RVers in the northeast Texas area should not miss Purtis Creek State Park. Located just an hour from Dallas, Purtis Creek offers visitors the chance to get away from the stresses of everyday life in the big city and reconnect with nature without the crowds. The abundance of wildlife and resources has drawn people to the area for centuries. The Wichita and Caddo tribes once wandered the area in search of game, and later, settlers planted permanent roots and established a network of small towns in the surrounding area. The park land was eventually sold to the state of Texas from private owners in 1977, and since then, Purtis Creek State Park has been an oasis for outdoor enthusiasts.
Visitors to this 1,582-acre park come for the lake but stay for a variety of other activities and amenities. The no-wake lake is the main attraction, and fishing or boating is a must when you visit. Both the young and the young at heart can enjoy a variety of ranger programs available throughout the year, and once you're ready for a break from all the activities, you can hunker down at one of the park's many picnic tables and enjoy a relaxing lunch. There are also miles of trails available to hikers and bikers, and there are even a number of hike-in primitive sites if you're looking to rough it for a night or two.
Those looking for a more cozy camping experience can park the rig in one of over 50 RV- and trailer-friendly sites. Sites are equipped with water and electric hookups, so guests can enjoy their creature comforts in their home away from home. Whether you're staying for an afternoon or for a week, you'll be glad you parked the campervan at Purtis Creek State Park.
Located in northeast Texas just an hour from the Dallas/Fortworth area, Purtis Creek State Park is a perfect weekend escape from the big city life. This part of the state is relatively flat, so you won't have to worry about steep inclines or curvy mountain roads. The park isn't too far off-grid, and major routes like US-175 and TX-19 will get you pretty close to the entrance. Even the smaller roads around the park are well maintained and should be easy to navigate for those with big rigs.
The park entrance is located off of FM-316, and once inside, roads remain wide and paved for easy maneuverability. The RV campground is located on the west side of the park, while the boat launch and other main areas of interest sit to the east.
There is plenty of space for parking, and even during the peak summer months, you should be able to find a place to park. Lots are located near the park entrance, the boat launch, the campground, various fishing piers, and at certain trailheads. If you're staying overnight and don't feel like deconstructing camp when you want to go somewhere, you should consider bringing your bikes along in the motorhome.
Purtis Creek State Park's campground is equipped with 59 RV- and trailer-friendly sites. Each campsite is equipped with water and electric hookups, along with a picnic table, lantern pole, and fire ring. Most sites offer at least partial shade, for which guests will be grateful during the hot summer months. Maximum length restrictions vary by site between 25 and 55 feet, so be sure to reserve a site large enough for your rig. All sites are pet-friendly, and one ADA-accessible site is also available. Guests will find restrooms with hot showers nearby. There are also various hiking trails, plenty of additional parking, and fishing piers located in the area surrounding the campground. The campground is open year-round, and reservations can be made up to five months in advance.
Those looking to sleep under the stars for a night or two can stay in one of the park's five tent-only sites. These sites are equipped with tent pads, lantern poles, picnic tables, water, and fire rings. The tent-only campground is located on the east side of the park near the boat launch, and guests will need to walk a few yards to access the campground. Pets are allowed so long as they are kept leashed, and restrooms, a playground, and a picnic area are located nearby. The campground is open year-round, and reservations can be made up to five months in advance.
More tenting sites can be found on the west side of the park near the RV campground, but these sites are primitive, and guests will need to hike just over a half a mile to reach the campground. There are 13 of these hike-in sites available year-round, and each is equipped with a tent pad and fire ring. No water is available, so be sure to bring plenty with you. Pets are allowed, and reservations can be made up to five months in advance.
If you didn't have any luck securing a spot to park the Class A at Purtis Creek State Park, don't fret. There are dozens of options for RV camping in the surrounding area, and whether you're searching for a private RV resort or another state park, your options are limitless. Private RV parks near the park are numerous and offer a wide variety of amenities from full hookups and laundry facilities to seasonal pools and ziplining opportunities.
If you prefer state park camping, you'll find options in every direction. Lake Tawakoni State Park is to the north of Purtis Creek and is equipped with over 70 RV-friendly sites. Sixteen of these sites offer full hookups, while the rest provide water and electric hookups. Tyler State Park can be found to the east and is outfitted with 57 full-hookup sites and 20 additional electric sites. To the south sits Fairfield Lake State Park. Here, overnight guests will find spacious sites that offer both full hookups and electric options. Cedar Hill State Park is located to the east of the park and is a great option for those looking to be close to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Cedar Hill offers more than 300 RV-friendly sites to overnight guests with the options for full hookups or electric and water sites.
Five trails carve their way through Purtis Creek State Park, so don't hesitate to bring your hiking boots or bikes along in the motorhome. Trails vary in length, but all are easy treks. One of the most popular hiking trails is the Beaver Slide Nature Path. As the name suggests, you'll see plenty of nature along this trail, including the lake, and if you tread lightly, some of the park's wildlife. No bikes are allowed on this trail, so if you're hoping for a leisurely ride during your visit to the park, check out one of the Wolfpen Hike and Bike Trails. There are three loops available, the longest of the three being the blue loop at two miles in length. This loop is perfect for warm summer days, as there is plenty of shade overhead.
A trip to Purtis Creek State Park wouldn't be complete without an afternoon spent on the water. If you didn't tow your own water vessel along behind the Sprinter, the park offers kayak and paddleboard rentals. The lake is a great place to relax, and it retains its tranquility with its idle only policy. The park only allows 50 motorized boats on the lake at one time, so if you're hoping to snag one a spot on the lake, you may want to arrive at Purtis Creek early during the peak summer months.
If you're looking to get the kids out of the travel trailer and more interested in nature, sign them up for the junior ranger program. The program will keep the young ones busy with scavenger hunts and other fun learning experiences. The park also offers programs for adults, including guided hikes, nature programs, and paddling classes. Stop in at the park office to learn about which programs are available during your time at Purtis Creek State Park.
Purtis Creek State Park is renowned for the excellent largemouth bass fishing available on the lake, and the best part is, you don't even need a fishing license to cast out. Largemouth bass must be released after your catch, but if you're looking to reel in some dinner, other common species include catfish and crappie. The park is equipped with fishing piers, boat launches, and fish cleaning stations, and if you didn't bring your poles and tackle along in the Airstream, the park loans out gear at no additional cost.
Once you're tuckered out from a busy day of activities, head to one of the park's many picnic tables and enjoy an outdoor lunch. The main picnicking area is located on the east side of the park near the boat launch area. Visitors will also find restrooms, a playground, and plenty of parking in this area. If you're expecting a group, the park offers one picnic pavilion available for rent. The pavilion can seat up to 100 people and is equipped with electricity, grills, and a fire ring. Those staying overnight can also picnic right outside the pop-up, as each campsite is equipped with its own table and fire ring.
If you're up for an adventure during your RV vacation to Purtis Creek State Park, get the family together and spend an afternoon geocaching. This modern-day treasure hunt involves using a GPS enabled device to search for buried loot hidden around the park. Your spoils could include stickers, pencil erasers, or any other small trinket provided by the previous geocacher. Just be sure to replace the plunder that you take with your own small offering before searching for the next cache.