Lake Whitney in Whitney, Texas began as a plan to stem the flooding of the Brazos River in the 1950s. Now it is the center of Lake Whitney State Park, which is a popular 775-acre recreational area with fishing, swimming, boating, and camping. Although it did not open until 1965, the park area has always been home to wildlife and humans for over a thousand years. Native Americans lived along the river in the early 1800s and the pioneers came along in the 1850s. In fact, archeologists found evidence of prehistoric items from over 12,000 years ago.
Nowadays, the park is still home to plenty of wildlife and hosts thousands of human visitors every year. The Washita Prairie bursts with colors in the springtime and continues to have beautiful flora all year long because of the warm weather in this part of the country. To explore the beauty of the park, take a walk along one of the two hiking trails or jump on your bike for a short ride in the woods. Grab your fishing gear and toss in a line from the bank or in a boat to try your luck at catching some of the hungry fish.
Pack the beach toys and swimming suits because the park also has a big sandy swimming beach in the southeastern corner of the park by the day-use area. You can also try some skiing, paddleboarding, or kayaking. While you are at the beach, grab a picnic table and have a bite to eat before heading off on your next adventure. Then you can go back to your RV campsite and relax around the campfire.
In the northeast section of Texas, you can get to Lake Whitney State Park from I-35 from the north, east, or south and I-20 from the west. The park is only 43 miles north of Waco, 71 miles south of Fort Worth, and 77 miles southwest of Dallas. You can stop in one of these towns on your way to the park to enjoy some of their shops, restaurants, and attractions while you are in the area.
The roads in this part of Texas are generally wide, paved, and level, so you will not have any difficulties no matter how big your rig or trailer. To the south, on the southeastern part of the lake, you can visit Lofers Bend Park, which has four large sections that each have access to different areas. And on the southwestern corner of the lake, Walling Bend Park has camping, boating, and swimming.
When you get to Lake Whitney State Park, the roads are paved and straight along the main road. In fact, the speed limit is 30 miles per hour. However, in the campgrounds, the speed limits are 10 miles per hour and a few of them are difficult to maneuver in large rigs. Be sure to check the length limits in the campground before choosing your site online. The White-Tail and Star View Campgrounds are better for smaller rigs because their parking pads are shorter.
In the northern section of the park off of Park Road 1244, the Horseshoe Campground has 43 campsites with full hookups and eight with just water. The parking pads allow for RVs up to 115 feet in length. However, these lengths vary so it is important to check this when reserving your site. Reservations can be made up to five months in advance.
Each of the sites has a picnic table and fire ring with a grill to cook on, and there are hot showers and restrooms nearby. The kids will really enjoy the playground in the center of the campground, and you will love how near it is to your camp. The lake is incredibly close, so you only have to walk a few feet to toss in a line or do some swimming. Pets are welcome as long as they are restrained and supervised at all times during your stay.
Just off park road 47, the White-Tail Campground has 18 campsites with just water. This campground has parking pads to accommodate rigs up to 35 feet, so it is a bit smaller than the others. However, they each still have a fire ring and picnic table as well as a large cleared space to sit around the fire.
There is a comfort station nearby that has restrooms with running water, hot showers, and there is a fish cleaning station nearby as well. This campground is the closest to the swimming area, which is in the day-use area just a short walk away. You can bring your dog to camp with you, but they are not allowed on the beach. Reservations are needed and can be made up to five months in advance.
With 18 spacious campsites that have water hookups, the Star View Campground is a small one that can only handle rigs up to 37 feet in length. The sites are all right on the waterfront and many are shaded or have a cabana over the picnic tables and campfire ring. There is also plenty of space to sit around the campfire and roast hotdogs or make s’mores.
In addition, there is a large playground for the kids nearby and an ADA-accessible shower house and restroom with flushing toilets. Reservations can be made up to five months in advance and you can bring your furbaby. Just make sure he is supervised and restrained during your stay. Bring your fishing gear and swimsuit too since these sites are so close to the water.
Twelve cozy campsites are waiting for you in the middle of all the other campgrounds at Blue Bird Campground. These spots are a bit larger with some of the campsites even able to handle motorhomes up to 69 feet in length. These are some of the most popular because they have 50-amp electric, water hookups, covered picnic tables, and campfire rings with grills.
Fido can join you too, as long as he is supervised and leashed at all times while you are visiting. Reservations are required. You can book a spot up to five months prior to your planned visit. All sites are right on the water so you will be close to fishing, boating, and swimming. In addition, the park provides an ADA-accessible shower house and restroom nearby.
The Road Runner Campground boasts 11 shaded sites with level gravel parking spurs that can accommodate rigs from 32 to 57 feet in length. Each of these roomy spaces has a fire pit with a grill and a covered picnic table that seats eight, so you don’t have to balance your food in your lap. Dogs and cats are welcome as long as they are accompanied and restrained at all times while you are there.
The comfort station nearby has ADA-accessible restrooms and showers with hot water. The lake is close enough to see from your RV and, in most cases, you just have to walk a few feet to toss in a line or cool off in the water. Reservations can (and should) be made up to five months prior to your visit.
If you want to be close to the water, Lake View Campground is a good choice. Sites can accommodate RVs up to 35 feet in length, but they vary, so check this when booking your site. All 20 of their pet-friendly sites are close enough to the water that you don’t have to leave your campsite to go fishing or drop in your kayak or canoe. You can even let the kids cool off from the Texas summer heat without having to go to the beach.
