2018 Keystone Hideout 28 BHS
2018 Keystone Hideout 28 BHS
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A quick 90-mile drive west of Shreveport, Louisiana or east of the big city of Dallas will set you in America’s Rose Capital: Tyler, Texas. Known for its floral and woodland beauty, Tyler is a bustling college town and home to the vibrant Tyler State Park. The subtropical climate at Tyler State Park attracts swimmers, bird watchers, and campers all year long.
Mountain bikers and hikers alike will find the hilly landscape perfectly suitable for their needs. From fishing and swimming to wildlife watching and hiking, there are plenty of adventure opportunities for nature enthusiasts.
This Civilian Conservation Corps park started its construction in 1935, and the original historical buildings are always open to the park’s visitors. This vast park covers more than 980 acres and boasts a 64-acre lake that's perfect for the anglers and boaters of the family. Book an RV in Smith County and discover what Tyler State Park has in store for you.
Serene woodlands surround the peaceful Tyler State Park Lake. Spend a day casting your line in the water from one of the park’s three fishing piers. Boaters will also find tranquility here, where they can launch out from the park’s boat ramp and cruise along the water. (And we do mean cruise — the speed limit for motorized boats is five miles per hour.)
Forgot your fishing rod at home? That’s okay! Tyler State Park campers can borrow all the fishing equipment they’ll need right from the park. Want to paddle along the lake but don’t have your own craft? Rent a canoe, paddle boat, or john boat right on-site. The lake is conveniently located between the park’s six campgrounds and six hiking trails ranging from easy to moderate.
Leave that big city life behind and breathe the fresh Texas air as you hike any of the park’s 13 miles of trails. Like history? Fancy a short, easy hike? Try the three-quarter-mile Whispering Pines Nature Trail, built in 1938 by the CCC. This trail leads you up old concrete steps and through vibrant natural flora. At the end of the trail is a man-made pond that empties into a lovely waterfall.
Birders also flock to Tyler State Park to catch a glimpse of the rare American white pelican and the beautiful, slightly more common Carolina wren. Bring out your binoculars and see what winged friends are waiting for you!
Gorgeous lakeview campsites are available for tent campers or those camping with an RV. The Big Pine campsites are also an option for a little more privacy. The park is equipped with public restrooms, showers, dump stations, and picnic shelters. With electrical, water, and full-hookup sites available, you’ll have everything you need for a comfortable camping trip at Tyler State Park. Additional amenities include fire rings and lantern posts.
Don’t forget to pack your swimwear in your RV rental, because Tyler State Park Lake is an excellent place to beat the Texas heat. The lake is easily accessible from anywhere in the park, including the campgrounds.
The park’s campground is pet-friendly; however, as is the case with all state parks in Texas, pets are not allowed at swimming areas or inside any buildings and must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet.
Camping in an RV near Tyler? You’ll find fun activities to enjoy both in town and nearby all year round. Flower enthusiasts, get to Tyler in October for its most anticipated event of year: The Rose Festival. The Rose Capital of America celebrates the bud and bloom of this iconic flower with beautiful displays, art shows, vendors, and a parade.
If you’re more of a springtime camper, try Tyler in March or April and walk the Azalea Trails. Each year, per tradition, a large number of residents in Tyler plant azaleas on their lawns, and the result is worth the trip. The lovely Azalea Belles welcome the season each year, dressed in brightly colored antebellum gowns, and act as ambassadors for the event.
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to town for these events — you and your camping crew can still marvel at more than 38,000 rose bushes at Tyler Rose Garden.
Smith County campers, when your trip to Tyler State Park nears its end, grab a bit of grub from one of the Mexican, seafood, or barbecue restaurants in the town of Tyler. Fill up your RV rental at the service station or any of the gas stations near the park. From there, you can take a nice drive down I-45 S to Houston, or jump right onto I-20 and set off on the next adventure.