Ah, fall. It’s definitely prime camping weather. And whether your family prefers tenting, RV stops or cabins, there’s no shortage of campgrounds and state parks in and around the Metroplex. So get the family together (be aware that many sites aren’t allowing groups larger than 10 people) and gather your supplies (including masks—state parks are asking visitors to wear face coverings inside state buildings and restrooms). Then venture into Texas’ great outdoors.
Loyd Park // Grand Prairie
Where Joe Pool Lake, 3401 Ragland Road
What to know Covering some 791 acres of native Texas landscape, Loyd Park is centrally located in DFW. With 221 campsites, running water, concrete pads, picnic pavilions, charcoal grills and fire rings, your family will have the space and amenities for a great visit. If tents and RVs don’t light your (camp)fire, cabins are available for rental
Cost Vehicles on the premises cost $15 per day for up to six people; additional people are $2 each. Children 5 and under are free. Cabin prices vary.
Willow Grove Park // Lake Dallas
Where Lake Lewisville, 212 Main St.
What to know Make a quick and cozy getaway to the shores of Lake Lewisville at Willow Grove Park. During your stay, your family can enjoy fishing (although the fishing pier is currently closed), the multi-use trail, playground, volleyball court and fire rings. The 15 RV sites have hookups for water and electricity; primitive sites are first come, first served and do not include water and electric hookups. Restrooms are on-site.
Cost Parking passes are free for Lake Dallas residents; daily parking passes are $5 for nonresidents.
Murrell Park // Flower Mound
Where Lake Grapevine, 880 Simmons Road
What to know Camp out on the bluffs of Lake Grapevine’s north shore at Murrell Park. The picnic areas, boat ramp, hike-bike trails and fishing areas make this a great place for family time. There are plenty of campsites with covered picnic areas and fire pits; most sites are heavily shaded. All sites are non-electric. If campfire cooking isn’t your thing, make the short drive or walk to Twin Coves Marina and Little Pete’s Restaurant.
Cost $10 a night per campsite.
Cedar Hill State Park // Cedar Hill
Where Joe Pool Lake, 1570 W. FM 1382
What to know Bring your family to not just camp but also hike, bike, picnic, geocache and nature-watch on the shores of Joe Pool Lake. The DORBA (Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association) Trail crosses 1,200 acres and is open to cyclists and hikers alike. If your family is hooked on fishing, the 7,500-acre lake is perfect for reeling in largemouth black bass, crappie and catfish. The park’s 350 developed campsites have water and electricity access, while 150 have sewer hookups too. Several sites are ADA-accessible. You can also pitch a tent at a primitive campsite if trails are open.
Cost $5 daily for age 13 and older for overnight usage; children age 12 and younger are free. Reserve passes online or by phone before you visit. Campsite prices vary.
Ray Roberts Lake State Park // Pilot Point
Where 100 PW 4137 (enter from FM 455)
What to know Looking to get out of the house and escape the bustle of the Metroplex? Your family will stay busy with all Ray Roberts Lake State Park has to offer—from geocaching, backpacking and hiking to fishing in the lake or kids fishing pond. If relaxation is on your want-to-do list, the park offers great spots to nature-watch and decompress. Set up at one of the campsites or book a stay at the Lone Star Lodge.
Cost $7 daily for age 13 and older; children 12 and younger are free. Reserve passes online or by phone prior to visiting. Campsite prices vary.
Dinosaur Valley State Park // Glen Rose
Where 1629 Park Road 59
What to know Take a trip about an hour southwest and 113 million years back in time at Dinosaur Valley State Park. The real dinosaur tracks are a huge draw, and the hilly, hardscrabble limestone terrain makes for an interesting mix of plant life and wildlife. With group camps, primitive campsites (walk-in and hike-in) and campsites with electricity, you have options for your Glen Rose adventure. Saddle up: There are also equestrian offerings, including assisted trail rides for children ages 3–14.
Cost $7 daily for age 13 and older; children 12 and younger are free. Reserve your passes online or by phone ahead of time. Campsite prices vary.
Cleburne State Park // Cleburne
Where Cedar Lake, 5800 Park Road 21
What to know Enjoy a peaceful getaway just 30 minutes southwest of Fort Worth at Cleburne State Park, where your family can explore nearly 13 miles of trails on foot, set up camp, look for geocaches and relax in nature. Cast a line at the (ADA-accessible) covered fishing pier—fishing gear is available for loan, and a license isn’t necessary there—or, when the weather is warmer, take a dip in the 116-acre clear blue lake. All campsites have water and electricity, while some also have sewer hookups. You can also reserve a screened shelter or cabin for the family. Something to remember next spring: This is a great spot for bluebonnets.
Cost $5 daily for age 13 and older; children under 12 are free. To guarantee entrance, reserve passes online or call ahead. Campsite prices vary.
Hickory Creek Campground // Hickory Creek
Where Lake Lewisville, 1801 N. Mill St.
What to know Interested in camping but can’t give up your hot shower? Hickory Creek could be the place for you. The showers are among the amenities at this large campground; you can also enjoy fishing, boating and other watercraft activities, golfing and horseback riding, There are 121 campsites with electric hookups. Primitive, walk-in sites aren’t available right now.
Cost $28–$30 a night for campsites with water and electrical hookups
Photo courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife.