All Around Austin

Best Places for Camping in Central Texas

Texas State Parks in Central Texas 

Pack up for a weekend in the woods around Central Texas. Here’s 13 top parks from Texas State Parks to Lower Colorado River Authority Parks to Army Corps of Engineers Parks. Find swimming, hiking, mountain biking, boating and more along with camping galore. Here’s the best places for camping in Central Texas.

McKinney Falls State Park in Austin

 The 641-acre McKinney Falls State Park features camping, hiking, mountain biking and swimming in natural setting, minutues from Austin’s main airport. Find  1.7 miles of Onion Creek flowing  through the park, offering both swimming and fishing opportunities. In addition to water sports, try hiking or mountain biking, wildlife spotting and birdwatching. Make it a weekend with 80 campsites, including RV and hike-in sites  screened shelters, group shelters and a group dining hall. Outdoor recreation opportunities include hiking, mountain biking, bi

Located 10 miles southeast of downtown Austin at 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway. Adult day-use admission (12+) is $6. Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Bastrop cabin
One of Bastrop State Park’s historic cabins. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Bastrop State Park in Bastrop

Ravaged by a forest fire nearly 10 years ago, the Lost Pines of Bastrop still stand tall. Find a large cluster  around the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built cabins. Mirroring the National Park Service’s rustic architecture style, the cabins use local materials.

Bastrop State Park features a pool, open seasonally with additional admission. Or fish in the .5-acre Lake Mina. The park leans out equipment and a fishing license isn’t necessary, so it’s great opportunity to try a new sport. 

Find historic cabins set among towering pines trees. Each cabin offers a/c and heating along with an outfitted kitchen, full bathroom and fireplace. The smallest cabin offers accommodations for two people for $110 a night. The largest cabin offers accommodations for six people for $150. 

Campground is shaded with restrooms along with fire rings. Choose from RV sites with hook-ups, tent sites with water or electricity, along with walk-in sites. The

Located at 100 Park Road 1A, Bastrop, TX 78602. Day-use adult admission is $5.

Buescher State Park in Smithville 

A sister park to Bastrop State Park, it’s connected by a park road, popular with cyclists. Also find a 30-acre lake. 

Find a shaded campground with a premium screen shelters ($45 a night), regular screen shelters ($25) along with cabins ($85). The campground offers restrooms with showers, tent sites with water, RV sites with electricity and water along with primitive walk-in sites. 

Located at 100 Park Road 1E, Smithville, TX 78957. Day-use adult admission is $5. 

Latest from Texas Parks 

Blanco State Park in bloom. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Blanco State Park in Blanco 

Splash in the one-mile stretch of Blanco River with its natural swimming area. The park rangers loan out fishing equipment too. Or head to the visitors center to rent a kayak or canoe. 

This park also features structures built by the CCC back in the Great Depression, like the long table. Or reserve the historic pavilion with an attached kitchen. Also find a playground in the area. 

The campground at Blanco State Park features RV sites with full hook-ups along with sites with electricity only. Find screened shelters with ceiling fans as well. The restrooms include showers and each site offers a picnic table and fire ring. 

Located at 101 Park Road 23, Blanco, TX 78606. Day-use adult admission is $5. 

Lockhart State Park
The cascading falls in Lockhart State Park. credit: Catherine Parker

Lockhart State Park in Lockhart 

Built by the CCC druing the Great Depression, this park features a 9-hole golf course. Along with hiking opportunities. 

Or fish on Clear Fork Creek with free loaner equipment and State Parks don’t require a fishing license. 

Lockhart offers campsites with picnic tables and a fire ring and doesn’t feature more permanent structures, like shelters or cabins. Find campsites with full RV hook-ups or sites with electricity only. The campground includes a restroom with showers. 

Located at 2012 State Park Rd. Lockhart, TX 78644. Day-use adult admission is $3.

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Pedernales Falls State Park in Johnson City

Splash in the Pedernales River or bring a tube for a float down the river. Find easy to advanced trails for hiking or biking. 

This park features 10 miles of horseback riding trails for experience riders. Reserve the equestrian camp with horse pens for overnight camping with your animals. 

The campground features sites with electricity. Additionally find primitive sites. The restroom offers showers and sites include a picnic table and a fire ring. 

Located at 2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636. Day-use adult admission is $6.

Colorado Bend State Park in Bend

Located in the Hill Country west of Austin, Colorado Bend State Park offers a wild cave and waterfall to explore. Along the bank of the Colorado River, this park is a rugged wilderness with wildflowers and roaming deer. 

