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Primitive camping areas in north Texas - where??

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Mr. Spock, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. Mr. Spock

    Mr. Spock

    Jun 4, 2002
    DFW, Texas
    When my wife and I lived in Oklahoma about 5 years ago, one of our favorite things to do was go camping. We love primative camping - and the more prim the better. We have a giant Rubbermaid storage chest that we store all of our gear in. And when we needed to get away for the weekend, we'd just load the chest in the truck, pack the cooler, and go. Oklahoma has lots of great places to go (we liked Skiatook Lake a lot) where fires were allowed and there was plenty of dead wood to burn.

    Well, then we were transferred to DFW - and we just can't seem to find anywhere good to camp! We've gone scouting around to a few of the lakes around, but they either don't allow fires or they are packed to the hilt with loud party-types. ;c ;c ;c ;c ;c ;c ;c ;g

    Now, I know there have to be at least a couple of secluded, reasonably quiet places within a couple hours of the metroplex to fire-camp. To me, it's just not camping without a fire. We aren't hunters and I can take or leave fishing. I just like hanging out there with my beloved and enjoying a box of fine cigars and a dutch oven full of delicious camp fare. All we want is a little peace and quiet to enjoy nature and get away from society for a couple of days. :)

    So I humbly ask you good Texan people among GT to offer your suggestions. Where do you recommend we go? Or, should we move? ;)

    Thanks in advance!

  2. carlcathey


    Jul 31, 2001
    Alvarado, TX
    Try going to Purtis Creek state park. I was there last week. Prem. or not it is a cool place. If you fish it a realy cool place. If you stay a night ot two you need to go to the the Athens. The Texas freshwater fisheries is worth the trip. I would say get the better campsite. The coons will run off with every thing you have.
  3. Alpine


    Dec 21, 2000
    You are looking for the national forests in East Texas. But it's going to take more than a couple of hours to get there.
  4. Arbee


    May 15, 2000
    DFW - Texas
    Alpine is referring to such as The Big Thicket, which has miles and miles of hiking trails through a complex ecosystem. If you look at a Roads of Texas map book you will see them.

    Purtis Creek State Park is a great place because it restricts the number of campers and boats on the water (50) at any one time. And boats must leave no wake anywhere on the lake. A very pleasant place. You will want to make reservations.

    There are also many small state parks and wildlife ares to check out. Eisenhower State Park on Lake Texoma is only an hour and a half from Big D. It's not exactly primitive, but it is a pleasant place.

    Warning: There is no place in North Texas that's pleasant to camp (not to mention to sit in front of a campfire) in the summer. Not for me. Others may enjoy the heat, but I usually get off the water by 11:00 am and go home.
  5. Case

    Case Cthulhu fhtagn!

    Sep 18, 2001
    Longview, TX
    This would be about a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive east from DFW, but it's a gorgeous spot and I from your message I think it's exactly what you're looking for. Well worth the drive.
    On Caddo Lake there is primitive camping available on an island called Goat Island. My girlfriend and I like to rent a canoe and canoe out there. The part of the lake the island is in is wall-to-wall cypress trees with spanish moss all over the place - it's a beatiful area. It's also a lot of fun to canoe around out there. Canoe rentals are available for about $18/day from a place called Pine Needle Lodge. Check out some of the pics on their web site. Gorgeous place to camp, and it doesn't get much more primitive. There are no man-made fixtures of any kind on the island, and I've never been there when there was more than one other group of campers there. Plenty of room to spread out in the woods so you won't see them, even if there are other groups camping there. It's a good lake to fish on, too, but the area around the island has a ton of trees, moss, and lilypads, so you either have to canoe to a clearer area or be a good shot and use weedless baits. You need a Texas "Limited Public Use" permit to camp there. Permit costs $10, is good for a year, and can be bought from any place that sells fishing/hunting licenses, including Wal-Mart.
    The web site for the place we rent canoes from is:
    It's run by a retired couple, and they're real nice folks.