If you’re looking to take a trip to Cleburne state park then you’re going to need to know about the camping, hiking, and history of this park.
Nestled on Cedar Lake, Cleburne state park is a historic Civilian Conservation Corps park just south of Ft. Worth. Here you can enjoy time on the water, biking on the trails, or camping under the trees in the multiple camping loops at this park.
Because of it’s location, there are some surprising elevated views of the hill country, so be ready to enjoy some scenic sunsets.
Camping options at Cleburne State Park
As someone who usually camps in a tent, it was surprising to see that all of the campsites here accommodate RV’ers. Every campsite features water and electricity.
There are also screened shelters and cabins, both featuring restrooms nearby.
|Campsite||People per Site:||Number of Sites:||Cost / Nightly:|
|North Creek Area||8||12||$28|
|Cedar Grove / Keyhole||8||25||$20|
The Keyhole campsite is going to be the farthest away from the water, and the Poplar Point will have sites right on the water. North Creek and Shady Springs are near the offshoot creek from the lake, but it was completely dry on the last visit.
It’s important to know that there aren’t any restrooms at every campsite. You do have to walk a bit, so make sure you’re looking at the map to see where you want to be if restroom vicinity is crucial.
The restroom between Shady Springs and North Creek was clean and water warm.
The campsites here are all on one side of the park, but the park is relatively small. This helps if you’re with other groups of people that couldn’t get sites close together.
The shelters/cabins are also with the rest of the camping areas.
Hiking and Biking at Cleburne State Park
Despite this state park being petite, there are some pretty good trails here that you can connect to get in a days worth of hiking.
10 trails in total with varying degrees of difficulty and mileage. Fossil Ridge is the longest trail at 2.9 miles, and plenty of fishing trails along the banks of the lake that are less than a quarter of a mile.
While you’re hiking, be on the lookout for the six points of interest:
- CCC Spillway (Must see)
- Camp Creek Day-Use area
- Camp Creek Bridge (Top Pick)
- Park Road 21 Overlook
- Crappie Cove Fishing Area
- Cedar Lake Beach
The CCC Spillway (accessed on the 0.7 mile Spillway trail) is an engineering feat to see up close. Because of the drought conditions, the spillway revealed its full glory being empty.
The short hike takes you through the hill country cedars and jagged limestone rock that takes you on an elevated hike to reveal this CCC structure.
The rocks are laid out on either side of the waterway in a massive project that helps channel water from Cedar Lake.
It’s a sight to see for sure.
One thing to note here is that it’s easy to get turned around on this short loop at the end. You hike through the trees, but there are multiple water paths and deer tracks that all look similar. Just remember that this section of the trail is indicated with a red trail blaze, and look for that painted on the tree above your eye level. This will take you back out to the Yellow blazes.
The Camp Creek areas are great places to have some lunch or rest after riding your bike on the Camp Creek Loop trail ( 1.1 mi.).
This bridge is the image you’ll find on the park souvenirs, and it’s definitely worth stopping to check out.
There are restrooms nearby too if needed.
Because this park feels so similar to a central Texas, hill country park, the trails here are rocky, filled with trees, and really fun to hike and bike in.
Two sections of fun on the bike are:
Starting at the Cedar lake beach, cruise along the three fishing trails and end at the Crappie Cove fishing area. The trail continues on here, but the trees were extremely overgrown and tough to navigate.
From here you can take the road to the Camp Creek Loop, BUT keep in mind that this road does go downhill drastically. What goes down, must fight your way back up with burning leg muscles. But the Camp Creek Loop counter-clockwise is a great ride with minimal obstacles. Suitable for a hard-tail mountain bike.
For an expansive hike around the park hike on the Fossil Ridge Trail (2.5 mi.), or hike through the trees on either the Limestone Ridge Loop Trail (1.7 mi) or Limestone Ridge Trail (1.7 mi.) Seems they ran out of names for trails.
There is a nearby plant that can be heard off in the distance, but it’s a gentle hum. You don’t really hear it at night. But you are away from a major city, so you WILL hear plenty of wildlife. Despite its solitude, you’re not alone. Make sure you’re keeping your food secure and away from the raccoons, deer, and coyotes that you’ll hear.
Nearby this state park is a truss bridge that gives you a great view of the Brazos river. It looks super sketch, but there is a place to pull off, park, and walk over the bridge. There were no postings that said it was off-limits.