Take a self-guided tour and see Gorman Falls, a 70-foot waterfall. Or reserve a spot on the guided wild cave tour. 

Colorado Bend’s campsites are primitive, without water or electricity. Some are big enough for a 30-foot RV. This park offers composting toilets and open air rinse-off showers. 

Located at 2236 Park Hill Dr. Day-use adult admission is $5 per person. 

Inks Lake State Park in Burnet

As a constant level lake, this park is ideal for boating. Find a boat ramp along with a fishing pier and fish cleaning station. Borrow fishing equipment during your stay. 

Hike to a scenic overlook at Inks Lake and find lots of trails to explore. Also find two playgrounds for kids. 

Campsites for RVs with electricity and water are available. And reserve a tent sites with electricity only. Inks Lake State Park offers a large campground divided into loops with services in each. 

Inks Lake offers lots of basic cabins, many with views of the lake. Each cabin ($55) features two sets of single bunk beds along with a ceiling fan and air-conditioning. All cooking is done outside and cabins don’t offer a kitchenette. Find restrooms with showers nearby. 

Located at 3630 Park Road 4 West, Burnet, TX 78611. Day-use adult admission is $6. 

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Lake Bastrop LCRA
Rent an airstream trailer at the LCRA Lake Bastrop. credit: Catherine Parker

Lower Colorado River Authority Parks around Austin

Along the shores of the Colorado River that bisects the Hill Country and Austin, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) operates several campgrounds. 

Lake Bastrop North Shore Park

East of Austin, this park offers lots of camping options including RV sites, tent sites, along with Airstreams for rent. Find a fishing pier, boat ramp, swimming and watercraft for rent by the hour, or day. 

Campgrounds offers restrooms with showers. Find a dump station and ice maker. Camping fees start at $35. 

Located at 603 RM 1441, Bastrop, TX 78602. Day use admission for adults is $5, kids 12 and under are free. 

South Shore Park on Lake Bastrop

Another park on Lake Bastrop, this park offers lots of camping options including RV sites, tent sites, cabins for rent. This park offers mini-golf, kayaks, SUP and corcl for rent by the hour, or day. Also find a fishing pier, boat ramp and swimming.

Campgrounds offers restrooms with showers. Find a dump station and ice maker. Camping fees start at $35.

Located at 375 S. South Rd. Bastrop, TX 78602. Day use admission for adults is $5, kids 12 and under are free. 

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Army Corps of Engineers Parks around Austin 

Georgetown Lake 

Army Corps of Engineers Parks located north of Austin in Georgetown. Find four parks with campgrounds around the lake. 

Each park offers each own amenities. Some campgrounds are primitive, others camp sites with electricity and water hook-ups along with restrooms with showers. Camping fees start at $6, depending amenities.  

Georgetown Lake parks include Cedar Breaks Park, Jim Hogg Park, Tejas Park, and Russell Park. 

Granger Lake 

Located northeast of Austin, Granger Lake is a quiet lake with fewer visitors. Find three park with campgrounds around the lake. 

Each park offers different amenities, like swimming beaches, equestrian camping or boat launches. Some campgrounds offer RV campsites with electric, water and sewer hook-ups along with restrooms with showers. Others parks offer primitive sites. Camping fees start at $10. 

Granger Lake parks include Taylor Park, Wilson H. Fox Park, Willis Creek Park. 

County Parks

Pace Bend Park in Spicewood

On the cliffs overlooking Lake Travis, Pace Bend Park hugs the shore and offers protected coves for swimming. Find hiking, biking and equestrian trails. Make it a weekend on the water, find  a boat dock if you bring your boat.

The developed campground features 20 sites with grills, tables, water and electrical hook-ups. The bathhouse features showers.

Located at 2805 Pace Bend Road N. in Spicewood. Day use admission for adults is $5, kids 12 and under are free.

Pack up for a weekend in the woods around Central Texas. Here's 13 top parks for a camping trip or day trip. With lakes galore, you can boat, paddleboat or canoe. Find campsites, cabins and even Airstreams to rent. Heres the best Texas State Parks, LCRA parks and regional parks around Austin and in the Hill Country. Where to camp near Austin | Best State Parks in the Texas Hill Country | Cabin in the Hill Country | Airstreams in Texas to rent #camping #TexasParks
credit: Catherine Parker

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a 95-year-old house. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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