My wife and I enjoyed a lovely time at Tyler State Park the week before Thanksgiving. The park is located two miles north of Interstate 20 about 100 miles east of Dallas, Texas and 100 miles west of Shreveport, Louisiana, so it would make a great stop for anyone traveling along Interstate 20 in the East Texas area.
History: Tyler State Park is 985.5 acres in Smith County, north of Tyler. The park includes a 64-acre lake. The land was deeded by private owners in 1934 and 1935; original improvements were made by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The park opened in 1939.
Activities: Activities include picnicking; camping; boating (motors allowed - 5 mph speed limit); boat rentals; fishing; birding; hiking; mountain biking; lake swimming (in unsupervised swimming area); and nature study.
This is one of the few Texas state parks that has full hook-ups for some campsites:
20 - Campsites with electric and water hook-ups:
$17 per night (Cedar Point Area)
57 - Campsites with electric, water and sewer hook-ups:
$20 per night (Big Pine - RV only - no tents)
$22 per night for Premium Multi-use (tents allowed) in the Lake View Area
My wife and I stayed in the Premium Multi-use area in a pull-through space that was level and that easily accommodated our 29 ft. trailer. There is an additional $3 per person per day park entrance fee.
We have camped in many state and national parks and forests and this was one of our favorites. The park is heavily wooded with both hardwoods and pines and the hiking trails are well marked. The terrain is rolling woodlands with the 64 acre lake in the center. We rented a canoe and traversed the perimeter in just under an hour. Oh, fishing is currently free in Texas state parks and there is even loaner fishing equipment for those who do not have their own.
Here is the park's website:
We drove a few miles (10-15) to the city of Tyler and visited the Caldwell Zoo, a thoroughly delightful facility. Among the animals are longhorn cattle, bison, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, penguins, and the list goes on.