Lake Brownwood State Park is an area of astonishing natural beauty. Surrounded by rolling hills, miles of scenic shoreline, and wooded riverbeds and wildflowers, the 537-acre park is a nature lover’s dream. Campers can enjoy fresh air and peace and quiet at this secluded park, 16 miles northwest of the city of Brownwood, Texas.
The park was created by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) back in 1934 and designed to blend in with the natural environment. They used locally quarried rock to build buildings, patios, and fire pits that were used by soldiers during World War II, and many of these structures are still used by visitors today.
The park is set right in the center of where three eco-regions overlap, including rolling plains, the Edwards Plateau with grasslands and wooded slopes, and the Western Cross Timbers. Keep an eye out for white-tailed deer, raccoons, foxes, armadillos, squirrels, and all sorts of rare and unusual birds.
Outdoor recreation is encouraged at Lake Brownwood State Park with 2.5 miles of hiking trails and a half-mile nature trail to explore. A 7,300-acre reservoir and a boating ramp make this state park a playground for water lovers, including boaters, anglers, and jet skiers. Open all-year-round for RV holidaymakers, the park is fantastic for swimming, sunset-seeking, and picnics during the summer months, and stargazing and bird watching in the winter months.
You can easily find Lake Brownwood State Park just at the end of a peninsula off Park Road 15 in Lake Brownwood, Texas. The park is just off of TX-279, which is easy to get to from I-20 to the north, I-35 to the east, and I-10 to the south or west. Just an hour southeast of Abilene, two hours southwest of Fort Worth, and three hours northwest of Austin, you won’t be far from the city if you want to take in some culture.
Stop by Copperas Creek Park in Comanche to stretch your legs, where you can splash around in the creek or Proctor Lake with the family or enjoy a nice picnic before heading to Lake Brownwood. They also have over 60 RV campsites with 30-amp electric if you decide to stay longer.
As you approach the park, watch out for low-hanging branches about 20 yards before you reach the park office and keep an eye out for low branches as you drive through the campsite. There are no other driving restrictions in the park, so getting around by RV or any large rig shouldn’t be an issue. After setting up your campsite, you can roam around by biking or hiking on the various trails or launch your boat and explore the park from the water.
Council Bluff Campground has 20 sites with full hookups in the northwestern section of the park. These campsites are large and spaced well apart, so you have a bit of privacy from your neighbors. With 20-, 30-, and 50-amp electric, you can cook indoors on the stove or outside on the grill or fire ring provided by the park. A large picnic table that seats eight comfortably is also provided—no need to try to balance your food on your lap in a camp chair. Site lengths vary, but rigs up to 62 feet long can be accommodated.
You’ll find hot showers as well as a restroom with running water nearby for your convenience. If you want to take a hike, several trails are nearby. If you need something such as ice, firewood, snacks, or other similar items, the camp store is just next door. Pets are welcome here, so go ahead and bring your furbaby. Reservations can be made up to five months in advance.
Located in the southeastern part of the park, Comanche Trails RV Campground has 11 RV campsites with electricity and water nearby. With lake views, these large sites are perfect for those with families since the volleyball court and swimming are nearby as well as the screened shelters that can be used for picnicking. With 30-amp electric, cooking can be done inside or outside on the barbecue pit or fire ring. The park also provides a picnic table that seats eight people.
All rigs and trailers up to 30 feet are welcome at Comanche Trails. A comfort center with hot showers and modern restrooms is nearby. Fluffy is also invited to join the camping fun since pets are welcome—just be sure to bring the leash with you. Reservations are needed and can be made up to five months before your planned visit online or by phone.
Willow Point RV Campground has 35 sites with 20-, 30-, and 50-amp electric hookups with water nearby. The campground can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 67 feet in length. However, not all of the sites are that large, so you should check the specifics when making your reservation, which can be done five months in advance. Sites 38 through 45 are all located on the water, but the rest are just a short walk away.
Cooking indoors or out is easy with the provided barbecue pit and campfire ring with a grill to cook on. When it’s time to eat, you can all sit around the picnic table, so you don’t have to worry about trying to eat in a camp chair. These sites are located right by the volleyball court and swimming beach on the northern tip of the park, where you can also find picnic tables and the RV dump site. The group dining hall is nearby as well. Pets are welcome but must be restrained and accompanied at all times.
Comanche Trails Tent Campground has nine sites with electricity that are situated along the water’s edge for a great view and easy access to fishing and swimming. If you want to get one of the sites closest to the water, choose site 61, 63, or 65. The others are just close but not right on the bank. The volleyball court is just a short walk away, so you can play a game if you have a big enough group. If not, try to gather a group of people to play with or join in a game.
Even with just a tent, you can use the electric hookups to charge your phone and other devices or plug in a radio for a little music to enjoy while you grill up some grub. Only certain sites allow pets in this campground. Because of the limited number of sites, reservations are needed, which can be made up to five months prior to your visit.
