At Cooper Lake State Park, you’ll find an abundance of outdoor activities. You’ll enjoy fishing, hiking, swimming, boating and equestrian trails. Cooper Lake State Park is an outdoor lover’s retreat, featuring over 19,000 acres of man-made lake, and over 3,000 acres of hiking and equestrian trails. The rolling hills of Cooper Lake State Park offer extraordinary views of Cooper Lake and surrounding prairies. Located just 90 miles northeast from Dallas, TX, this state park is ideal for your next getaway.
After you settle in, you can begin your adventure at a couple of places on the lake. There’s Doctors Creek, which has seven points of interest located on the North side of the lake, or South Sulphur which has six points of interest located on the South side of the lake. Both are sure to meet your outdoor hankering. All trails are easy to moderate in level, with biking and hiking options labeled on the interactive maps.
Bring the kids and pick up a Junior Ranger Activity Journal at the Visitor Center/Headquarters. Once they complete the tasks within the journal, they’ll gain Junior Ranger status. Being a Junior Ranger means they have completed safety training, observing wildlife, recycling and much more. This is a family adventure you won’t want to miss!
Cooper Lake State Park is the perfect RV destination no matter when you decide to visit. Cooper Lake State Park is open year-round to enjoy long summer days or cool winter nights. Peak seasons are Spring, Summer and Fall.
RV Rentals in Cooper Lake State Park
Transportation in Cooper Lake State Park
Cooper Lake State Park is easy to access by RV or other vehicle, and it is located just 90 miles northeast from Dallas, TX, off State Highway 71. Park roads take you any place within the park and there are no driving restrictions, so you’ll be able to maneuver with ease.
There are several possibilities for parking with or without your RV, in the eight lots throughout the park. You’ll be able to find parking at the Visitor Center/Headquarters, Picnic Areas, and near the nature trail heads. If you are staying overnight, you can also park at your campsite. If you are not staying overnight, there are six day-use areas for rest and exploration.
Campgrounds and parking in Cooper Lake State Park
Campsites in Cooper Lake State Park
If you want to experience the outdoors to the fullest and plan to bring your horse(s) with you on your RV trip to Cooper Lake State Park, you can stay for the day or overnight in the designated Equestrian Area. There are 15 campsites available for horses. These sites have water and electric hook-up, hitching posts with tethers, 10’ x 55’ concrete pad, picnic table, lantern posts, and fire pits. Each site has access to the nearby trails.
Doctors Creek Campground has 42 campsites, with many of them right along the shore of the lake. The campground has bathrooms, showers and an amphitheater, and there’s also a dump station nearby.
South Sulphur Campground
Cooper Lake State Park features 136 pet-friendly campsites available for tents and RVs year-round. The campsites are divided between two units; Doctors Creek and South Sulphur. 121 campsites provide access to electricity and water. Amenities at this campground include hot showers, restrooms, and a dump station and each site (minus tent walk-in sites) has a concrete pad, picnic table, fire ring, and lantern post. Reservations are accepted up to 11 months in advance and you can stay for up to 14 days at a time. Busy season is Spring, Summer and Fall.
Seasonal activities in Cooper Lake State Park
If you can’t leave home without your equine friend, Cooper Lake State Park is the picture-perfect place for you and your companion to relax from the world. With 15 equestrian sites boasting a picnic table, fire ring, water and electric hook-up, lantern post, 20’ tether cable and a 10’ x 55’ concrete pad, you’ll catch the break you need.
The 10.5-mile Buggy Whip Equestrian trail crosses nearly 600 acres of forest and hillside. Some trails are challenging and are labeled on the trail map. There is easy access to your site from the trail. The equestrian trails and sites are in the South Sulphur unit of the lake.
Cooper Lake State Park is a great place to fish during your RV trip. With two designated fishing areas, you’ll be certain to find Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass,, Blue Catfish,, and much more.
There are boat docks, fishing piers and cleaning stations conveniently located, and you do not need a fishing license to fish on shore. You can bring your own boat or rent a kayak and paddleboard from either unit. Download a fishing guide to assist in identifying various species.
Don’t forget to pack your hiking boots as there are over 3,000 acres to explore. You’ll see a variety of animals on your trek such as, nine-banded armadillo, gray fox, beaver, bobcat and much more. With over ten trails varying in difficulty, you’ll see every aspect of Cooper Lake State Park.
On your trek you’ll see wetlands, grasslands, prairies and old farmland fencing to reminiscence on eras gone by. Be sure to enjoy the sunset on Sunset Cove and then stay and listen to the chorus of frogs filling the night.
Visitor Center/Interpretive Programs
If you want to learn more about the activities and events going on at the park, stop by the visitor/center headquarters for a list of activities and wildlife that you can experience. Park your RV and ask the park rangers questions and reserve your campsite. You can also purchase daily, or annual park passes for your adventures. The annual park passes allow for unlimited visits to more than 90 State parks and you will also receive discounted camping prices.
Cooper Lake State Park has many geocaching sites for the modern-day treasure hunting fanatic. Bring your GPS, Pencil, hiking shoes, trail map and inexpensive item to trade in the geocaching adventure.
Be sure to visit the geocaching website to find the coordinates and let the adventure begin. Each geocache has varying terrain, and difficulty. Take in the wonder of treasure hunting with geocaching. On occasion you may be the first to find a new geocache so don’t forget to sign the log.
Cooper Lake State Park is home to more than 100 unique species of birds, so you’ll want to pack your field glasses in your RV. Some of the birds you might see include American Avocet, American Oystercatcher, Arctic Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle, and many more.
You’ll find guides and maps located in the headquarters/visitor center. You can also download a wild bird checklist specific for Cooper Lake State Park.