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On the far eastern end of Texas near the Louisiana state line, 30 minutes northwest of Carthage, 30 minutes south of Marshall, and an hour from Tyler, you’ll find Martin Creek Lake State Park. Anglers come at all times of the year to try their luck at Martin Lake. This family-friendly spot is a quaint destination for nature lovers who want to escape the bustle of life.
Until the 17th century, people of the Caddo tribe occupied the land. Spanish settlers took over the area in the 18th century and introduced Catholicism to the Caddo, Cherokee, and Shawnee tribes. In 1833, Daniel Martin settled in this part of Texas and created a community on Harmony Hill. In 1976, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department donated the land, and the same year, it became a state park.
If you’re looking for a calm place to cast a line, walk a trail, and enjoy the simple beauties of nature, Martin Creek Lake State Park is the place for you. Book an RV in Rusk County and get your motorhome camping vacation started.
Anglers come from miles around to bask in the serenity of Martin Lake. Fishing at Martin Creek Lake State Park is a fun, relaxing way to spend an evening. The lake is full of largemouth bass, crappie, channel catfish, and tilapia, to name a few. Take your small boat out on this, nearly 5,000-acre lake and drop a line. Soak up the sunshine and kick your feet up, and see what prize awaits you.
Visitors camping at Martin Creek Lake State Park also like to enjoy some wildlife viewing. In the autumn months when the leaves begin to change, this park is painted in orange, brown, and red brushstrokes as far as the eye can see. Keep an eye out for armadillos, raccoons, white-tailed deer, rabbits, and beavers. This park is teeming with amazing wildlife who love the park just as much as you will.
If you’re looking to do a bit of hiking, Martin Creek has you covered. There are nearly five miles of hiking trails available for wandering within the confines of the park. The Old Henderson Loop follows an old trade route, the Island Trail is a one-mile loop that takes you out onto the island that supports the power plant, and the Harmony Hill Loop is the longest at one and a half miles, offering beautiful vistas.
Those camping in an RV at Martin Creek Lake State Park can choose from more than 50 campsites with 30 and 50-amp electrical hookups. That should be enough to power nearly anything you’d bring on your motorhome camping trip. Each site comes equipped with a fire ring, grill, lantern post, and a picnic table: all the things you’ll need for a nice home-cooked meal in the woods. The campsites also have water hookups.
There are no sewer hookups or laundry facilities on-site; however, hot showers and public restrooms are available to Martin Creek Lake State Park campers. Pets are permitted in certain areas of the park as long as they're well behaved and on a six-foot-long leash. Dogs aren't allowed in Texas State Park buildings. Wi-Fi isn't offered within the park, but most major cell phone providers have service here.
Just an hour’s drive north of the park, you’ll find the town of Jefferson, which is home to the Jefferson Historical Museum. This museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of Jefferson and Marion counties through its art and artifacts. See sculptures, pottery, paintings, and writings from the early era of Jefferson when it played such a huge role in the shaping of Texas under American rule and back when it belonged to the native tribes.
Did you ever expect to see an elephant in Texas? Well, check out Caldwell Zoo in Tyler, Texas and you’ll get to experience just that. See the wide array of domestic and exotic animals from a distance or up close! The zoo's animal encounters allow you to hold invertebrates and penguins with the safety of a trained professional beside you. This is also the perfect place for birthday parties or just learning about the animals that occupy the world.
Is there a curious mind in the family? Just over the Louisiana border in Shreveport is the Sciport Discovery Center. This place is packed with fun, educational exhibits for the whole family. There are animal enclosures where you can see creatures up close, as well as a demonstration room where trained professionals will do exciting science experiments for an audience. You can even check out the IMAX theater. See some things you’ve never experienced and learn some things along the way at the Sciport Discovery Center.
When your RV camping trip has come to a close, you’ll have no problem hitting the road. You'll find plenty of gas stations within a few miles of Martin Creek Lake State Park where you can refuel, recharge, and fill your camper rental with snacks for the road. Then, grab a bite to eat at any of the local restaurants in the surrounding Rusk County area. I-20 can take you west towards Dallas or east towards Shreveport, LA.