Everything is bigger in Texas. The state itself, the night sky, the Texas State Parks and the summer vacation fun.
My family started out on a trip across the country from North Carolina a few years ago. The kids were bored and restless. A few stops into Texas and that started to change. They enjoyed the chance to play at the Texas State Parks and we had a much better trip.
There are many amenities and activities at Texas State Parks to keep the family happy. The parks with camping make great destinations. If your family is going through Texas on summer vacation why not try out a Texas State Park?
Entrance fees are usually $2 per person, per day. An annual pass can be purchased at any Texas State Park for $60 for the first card in the family. A second card is an additional $15. The pass is good for a full year. It’s a small price to pay for a year’s worth of recreational fun.
Use this list as a guide to help you get started. Listed are some of the top Texas State Parks. But don’t take my word for it. Visit and see for yourself.
Texas State Parks Martin Creek Lake State Park
I-20 exit Hwy. 149
9515 County Road 2181D
Tatum, TX 75691-3425
The area around this park has been used by human since at least 200 B.C. Today’s visitors will enjoy fishing, camping, picnicking, photography opportunities, boating, lakeshore swimming (no lifeguards), interpretive programs (Saturdays) and hiking.
Camping opportunities range from primitive to cabins. There is also a lighted fishing pier and a playground.
Texas State Parks – Ray Roberts Lake State Park
Isle DuBois Unit
100 PW 4137
Pilot Point TX 76258-8944
The Ray Roberts State Park is actually a cluster of state park units under the same heading. These units offer fishing, camping, hiking and picnicking. Other amenities include a visitor center and nature preserve. The Jordan Unit provides luxury overnight accommodations and fine dining.
Whatever your family’s taste or style for accommodations, you are sure to find something at this cluster of parks.
Texas State Parks – Abilene
I-20, Exit Hwy. 83/84
150 Park Road 32
Tuscola TX 79562
This beautiful camp is about 45 minutes from Abilene. Visitors to this Texas State Park can camp, hike, and enjoy nature and wildlife watching, swimming, picnicking and fishing.
Part of the official Texas Longhorn herd calls this park home as does a solitary buffalo. There are also yurts, interpretive programs, a playground, volleyball court, basketball goal, horseshoe pits and large grassy fields.
Texas State Parks – Lake Colorado City State Park
I- 20, exit FM 2836, 11 miles.
4582 FM 2836
Colorado City TX 79512
This lakefront park is a summer oasis. Visitors can enjoy camping, lakeshore swimming. Part of the official Texas Longhorn herd calls this park home. Boating and fishing are popular pastimes here. The park boasts of 11 limited use cabins and plenty of campsites with water and electric hook-ups or water only. The picnic tables have grills and there is a lighted fishing pier.
Texas State Parks – Big Spring State park
Business I-20 exit 174
#1 Scenic Drive
Big Spring TX 79720
Spaniards visited the area as early as1768. It was frequented by the Comanche Native American Indians before that. This state park is located where 3 ecological regions come together. There is the western Rolling Plains, southern Edwards Plateau and in the west is the High Plains. This allows for a diverse plant and animal life that isn’t found in other parks. The climate is warm and dry. A fire ban is in place.
Picnicking, photographic opportunities, wildlife and bird watching, natural scenery, hiking are the main activities offered here.
Texas has 90 state parks and historic sites in all. The above is a list of the top sites along I-20. To see a full list of all Texas State Parks click this link
For more articles in the state park series by this author please visit this link.
Texas Parks and Wildlife