Along the shady banks of the Elm Creek lies one of Texas’s most unique state parks, Abilene State Park. It is surrounded by a lush landscape and a thick canopy of trees, providing a perfect habitat to the birds who call the park home. Abilene State Park was built in the 1930’s thanks to the efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps. It now covers nearly 530 acres of land with elm, pecan, and live oak trees and access to fishing, hiking, camping, birding, and many more activities.
Abilene State Park is located 15 miles southwest of the city of Abilene and Lake Abilene. Right in the heart of Texas, you can take your family on the many trails to bird watch, hike, or participate in a game of geocaching. Visitors to the park can enjoy the hot summers by the pool or the cool nights by a campfire. There are three campgrounds that offer facilities for RV camping. The maximum length for RVs and trailers is 42 feet long with a little wiggle room, so you know you have plenty of space.
These campgrounds are perfect for smaller trailers and RVs offering full hookups in one of the three campgrounds. The sites are partially shady with enough room between each lot to have some privacy. If you need information or directions then going to the camp store is a great option. Take some time to walk along the trails and enjoy some of the Civilian Conservation Corps structures built in the 1930’s or stop into town for a meal and a movie. There’s so much to discover when you camp out in your RV at Abilene State Park.
RV Rentals in Abilene State Park
Transportation in Abilene State Park
Located in the Callahan Divide, it isn’t uncommon to describe Abilene State Park as a hidden gem. Whether you are coming from Abilene, Dallas, or Fort Worth, you will have to take FM 89 southwest for 16 miles through Buffalo Gap. You will then have to continue on Park Road 32 to the park entrance. It is recommended that once you reach Buffalo Gap you should reduce your speed in order to see the signs leading to the park.
While in the park, you will notice signs indicating the main office and the different campgrounds. Be sure to pick up a colored trail map, as it is more detailed than a black and white one on your way in. There are no speed signs in the park, but it is recommended that you drive below 40 miles per hour as there may be little children and families walking on the roads. Rather than driving in the park, it is recommended that you walk or ride a bike to better experience all that the park has to offer. This will also save you the trouble of having to find parking for your car or RV, as the park can get pretty crowded during peak season.
In case of flooding or inclement weather, the park may close to protect its visitors and lead them to a safer location. While flooding is not unusual for the area, be sure to check the forecast before you travel to help park officials with relocating campers.
Campgrounds and parking in Abilene State Park
Campsites in Abilene State Park
Brushy Trail Campground
The Brushy Trail Campground is centrally located and close to several hiking trails. If you are driving a large rig this is the campground for you. This campground is reserved for the larger trailers and RVs. The maximum length for trailers and RVs is 42 feet. The amenities here are the same as the other campgrounds, with electric hookups, water hookups, and a dump station available, but no sewer hookups. You’ll also have access to a restroom and hot showers, and you’ll have a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern available at each site for you to use. Just be sure to leave the site just like you found it when you leave. If you don’t plan on leaving for at least three weeks, it’s a good idea to become a park host or just get a park pass. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.
Oak Grove Campground
Oak Grove Campground is centrally located near the Group Hall provided easy access to many activities in the park. This campground is reserved for the mid-sized trailers and RVs. The maximum length for trailers and RVs is 30 feet, and the lots are spacious enough so you can get some privacy from your neighbor. These campsites are on gravel or paved pads under the majestic shade of Texan trees.
Water and electric hookups are available, but there are no sewer hookups. Other amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, restrooms, hot showers, a lantern post, and even a dump station nearby. If you need anything else, you can likely find it at the camp store. As always, be sure to clean up after yourself and only use the firewood that is provided to you. If you wish to stay longer than three weeks, consider getting a park pass or becoming a host. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.
Pecan Grove Campground
The Pecan Grove Campground is located on the southern edge of the park near the Elm Creek Nature Trail. This campground is reserved for smaller trailers and RVs. The maximum length for trailers and RVs is only 20 feet, but the lots are spacious and offer privacy from your neighbor. They do not have a sewer hookup here, but they do offer a dump station in the park. Water and electric hookups are available for your use. A few campsites offer full hookups. The campsites are located on gravel pads in a beautiful shaded area.
Other amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, restrooms, hot showers, and a lantern post. There is no limit on the time you can spend here, but if you decide to stay for more than three weeks, it would be wise to get a park pass or become a host. You can get firewood, ice, and other small grocery items from the camp store. Remember that you are not permitted to bring your own firewood into the park and must always use what is provided. During your stay, always remember to clean up after yourself. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.
There are no first-come, first-served campgrounds at this state park.
Seasonal activities in Abilene State Park
Each summer, the park opens it swimming pool to all campers for a small price. The swimming pool was originally built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and remains today as one the main summer attractions at the park. Be sure to read all pool regulations and keep a watchful eye on your children when they visit. It is never a bad thing to have too much sunscreen on in a Texan summer, so make sure to pack yours and a snack the next time you visit the pool.
The park offers over six miles of trails for you to enjoy. Each trail has a unique feature and is ADA accessible. There is only one moderate trail and the rest are considered easy. You can take a leisurely stroll or jog while you observe the various wildlife and flowers. Be sure to pack your walking shoes and a water bottle for your hike. If you want to challenge yourself, try to hike all of the trails during your RV visit to the park.
Abilene State Park has a few different areas where you can cast your rod and catch a few fish. Remember that you will need a valid fishing license in order to catch anything in the lakes, creeks, or pond. The park offers both boat and shore fishing with a one-acre pond available for children to learn how to fish. The park is regularly stocked with crappies, bass, catfish, and perch. You can choose any kind of bait but remember to bring sunscreen and plenty of water if you plan on being out on the water all day.
Attending the Citizens Park Ranger Academy
The park offers a free program to all students over the age of 14. In the program you will learn how the park is maintained and operated. The program also covers wildland firefighting, search and rescue, law enforcement, and much more. It is a five-week program that really dives into what makes Abilene State Park so great. If you want to sign up for the program,the park website allows you to register. If you are in the park and want to participate, then talk to one of the many staff on duty and they will direct you to the main office.
Geocaching is a simple treasure hunt activity that the whole family can enjoy. You will need a device that can use GPS, a pen or pencil, your own bag of treasure, a spirit of adventure, and a keen eye. Remember to bring a water bottle and wear comfortable shoes while you go exploring. Be sure to write your name in the logbook when you find a treasure spot and replace it with your own personal treasures. After you have replaced the treasure, remember to leave the place as undisturbed as you found it to keep the adventure going.
Texas is home to over 200 species of birds, many of which call Abilene State Park home. Be sure to bring your binoculars and a nice sun hat in your camper. You can stop by the camp store and pick up a few brochures and pamphlets on the birds most commonly seen in the park. Campers often see hummingbirds, the Mississippi Kite, and the Northern cardinal. There are different birds to see year-round in the park. Remember to bring your favorite bird book and go exploring.