In the northeastern corner of the big state of Texas, you can find Daingerfield State Park in Morris County. Established in 1938, the park has just over 500 acres, including the 80-acre Daingerfield Lake, where you can enjoy all types of water sports. Fishing is popular, and there are quite a few types of fish that call the lake home. Boating is also a fun activity on the lake, and you can use a motor, but you cannot go over five miles per hour. There is also a large swimming area where you can take a break from the hot Texas summer.
Nicknamed the Cathedral of Trees, the park is well-known for its majestic maple, oak, and pines. These tall beauties keep you shaded when you need to get out of the sun for a bit. Take a hike on one of the trails so you can learn more about the flora and fauna in the park. You will likely come across some wild critters in the woods too. If you come during the fall, you’ll see a plethora of autumn colors in these trees, so bring a camera in your motorhome.
Since it’s Texas, it doesn’t get too cold in the winter and rarely snows so that you can enjoy most of the fun all year long. If you want to stay the night, weekend, or even a week, you can reserve a spot at one of the four campgrounds in the park. For a different type of fun, rent one of the three cabins. Or, if you have a large group, you can rent the lodge for your party of 13 or less. You certainly won’t run out of things to do here; however, there are several other state parks nearby, including Caddo Lake State Park in Harrison County, Atlanta State Park in Cass County, and Lake Bob Sandlin State Park in Pittsburg.
Daingerfield State Park is just a few miles from Daingerfield off of TX-11. You can take TX-49 from the east, I-30 to US-259 from the north or west, or US-59 from the south. Texarkana is just an hour to the northeast where you can stop and take a break at Spring Park Lake if you are coming from that way. You won’t have any trouble getting to the park since it is mostly highways and large paved roads.
Just about 1.5 hours to the southeast, you can visit Shreveport, a large city in Louisiana. Stop in and check out the museum, one of the casinos, or the Red River. Travel two hours to the west to see Dallas, where you can check out their museums as they have several to choose from. Being one of the largest cities in the state, it has a lot of attractions for you and your family to enjoy.
However, once you get in the park, you are going to find lots of curvy roads that may be an issue for those with big rigs. Although the park is set up for large RVs and trailers, the roads can be tricky in some cases. Big Pine Campground is your best choice if you are driving or pulling anything over 45 feet.
The Big Pine Campground is the most popular spot with water lovers as it is very close to Daingerfield Lake. This campground boasts ten shaded pull-through sites with full hookups nestled in the tall pine trees. All of the sites are extra-large and can accommodate rigs from 87 to 119 feet. With full utilities, you will be able to cook inside, or you can cook outdoors on the fire ring. There is a picnic table that seats eight people so you can all eat together.
A comfort station with modern restrooms and showers with hot water is located in the campground for your convenience. The Little Pines General Store is within walking distance if you need ice, firewood, snacks, or other items. You can even get souvenirs there. If you need to dump the tank on the RV, there is a dumping station conveniently located right at the front of the campground. Since there are only 10 of these prime sites, book your spot early. And don’t forget to bring the furbaby along.
All 18 of the back-in sites at Dogwood Campground have full utility hookups, so you don’t have to rough it here. The sites are a bit smaller with a 17 to 42-foot length limit on your rig or trailer. The pads are paved and level too, which is a big plus for RVers. Your furbaby can come along but keep him restrained and supervised while you are there. Although this campground is off on its own at the southeastern end of the lake, you’ll be pretty close to your neighbors no matter which site you are at. They are a bit close together with not much privacy.
However, they are all partially shaded, and each one has a lantern pole, a fire ring with a grill, and a picnic table for eight people. Some of the campsites also have a barbecue pit, as well as the fire ring. You’ll be close to the lake at any of these sites, so you can just take one of the paths leading to the water if you want to take a swim or toss in a line. And there are restrooms with running water and hot showers nearby. Be sure to make a reservation, which can be done up to five months in advance.
Just to the northwest of Cedar Ridge Campground in the north end of the park, Mountain View Campground has 12 back-in sites with full hookups. That means you can cook indoors and run the air if you need to. The sites can accommodate rigs from 28 to 45 feet with paved level pads. Reserve your spot early to make sure you get a site that is right for your needs. Each site also has a lantern post, a picnic table, and a fire ring with a grill.
You can bring your pooch with you as long as you supervise and restrain them at all times during your stay. Also, be sure to clean up after them and try not to let them bark nonstop. The Mountain View Trail begins in the parking lot if you want to take a refreshing hike in the woods. Even though it is only about 1.2 miles long, it is considered to be difficult, so make sure you are wearing comfortable and durable walking shoes.
