Lake Whitney State Park Visit Recap

There are a handful of corners in Texas where you can access multiple Texas state parks in a weekend visit. Lake Whitney State Park is near Cleburne SP, Dinosaur Valley SP, and Meridian SP, but on a recent visit to those three, Lake Whitney didn’t make the cut, so I decided I was going to stop and do a day hike while heading to Dallas.

The area had been impacted by winter storms earlier in the year, and heavy flooding recently, so upon arrival the ranger at the check-in kiosk let us know which areas were accessible to hike.

Thankfully the smaller trails near the lake were open, and that’s where we decided to spend our afternoon.

View from the bank of the lake

What to expect at Lake Whitney State Park

Lake Whitney is a swell on the Brazos River, and the state park is one of a handful of parks you can visit around the lake. The water itself is vast, but the state park itself is a lovely, smaller park.

You’ll find all of your typical accommodations including trails, campsites, and a gift shop, but if you’re planning on staying a while make your way to some of the other parks if you want activities on the ground. Otherwise, get out on the water and enjoy a calm day on the lake.

The nearby town also has plenty of small restaurants and big box stores to load up on camp snacks, so if you forgot something, civilization is close.

There are three points of interest at Lake Whitney State Park including the Big Oak, Lake View Point, Bass Tournament Historical Marker, and the Towash Settlement.

You’ll want to hang around the visitor’s center for the Big Oak, it’s just behind the building, but it’s really to note some of the trees you’ll find all around this state park.

The other three points are near the southern part of the park by the water.

Go straight after checking in and reach the Towash Settlement marker. When the water is low you can still see remnants of the town that was flooded out when the dam was built. The area was originally settled by Ioni Indians but forced to relocate by the incoming Anglo settlers. Those settlers ended up naming the town after the leader of the tribe.

Make your way down from the playground to check out the historical marker notating the first competitive bass tournament in 1956. (Other sources say 1955) Now you can see anglers ripping lips all over lakes in and around Texas.

Even with the final point of interest, you can get excellent views of the water from most points of this part of the park.

Hiking at Lake Whitney SP


There are two main trails here at the park. The Two Bridges Trail (0.9 miles) and Towash Forest Trail (1.2 miles).

The Towash trail was closed at the time of the visit, so check with the park when you arrive to ensure the trail is back open.

Two Bridges trail offered some great views of the lake though, and it meanders through a good amount of trees for some shade.

Bring some binoculars or your camera gear because there was a lot of wildlife in the trees and gliding on the river. Plenty of Herons, Cardinals, and other birds fly in the area enjoying the views as well.

If you’re into birding in Texas, make sure you visit Golden Cheek for birding and hiking provisions.

Camping at Lake Whitney SP

Because of the water, this state park is stacked with camping opportunities. There are over 120 campsites available that feature either full hookups, sites with electricity, or just water. You can look up the different sites available and reserve your spot here.

If you don’t have an RV but are not quite ready for tent camping, you can reserve one of 27 screened shelters ($30/night) or even one of four cabins for $50/ night. For a full list of state parks with cabins check out this post.

Lake Whitney State Park Directions


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