The State of Texas is a big place with many options for great camping, hiking, and outdoor adventures. Taking time to get the kids outdoors creates many fond memories for a lifetime, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department provides abundant opportunities through the state park campgrounds where camping is definitely kid friendly.
We were able to experience several state park camping trips when our kids were young, and we did have some great adventures. We visited several parks at some of the best lakes as well as some in the mountains of West Texas. We saw everything from hot, sultry hiking excursions to giant walking sticks to unexpected snow storms. We were usually with a group, so there were always some great meals around the campfire, the occasional injury or mishap, tall tales, and lasting friendships. Some of our favorite parks were Davis Mountains, Inks Lake, and Garner State Parks.
Davis Mountains State Park is nestled at the foot of the Davis Mountains (yes, there are mountains in Texas) and offers an abundance of campsites for tent or RV campers. Neighboring Fort Davis attracts many types of tourists, including motorcycle enthusiasts, star gazers, history buffs, and outdoorsmen. The old fort is a National Historic Site that captures the history of the Indian Wars during the late 1800’s. You can also venture a few miles up the road and participate in a Star Party at McDonald Observatory. While you’re waiting for the night sky, there are numerous hiking trails to experience with some wonderful views. There are so many outdoor adventures for kids, you will have to come back several times to experience it all.
Inks Lake State Park is located in Central Texas among a chain of lakes along the Colorado River. The lake boasts some clear blue water, beautiful rock outcrops, and shady oak forests making for a great setting for weekend camping. There are several hiking and backpacking trails, and the lake provides a wonderful place to canoe, boat, water ski, kayak, and swim. You can find some of the best sunsets and many great memories can be made here. This is another family camping location that will require more than one visit.
Garner State Park is located in South-Central Texas along the Frio River. Driving to Garner from the north you would think you’re going to a desert campground, but not too far south of Interstate 10 you find yourself in a magical, mountainous wonderland with some of the best views in the state. The park provides an abundance of campsites as well as some cabins for rent. The kids will enjoy the Frio for swimming, rope swings, or just lazily floating in a tube. There are also a few places for the daredevil in your group to do some cliff diving. For kid friendly camping and great family adventures, Garner State Park will not disappoint.
These are just a few highlights from the numerous state parks in Texas. The state park campgrounds are well-maintained, family friendly, and will provide some great adventures that your kids will remember for a lifetime.