Texas has a variety of state parks with something for everyone. Whether you like to camp or not you can still enjoy these beautiful Texas State Parks for nature walks, boating or fishing. We’ve included our Editor’s Picks for a handful of our favorite Texas State Parks. Enjoy!
A 1 hour drive from DFW also makes this park good for a day trip. EDITOR’S TIP: Book early, because they have very few campsites.
Bonham State Park is a 261-acre park located in Fannin County northeast of Dallas. It includes a 65-acre lake, rolling prairies, and woodlands.
Activities: There is (unsupervised) swimming and fishing in the man-made lake, built in 1935, as well as camping, picnicking, mountain biking, boating (5 mph speed limit).
A 3 1/2 hour drive from DFW. The only natural lake in Texas but it is a bit like a swamp. EDITOR’S TIP: Really cool with all the Spanish moss hanging from the trees. They offer very interesting tours of the lake and if you’re lucky you might even get to see an alligator.
Activities: Activities enjoyed include camping, hiking, picnicking, nature study, fishing, and boating. There are canoe rentals in the park daily (year round). There are pontoon boat tours leaving from inside the park Saturday and Sunday (March – November). Pontoon boat tours can be scheduled.
A 2 hour drive from DFW. EDITOR’S TIP: If your small child likes dinosaurs or older child likes fossils, this park is the bomb! REAL dinosaur tracks can be seen in the riverbed where dinosaurs once walked the earth in Texas! (This area of Texas actually used to be the coast!) Make a week-end of it with Fossil Rim Wildlife Park which is very close by.
Activities: Dinosaur Valley State Park contains some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world. The dinosaur tracks are located in the riverbed, so please call ahead to check on river conditions. Other activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, Equestrian use in a separate 100-acre area (no horses furnished), river swimming and fishing, and wildlife observation.
This park is about a 45 minute drive from DFW making it a great day trip. It is an excellent place to go for a hike or look for fossils along the shore line. EDITOR’S TIP: There are plenty of fossils, but of course you are not allowed to take them out of the park.
Activities: Some of the activities include picnicking, hiking, biking, nature study, fishing, boating and boat rentals, water skiing, swimming, wildlife observation, ATV and mini bike use (OHV permit required), and a variety of camping.
This park is a 5 hour drive from DFW. EDITOR’S TIP: Not the prettiest Campground, but it’s right next to the beach. (At least it was when I was there.) It was completely destroyed by Hurricane Rita and they had to rebuild it. If you would rather camp than be in a hotel it’s a great base for a trip to Galveston and NASA.
Activities: The park offers camping, birdwatching, nature study, hiking, mountain bike riding, fishing, and unsupervised beach swimming. Tours: Educational tours of the flora and fauna of the beach and bay areas of the park are given by appointment only. Contact the park to make arrangements.
This park is a 45min drive from DFW so it is great for a day trip. EDITOR’S TIP: This park is nice for camping, swimming and fishing. They have a beach so be sure to pack a swim suit!
Situated along the shores of a 30,000-acre reservoir Ray Roberts Lake State Park Complex consists of two state park units (Isle du Bois and Johnson Branch), six satellite parks (Jordan Unit, Pond Creek, Pecan Creek, Buck Creek, Sanger, and Elm Fork), Wildlife Management Areas, wetlands, waterfowl sanctuaries and the 20 mile Ray Roberts Lake/Lake Lewisville Greenbelt Corridor. Birdwatching, water sports, riding horses or backpacking along a scenic trail, Ray Roberts has something for everyone
A 1 1/2 hour drive from DFW. EDITOR’S TIP: This state park is near by so you could even day trip it. It’s great for camping, swimming and fishing.
The park is along the east shore of Lake Whitney west of Hillsboro in Hill County, and after the changing of the lake level, totals 955 acres. EDITOR’S TIP: If you have been dive certified in Texas you know this lake. It is known for being a clear lake (by Texas standards). It is a beautiful lake with a beach.
Activities: Activities include camping; hiking; mountain biking; picnicking; boating; fishing; swimming (buoyed area – no life guard on duty); scuba diving; water skiing; nature study; and excellent birding. Tours/Events: An annual youth fishing tournament is held on the first Saturday in June, and “aircraft fly-ins” are held at various times.
My favorite Park of all times! Near Amarillo. EDITOR’S TIP: In summer they play the musical “Texas” which by itself is spectacular. And the nature is amazing. It’s the second biggest canyon in the US. Sadly it’s a 7 hour drive from here. It’s great for 3 day trips. The great Panhandle Museum in Canyon is very close as is Amarillo. On the drive out there be sure to pull over to see the Cadillac Ranch. When in Amarillo, come hungry and feast at the Big Texan.