Amazing top North Texas State Parks to visit.
State parks are a popular way to spend time outdoors for physical and mental well-being any time of year, especially since the pandemic has damaged many things. These 10 state parks in North Texas to visit are worth a view and a consideration for a wonderful road trip with the family.
Texas has over 80 state parks, and over fifteen are in North Texas. When visiting a state park in North Texas this spring (or summer), think about gorgeous views of nature, bird watching, hiking, geocaching, and picnics. Choosing the best park to take the family may be the hardest part, but the time will be well spent.
Related: 10 Amazing Day Hikes in Texas
I’ve listed ten North Texas State Parks to visit and why I think so.
North Texas State Parks To Visit
All Texas State Parks charge a small admission fee to enter. However, if you know you’re going to visit many in a year, it might be wise to purchase a Texas State Park Pass. It costs $70 for one person and $25 for each additional person living in the same household. You can read more information at the link, like the benefits of the pass and more.
Something else to think about is fishing in State Parks. If you want to catch that huge bass or crappie, there is no fishing license required to fish from the shore or a pier; however, fishing from a boat requires a fishing license for each person fishing.
1. Bonham State Park
Bonham State Park is a beautiful park with a small 65-acre lake nestled in the rolling hills and prairies northeast of Dallas, about 74 miles. RVs are welcome, and tent camping with water and electricity is available. This park would make a great weekend for camping, swimming, fishing, and boating. Bring your hiking boots and bottled water to hike the 8.5 hiking trail that weaves around the lake. If you’re hoping to catch crappie, bass, catfish, or bluegill, a wonderful pier extends out to the lake – or take your boat for better luck.
Pro Tip: Bring binoculars to see birds and other wildlife from afar.
2. Lake Tawakoni State Park
About a 56-mile drive north of Dallas is Lake Tawakoni State Park. The lake is well known for its large population of blue catfish, and over 30 fishing tournaments are held annually. Other fish in the lake include black and white crappie, largemouth bass, striped and hybrid striped bass, and white bass.
Many wildlife live here, such as the red and gray fox, bobcat, coyote, possum, turtles, frogs, snakes, raccoons, beavers, squirrels, armadillos, mink, and white-tailed deer.
3. Ray Roberts Lake State Parks
There are two state parks, and Lake Ray Roberts surrounds them both. Ray Roberts Lake Stare Parks is 56 miles north of Dallas and Fort Worth and is a top-rated park for tent camping. Ensure your camping gear is updated with all the latest gadgets and accessories before heading out.
- Ray Roberts Lake State Park Isle Du Bois in Pilot Point, TX
- Ray Roberts Lake State Park Johnson Branch in Valley View, TX
Pro Tip: If going to Isle Du Bois in the spring, Texas Tulips farm is close by, and you can pick your own tulips. The end of February first March first is the best time to go. Check the hours before you go.
4. Cooper State Park
Another state park with two parks is in Sulphur Springs, TX, and the other is in Cooper, TX. Cooper State Park is a little more in the northeast of Texas, about 90 minutes from Dallas. Plan for activities like fishing, hiking, swimming, geocaching, and more. You can even bring your horse. No horse, no problem, bring your kayak or canoe. Both parks have screened shelters and cabins to rent. If a large group is coming and you need more room, rent out one of the pavilions.
5. Eisenhower State Park
Eisenhower State Park is a little further northwest of Denison, Texas, almost into Oklahoma. It overlooks Lake Texoma and is perfect for swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, and biking. Shaded campsites for RVs and tents and screened shelters are available. It’s a great park for picnics and nature waking. Restrooms are available throughout the park.
6. Cedar Hill State Park
Southwest of Dallas is Cedar Hill State Park, known for its beautiful hiking trails. I’ve heard great things about the trails. The alone is worth a visit—camp at one of the many sites available with restrooms around every corner. There’s a public boat ramp for easy access into Joe Pool Lake for campers who like to boat.
7. Purtis Creek State Park
Campers will find walk-in tent camping and primitive camping if you’re brave …me – no way! But don’t worry, camping with water and electricity are also available. Purtis Creek State Park has rules on boating and fishing, so please read up on them for your safety and concerns.
Pro Tip: If you like to shop around for antiques and old odds and ends, First Monday Trade Days in Canton is not far away.
8. Cleburne State Park
Not too far from Fort Worth is Cleburne State Park, which I also recommend visiting. If time allows, visit the Chisolm Trail Outdoor Museum. It’s a delightful experience; you’ll get an excellent history lesson from the blacksmith and other volunteers in character. The park is not far at all from the museum. It doesn’t cost much to enter – maybe $3 a person.
Pro Tip: The downtown area is quite the charmer and worth a walk-around if you have the time.
9. Palo Pinto Mountains State Park
This state park is under construction as I type this. I just drove through this area last week. This will be a gorgeous place to hang out and feel nature’s dirt between your toes. I’m sure locals are waiting patiently for the opening. The future is looking good. Check here for updates – Palo Pinto Mountains State Park.
Once developed, this rugged, beautiful park will offer hiking, camping, fishing, stargazing and other outdoor activities.
10. Dinosaur Valley State Park
If I could recommend one state park to visit this spring or summer, it would be Dinosaur Valley State Park, especially if dinosaurs and dinosaur tracks are on your child’s wish list. Located in Glen Rose, Texas, where dinosaurs once roamed, you can find fun things to do for the whole family.
When we were there last, we enjoyed hiking, crossing over rocks, geocaching, and having a picnic. This is a state park worth going back to again and again, if only for the day.
There you have it, North Texas State Parks to visit – which seems like a match for you?