Major reservoirs along the Colorado River in Texas created what we now call the Highland Lakes which consist of Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis, Lake Austin, and Lady Bird Lake (Wikipedia). Inks Lake state park is a fantastic place for spending time in the water, camping, and doing some great exploring over some rocky terrain.
My first impression of Inks Lake SP was how open it was and how it felt like I was entering a fancy water resort. There were a ton of people by the water splashing around and fishing. You see a ton of picnic tables and small cabins, and overall just splendid.
The purpose of this trip wasn’t planned out that well. We were only here because we went to Longhorn Cavern SP, and figured since this was so close we might as well check it out! I hope to have a more detailed experience of this park soon.
Inks Lake SP Day Hike Checklist
- Plenty of water
- First-Aid Kit
- Shoes that can get wet and/or good grip
The amount of camping options here is vast, and that’s really what this park is geared towards it seems. There are also options for every style of camping you’d like to enjoy: RV’s, tents, cabins, and even primitive camping.
Campsites with Electricity (125 sites, $23/night), Campsites with Electricity (Tent Only, four sites, $21/night), Campsites with Water (49 sites, $16/night), Primitive Campsites (Hike-in, nine sites, $11/night), Cabins (22 sites, $55/night). Read this post to learn how to reserve sites online.
The sites are all really close to the water, but it’s pretty wide-open here, so you’re pretty close to each other as well. If you’re interested in primitive camping it’s going to be in the Pecan Flats Interpretive Trail area.
The thing to note- Texas Parks & Wildlife do maintenance from time to time on the boat docks, etc. When we visited the water was lowered so they could perform those tasks. There was still plenty of water, so don’t worry about being unable to visit when they do this.
So because this was a quick trip, when we arrived we needed to decide what we were going to do here. Driving around we saw some playgrounds for the kiddos, and I usually have my fishing poles with me, but when I looked at the map something struck me. Something called to me as something that would be a treat, and that something was: Devil’s Waterhole.
It seemed like the place to be just because it sounded so mysterious. So that’s where we headed. On the complete opposite side of the park, and the last parking spaces available we made our way to see what made it so creepy sounding.
This end of the park features five of the nine points of interest here: Bird blind, Devils Waterhole Scenic Overlook, Valley Spring Creek Waterfall, Devil’s Waterhole, and Spring Creek Delta.
And because the water was down, there was a lot of drier access in the delta part than normal, so that created some neat mudflats to look at. Additionally, the Devil’s Waterhole wasn’t really that spectacular either. What WAS though was the rocks that create the waterfalls and overlooks. The tans and reds all over the stones that went way above our heads. This created some fantastic pathways to climb and explore, and it was at that point we realized our daughter was really fond of climbing and exploring.
There is a trail here, but because the water was low it left a lot of rock exposed to walk around on. So without really noticing at first we were on our way up and around rocks, and climbing and enjoying some really spectacular views.
In total Inks Lake SP has eight trails
- Connecting Trail ( .8 miles, From Pecan Flats to Woodland Trail, for Primitive Camping also)
- Pecan Flats Trail (1.8 mi, highest points of elevation here)
- Woodland Trail (2.2 mi., backcountry hiking)
- Devil’s Backbone Nature Trail (1.2 mi, accessible from Valley Spring Creek Trail)
- Fisherman’s Trails (1 mi., takes you around all the good fishing spots)
- Lake Trail (1.2 mi., provides several scenic vistas of the lake)
- Valley Spring Creek Trail (.9 mi., Views of Spring Creek and great trees on the landscape
- Devil’s Waterhole Nature Trail (.2 mi., Views of the lake from the parking lot trailhead and access to some fishing spots)
While we played around on the Valley Spring Creek Trail, one point of interest I definitely want to go back and visit is the 1000 foot overlook. The tallest point at the park can be accessed on the Pecan Flats Trail and from there the Woodland Trail. Mostly for the views and to get some great miles in.
Inks Lake State Park Overall
Inks Lake is an amazing state park if you’re into hiking and relaxing by the water. The park entrance isn’t the gift shop, so make sure you visit that for fun souvenirs and bait for fishing. You can also find the daily activities here as well. For a more in-depth experience listen to the podcast about this and other topics on The Texas Trailhead Podcast.
Click below to listen to the podcast where I discuss this park in more detail: