PITCH A TENT

9 gorgeous places to camp in Central Texas for a quick getaway

Pedernales Falls boasts 69 campsites, plus a four-person hike-in primitive site and an equestrian group camp. Pedernales Falls State Park/Facebook

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

Perhaps you're looking for one last outdoor adventure before summer ends, or maybe the prospect of cooler fall nights has you dreaming of, well, dreaming in a tent. Either way, it's easy to make it happen in Central Texas.

With its natural beauty, rolling hills, and picturesque vistas, the area is teeming with places to enjoy the great outdoors with a camping adventure. Pitch a tent at a primitive campsite, or rent a cabin in the woods. Regardless of your style, these nine spots are perfect for a camping getaway.

Bastrop State Park
Famous for its extensive loblolly pine forest, better known as the Lost Pines, Bastrop State Park was ravaged by forest fires in 2011 and 2015. It remains a great spot for camping though, with 35 full-hookup sites, 19 electric-only sites, and 16 tent-only and six walk-in sites. Choose one of the latter and you won’t have to share your peace and quiet with air conditioning or TV noise. Some of the longer hiking trails are closed, but seven miles remain open. The hilly, 12-mile Park Road 1C between Bastrop and nearby Buescher State Park by car or bike is a contrast of recovering and still-forested areas. (And don’t even think about throwing that butt out the window.)

Black Rock Park
Enjoy swimming, kayaking (rentals available), and bank fishing at this Lower Colorado River Authority park on the west shore of sprawling Lake Buchanan. Or just float. Overnight options include cabins, tent camping, or RV sites. For land-based recreation, choose from a playground, horseshoe pits, and a volleyball court.

Canyon of the Eagles
A 940-acre park on the northeast shore of Lake Buchanan, Canyon of the Eagles offers tent camping at wooded Chimney Slough and at Tanner Point, and hike-in-only sites on a small peninsula. It also has an RV park if a real bed is more your groove. Tent campers have access to the RV bath house and amenities including a swim beach, nature programs, observatory, and 14 miles of hiking trails. And if you suck at camp cooking, there’s a great restaurant on site.

Inks Lake State Park
This state park, a classic Texas Hill Country landscape, has nearly 200 campsites, many on the shore, and 22 cabins (two ADA-accessible). Oh, it also has a lake, of course, where you can swim or paddle in a large, no-wake zone (paddleboats, canoes, and kayaks available for rent). Fish for sunfish, catfish, and bass from two piers or the shore — no fishing license needed — and clean your catch at one of two cleaning stations. Plus, there are nine miles of hiking trails. The park store sells all the essentials and there’s even a food truck that sells snow cones, root beer floats, nachos, hot dogs, and more.

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The storm is causing devastating flooding in the Beaumont Port Arthur area.

WeatherMap Update: Flood emergency for Golden Triangle

Good morning everyone. While the greater Houston area has continued to be relatively spared by what is left of Imelda the same cannot be said for our neighbors in the Golden Triangle area. Rainfall yesterday and through the night last night has led to a catastrophic flooding situation in that area, causing the National Weather Service to issue a rare Flash Flood Emergency warning. Right now we are looking at rainfall estimates possibly approaching 30 inches in spots over the past 48 hours in the Beaumont/Port Arthur area. I-10 is closed in the Winnie area and I have seen a number of reports of water entering homes and structures in Beaumont. Please keep these people in your thoughts.

Unfortunately the rain looks to continue for at least the next few hours before hopefully beginning to taper off for them. While I cringe saying this it is not out of the question that this approaches Harvey type impacts for that area.

In addition to the problems going on to our east, a band of very intense rain has flared to our north around the Conroe area. Earlier this morning the airport in Conroe reported an absolutely absurd 5 inches of rain in one hour. Again, these are rainfall rates approaching what Harvey did, however hopefully they will not last as long.

I expect the band currently affecting our northern suburbs to begin sagging or building south into the Houston metro area through this morning and possibly into the early afternoon. Right now it appears as though this band will lose some intensity as it pushes south sparing Houston from the worst. The one computer model that has been performing the best thus far (called the HRRR or High Resolution Rapid Refresh) has been showing this all night so I am fairly confident in that solution.


Simulated radar from the HRRR model for 7AM thru 7PM todayWeathernerds

With that said, these tropical air masses are nothing to be trifled with and as we saw yesterday evening, even a quick flare up can cause some issues. While I believe right now Houston should come out of this alright, please do not let your guard down until later tonight, we have seen what this storm is capable of.

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