The Dallas-Fort Worth area is fortunate to have so many nearby reservoirs that offer many places to camp. Many of these places are less than an hour’s drive from the center of the metroplex. That being said, the condition of these national parks and campgrounds can vary depending on the time of year it is or how the weather has been. The following are my top favorite national within the Dallas area.
This is a popular park and is about two and a half-hour drive west of 20, and it is well worth the drive. This is the same place where the band The Toadies got the name for their song of the same namesake (“behind the boathouse…”). Many of the locals from the DFW area go here to get away from the more crowded areas such as Lake Lewisville. The lake is enormous, and the surrounding forest offers plenty of campgrounds and wildlife for you and your family to enjoy a nice holiday weekend.
Sulfur Springs National Park
This is a personal favorite of mine. This is a short drive east rather than west and also about two hours outside of Dallas. This park can be a bit difficult to get to, as the entrance isn’t right off 30. You also don’t get as many of the Dallas locals there, but this is also a favorite place for east Texas. The weekend I went there, there was literally only one other person (from New York, nonetheless!) and the ranger at the entire park. The park gets its namesake from the local town and also because of the mineral springs nearby, which campers should be sure to check out.
Joe Pool Lake
This is a very common camping ground for many living in the Dallas area. It is located in the southern part of the metroplex and shouldn’t take more than an hour to get to, regardless of what part of town you live in. The good thing about this lake is that it is so popular, and it also has more amenities than other camping grounds. Local church groups and boy scouts often visit this lake for weekend retreats, so be wary that it could become very crowded on certain weekends.
If you want to visit Joe Pool but Joe Pool is too crowded, you can check out Lake Texoma, just two hours north of Dallas. This huge reservoir encompasses both Texas and Oklahoma (hence its name). It is located in the southern part of Oklahoma, very close to Durant, and Denison, Texas. It offers plenty of amenities, such as boat rentals, cabins, and RV hookups. This lake is so popular that it gets over 6 million visitors a year, mostly from the Oklahoma City and Dallas areas. The casino in Durant is also nearby if you get bored of camping (or bored of your money).