Although these sites only have water, you are allowed to use your generator if needed. But please shut them off during quiet hours from 10 PM until 6 AM. Each site has a covered picnic table and fire pit with a grill, and there are ADA-accessible restrooms and showers nearby. You can make a reservation up to five months before your planned vacation. Book early if you plan on coming on a weekend or holiday.
With only seven campsites, Sunset Ridge is the smallest campground in the park. All sites are extremely large with parking spurs that can handle rigs from 65 to 107 feet in length. Each site also has water and 50-amp electric hookups. You will also be able to cook outside on the campfire grill and eat at the picnic table, so you don’t have to try to eat in a camp chair.
Four of the seven sites are waterfront while the other three are just across from the water. You won’t have to go far to get to the lakeshore for a swim or fishing trip. Nearby, you can find restrooms and hot showers that are ADA-accessible and the Towash Forest Trail. Take a hike or bike ride with the kids before dinner. Fluffy is allowed to join you but must be on a leash at all times.
If you are rolling with a group larger than eight people, you may want to think about reserving the Post Oak Group Campground, which can accommodate up to 64 people. The camp is just to the north of the Star View Campground and has eight screened shelters that are about 12 by 18 feet. Each of these has a picnic table inside the shelter and a fire pit and barbecue grill outside the shelter.
A comfort center with modern restrooms and hot showers is located a quarter of a mile from the camp. The parking lot has enough room for 30 vehicles, and you will have to leave your rig in the lot to camp with everyone else. You can bring your furbaby though. However, do not forget to bring a leash because pets have to be restrained and supervised at all times. Reservations can be made up to 12 months in advance.
For those groups who do not want to camp outdoors, you can reserve the group hall, which can also handle groups of up to 64 people. However, the overnight accommodations are only for 30 people. Others can use tents or their RV, which can be parked in the lot. The hall is ADA-accessible and there is an ADA parking spot right by the door. Right outside the front door, you will find the Two Bridges Trail and the lake. You can take a hike and go fishing, swimming, or boating without having to leave the area.
This is basically one giant room that serves as a sleeping area as well as a living space and dining room. There are no beds or bedrooms. However, there is a stove, microwave, sink, and restrooms as well as tables and chairs for 64 people. They even have a projection screen in case you want to stream a movie. Pets are not allowed, and reservations can be made up to a year in advance.
If you want to spend a night or two indoors at Lake Whitney State Park, reserve one of the two cabins in the southwestern corner of the park. Each cabin can sleep you and seven other guests with two sets of bunk beds as well as room for cots inside and tents outside. Air conditioning and heating is provided as are a table and chairs.
Outside, you can find a large yard big enough for several tents with a picnic table, fire pit, and a lantern post. The kids will love the playground nearby and you will love being so close to the lake. Pets are not allowed, and reservations can be made up to five months prior to your visit. A water spigot is located just outside, and there is a comfort station nearby with showers and restrooms.
Lake Whitney State Park has a designated swimming area in the southwestern corner of the park. The sandy beach is located in the day-use area by the Towash Shelter Loop. Make sure you pack the sunscreen in the motorhome before heading to the park because the Texas sun is brutal on your skin. The swimming area also has several screened shelters with picnic tables and barbecue grills as well as a playground for the kids to enjoy.
Be sure to toss the skis in the rig before you head out to the park. You will love skiing on Lake Whitney with its beautiful clear waters and wide-open space. This lake is popular, but it is never so crowded that there is not enough room to enjoy skiing, wakeboarding, or wakesurfing. Whether you are going to ski on one board, two skis, or just get pulled along in a tube or raft, it is all fun for everyone.
Go ahead and bring your boat because Lake Whitney is the perfect place to go boating. Not only is there a boat ramp, but there is also a camp store where you can grab bait, snacks, drinks, ice, and many other items you may need. If you do catch some fish out there, bring them back and clean them at the fish cleaning station near the White-Tail Campground. There are other things to do in the water besides fish, though. Swimming, wakeboarding, and just cruising are also fun.
Grab the cell phone and some small trinkets or toys and head out on a treasure hunt. There are several geocaches in the park along the trails as well as the shoreline. Go online to find the geocache coordinates, punch them into your GPS, and start hunting. While you are out there, you can enjoy the flora and fauna of the park and get some fresh air. Take a pen to sign the logbook and be sure to put the cache back where you got it so others can find it.
The fishing is so good here that the first competitive bass tournament was held at Lake Whitney in 1956 right near the swimming beach. Even though that was a long time ago, the bass are still hungry, but you are more likely to find them in different areas of the lake. When fishing from the shore, you won’t need a fishing license. But if you are in a boat, you will need a Texas fishing license to toss in a line.
Take a walk along the .9-mile Two Bridges Trail Loop that meanders through the post oak forest and along two wooden bridges. This short trail is good for everyone no matter whether you are an experienced hiker or if it's your first trip through the woods. The 1.2-mile Towash Forest Trail is also an easy trek that starts at the Sunset Ridge Campground parking lot and takes you along the shores of the lake. Watch for shorebirds like osprey and loons. Be sure to stay on the path and always practice proper trail habits.