, and the Buffalo Gap Historic Village.
Date of Stay: June, 2013
This is a great park to visit, one of the most scenic in Texas! At the entrance you can see a portion of the Texas State Longhorn herd, and visit the visitor's center which has natural and historical exhibits and gifts for purchase. After that, you begin the long, steep, and winding descent into the canyon. You will see the Pioneer Amphitheater were the "Texas" musical is held, the very nice Mack Dick Group Pavilion, as well as the Trading Post, which has food, groceries, gifts, and gasoline. There are numerous campgrounds throughout the park. We stayed at the Mesquite Camp Area, which is the farthest drive, but also the most scenic in our opinion. The sites have some slope to them, but not too bad. There is no cell or wifi service in the canyon, but who needs them with all the scenery, hiking, and wildlife all around you?! We really enjoyed out visit and can't wait to go back!