Willow Point Tent Campground has 12 sites with no utilities. Located just to the south of the Willow Point RV Campground, these 12 sites are spread out along their own road. Although there are no utilities at this tent site, there are hot showers nearby as well as modern restrooms with running water and flushing toilets. Potable water is available nearby for drinking and cooking. The lantern pole will come in handy to light up the area for your group to enjoy the outdoors at night. Be sure to bring your own lantern as they are not provided.
Bring along your pup too because the park allows pets as long as they are leashed or crated at all times. Walk down the road a bit to the fishing dock where you can catch some dinner that you can cook up on the BBQ pit or campfire grill provided at the campsite. Reservations can be made up to five months before your visit.
If you’d prefer to upgrade your lodgings, Lake Brownwood State Park also offers 16 cabins that sleep two or four people in the northern section of the park right on the banks of the lake. However, reservations are required, so make sure to plan ahead if you want one of these cozy spots. All of the cabins offer private bedrooms, a kitchen with appliances, air conditioning, heat, and a bathroom with a shower. You’ll also have a fireplace that you can use during the winter, which makes it even cozier.
The four-person cabins also have patios with seating and a beautiful view of the woods or the lake, depending on which cabin you choose. Outside, you can find a picnic table and BBQ grill in case you want to do some grilling. Pets are not allowed, so you won’t be able to bring Fido along on this trip if you want to stay in a cabin.
For larger families or groups, Lake Brownwood State Park also has several lodges to choose from. The Oak Lodge can accommodate up to four people with two bedrooms and one bathroom. The Loma Vista Lodge can sleep eight people with two bedrooms and one bathroom. The Fisherman’s Lodge can handle up to 10 guests with five bedrooms and two bathrooms. And the Beach Lodge will accommodate up to 26 people with two large dorm bedrooms with bunk beds and two bathrooms.
Furnished and stocked with everything you need except food, you can find beds, a living room with seating, a dining room set, and a kitchen with all appliances. Linens are also provided as well as towels and central air and heat. Outside you will have a grill and picnic tables for grilling up some grub for the gang. Fireplaces are also provided but can only be used during the winter. Pets are not allowed in the lodges, and reservations are needed.
There are nearly six miles of hiking meandering throughout Lake Brownwood State Park, including a half-mile interpretive trail. The trails have tall grass and rocky steps that can be challenging, but there are CCC-built benches along the way for you to take a rest and admire the scenery. If you’d prefer a more leisurely and well-groomed trail, then stick to the non-lake trails. Hikers can see a variety of wildlife and plants along the trails, including flowering cacti, oak trees, waterfowl, and even fish swimming in the shallows of the lake. While most trails are for hiking only, the Nopales Ridge Trail is also open to cyclists.
During the holiday season, there are plenty of exciting activities and events for families. Decorate your campsite with festive lights and get into the Christmas spirit before heading down to the recreation hall to learn how to make historic toys, listen to educational talks by the park rangers, and get a photo with Santa Claus. Hot chocolate, coffee, and cookies will be served for hungry bellies of all ages. No matter whether you are five or 105, the holidays are fun for everyone at Lake Brownwood State Park.
Birders will be in their element at this scenic state park. With diverse terrain providing varying habits for all species of birds, the bird watching opportunities in the park are spectacular all year round. During the winter months, you can expect to see birds such as Canada goose, American widgeon, great blue heron, black and turkey vultures, and woodpeckers. There are also several rare spottings such as the cinnamon teal, osprey, and coopers hawk. Don’t forget your binoculars in your motorhome!
The 7,300-acre reservoir at Lake Brownwood State Park is popular among anglers who enjoy fishing for popular species such as white crappie, perch, catfish, and white or largemouth bass. The small coves, bays, and creeks are filled with all sorts of interesting fish species. During the summer months and early fall, you’ll find that white bass fishing is excellent when they can be found in large schools near the surface of the main lake area. Night fishing for white bass under lit boat docks is also a great way to fish here. Fishing gear can be loaned in the park. Anglers aren’t required to have a license to fish from land in a Texas state park, but if you’re looking to launch your boat and do some fishing, you will need to have a valid license.
Kids visiting Lake Brownwood State Park will love the junior ranger courses that allow them to complete tasks to earn a badge. The course includes an Explorer Pack that comes with all sorts of tips and tools for exploring the park, including a pair of binoculars, a magnifying glass, an animal tracking key, fauna and flora guides, and a free Junior Ranger Activity Journal. Pick up the backpack and enjoy learning about the park with your little one or let them venture off on their own or with their friends. On Saturday mornings in the summer, the park also hosts “coffee with the ranger” sessions at the park headquarters where you can learn some interesting facts about the park.
Lake Brownwood is a popular spot for boating enthusiasts, so don’t forget to hook up the boat trailer. A boat ramp in the park makes launching your boat effortless, and you can explore the 7,300-acre lake by pontoon, kayak, or fishing boat as much as you please. During the warm summer months, the water is often filled with boaters enjoying activities like water skiing, tubing, paddling, and jet skiing. Pack a picnic and enjoy a day on the water with the family. Don’t forget to pack the sunscreen.