Were you thinking of spending a night or two out in the woods roughing it like you used to do before you got the motorhome? Daingerfield State Park makes it easy for you to do with 18 nicely leveled tent pads that are about 12 x 14 feet at the Cedar Ridge Campground. They also provide potable water, an outdoor barbecue grill, a fire ring, and a lantern hanger. The picnic table seats eight so you don’t have to eat in your camp chair, which can be difficult to do sometimes.
Restrooms with running water are nearby as well as a bathhouse with hot showers. And you’ll be close to the Mountain View Trail if you feel like a hike is in your future. Pets are more than welcome as long as they are kept on a leash no longer than six feet at all times while visiting. Your fur buddy will love the wooded area with all the new and different scents. He can even go on the trails with you. Just keep him on that leash. Make sure you reserve your site early to get a spot.
If you aren’t bringing your furbaby with you, how about leaving the rig in the parking lot and staying in one of Daingerfield State Park’s three historic cabins? There are three to choose from; one can sleep six while the other two sleep four each. The six-person cabin has three bedrooms, a fully furnished kitchen with appliances, a bathroom with a shower, and it even has air conditioning, heat, and a fireplace. The four-person cabins have two bedrooms, a large kitchen with appliances, a bathroom with a shower, heat, and air conditioning. Cabin number three is ADA-accessible throughout.
You’ll be close to the lake at all of these cabins, but cabin three is the closest, just feet from the beautiful Lake Daingerfield. You’ll also be within walking distance to the picnic area, swimming area, and the amphitheater. The playground and interpretive center are not far away either. You can enjoy fishing from the pier or take the boat out from the dock right by the playground. Reservations are needed and can be made up to five months in advance.
Are you planning a family reunion or just have a large group or family? Make a reservation at the Bass Lodge. The lodge can sleep up to 13 people with nine twin beds and two full beds in five bedrooms. You’ll also have two bathrooms, a full kitchen with appliances, and a living room with two couches and a fireplace. The dining table can seat eight with another small add-on table and chairs if needed.
The huge backyard has a deck with a picnic table and a large BBQ grill and smoker. You’ll even have a private path that takes you straight to Lake Daingerfield. The lodge is located near the cabins on the northern side of the lake. The Rustling Leaves Trail will take you to the dining hall, swimming area, playground, and the interpretive center. You’ll need to reserve your spot early and can do so up to a year in advance.
Although you can swim in any area of the lake, there is a swimming area with a floating platform near the dining hall and the Little Pines General Store. If you forgot to bring sunscreen, the store will have some. In fact, you can pick up just about anything you need from there like ice, drinks, and snacks too. Swim out to the platform where you can sit and soak up the sun before jumping in the water to swim back to the beach. There are no lifeguards, so you will be swimming at your own risk.
If you have your boat with you, take it out on the lake for a spin. They allow you to use your motor, but you cannot go over five miles per hour. Boat out to the CCC Island across from Big Pine Campground and have a picnic. They have a picnic area set up for whoever wants to use it, so bring a cooler with some food and beverages along. Toss out a line near some of the hidden coves for some excellent bass fishing. Spend a nice day on the lake before heading back to your campsite to tell campfire stories.
One good thing about the five mile per hour boating speed limit is that paddle boarding is easier. On some of the larger lakes, you may have trouble finding a spot where you can get on your board and paddle around without being knocked off by the wake of a passing boat speeding by. If you forgot your board, you can rent one at the Little Pines General Store. They’ll even give you a paddle and a life vest if you need one.
Want to take a hike? If you are looking for something easy and have a couple of hours to kill, take a walk along the 2.4-mile Rustling Leaves Trail. It starts at the parking lot by the main entrance and takes you on a walk around the entire lake. Walk out on the peninsula on the south side of the lake where you can enjoy a picnic with grills and picnic tables. The 1.2-mile Mountain View Trail may be shorter, but it is considered challenging and will take you up to the highest spot in the park. The pine-covered bluffs are spectacular, and you’ll be able to see for miles. Use proper trail etiquette and keep the trails clean and undisturbed.
Did you come for some fishing? You can find a plethora of hungry fish in the 80-acre Daingerfield Lake. If you want to catch some bass, topwater lures or worms are good choices. Catching one of the big cats takes some patience and a heavy weight with live bait on it. A unique type of fish in this lake is the chain pickerel, which is similar to a pike. They will hit on just about anything, but they really like the shiny fish lures. Make sure you use a steel leader and keep your fingers away from their mouth. They have several rows of sharp teeth.
Whether you are an experienced geocacher or have no idea what a geocache is, Daingerfield State Park is a fun place to find a geocache. In fact, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department have a Texas Geocache Challenge. You can find more information about that on the geocache website or at the park office. Grab your phone or other GPS device, some trinkets, and a pen to sign the logbook. One of the geocaches is located in the Cedar Ridge Campground, so that is a good place to start. Just make sure you put it back where you found it so others can find it too.