I’d been looking forward to camping at Lake Tawakoni for a while (and trying out my brand new hammock tent) so when the weekend forecast called for a whole lotta rain I said “Oh well!” and threw a bunch of towels in the car.
It was the right choice. Friday was cool and beautiful and only a little rainy up until late afternoon. I managed to set up my hammock (and a couple of tarps), explore most of the park (it’s not huge and everywhere is walkable), take a lot of pictures and walk all the trails before the weather finally drove me back under a tarp with tired feet and a paperback.
I slept comfortably (and stayed dry) in my hammock that night, lulled to sleep by the patter of rain (and, at one point, the snuffling of raccoons) and returned home late the next morning.
The lake–all white-capped and boisterous ahead of the storm–was as scenic as the ocean, and the park itself was lovely. There are two camping loops (not counting a small, primitive group area) with well-maintained roads and parking slabs. The bathrooms were stocked and clean and well-lit; the rangers I spoke with were friendly. There was an unfortunate amount of litter scattered around (nothing a few hours of volunteer labor couldn’t take care of) but otherwise the grounds were nicely landscaped.
The Trails at Lake Tawakoni State Park
The trail system, especially, stood out to me. There are two groups of trails: the Spring Point trails on a peninsula jutting out into the lake, and a more land-locked group on the west side of the park. All are wide and well-maintained and marked with color-coded symbols on multiple metal signs–you’d have to try pretty hard to get lost.
The Spring Point trails are flat and airy and have terrific views of the lake; they also pass by the primitive group camping area, which is bordered by a grassy field full of wildflowers and butterflies. There’s also a large nest of Argentine ants on one of the trails–they don’t bite, but it was a little unnerving to glance down and see the ground moving.
The western trails are longer but have fewer picturesque views; they’re still an easy walk, though, as any elevation changes are mild and there aren’t any tree-root staircases like there are at my home park in Tyler. I think I would have really enjoyed the Tawakoni trails on my mountain bike (I’ve only recently starting trail riding.) While walking the Osage Orange and Red Oak paths I got a few strong whiffs of cilantro–I don’t know what was growing out there, but I want it on my tacos!
Due to the choppy water I didn’t take advantage of the park’s self-rental boats (you download an app to pay for them) but I still had a fantastic time on foot. I give Lake Tawakoni State Park five out of five stars.