Lake Whitney State Park
Lake Whitney State Park is currently open for Day Use Only. Advance Day Pass Reservations are required. Please check their website for more safety precautions.
Lake Whitney is the 4th largest lake in Texas, located on the Brazos River, and the State Park offers so much to do!
If you are usually squeamy about swimming in lakes, then you will LOVE Lake Whitney! The limestone bottom offers unusually clear waters, with a minimum amount of squishy mud and plants life near the shore. The swim beach does have sand, so you can still bring your sand toys, too!
My Mommy Tip:
- Bring water shoes for walking on the sharp rocks around the lake.
It’s ALWAYS windy on Lake Whitney, so bring a kite! I’ve found the best kites for kids to be parafoil kites, which fly easily with no removable parts that my kids always seem to lose! Check out the great selection at World Wind Kites in Austin, click HERE to visit their website.
Lake Whitney is known for their excellent fishing, and there are plenty of great places to take the kids fishing in the park. In a state park, you do not need a fishing license to fish from the land, however if you go out in a boat, you must have a license. There is a large rock outcropping on the north side of the Lake View Camping Loop, which is perfect for early morning or late evening fishing.
Each June, the park host the annual Lake Whitney Youth Fishing Tournament.
The limestone around Lake Whitney is abundant with fossils. We spent an entire day running around the shores, taking pictures of them. We only took pictures because it is illegal to remove any rocks, fossils or vegetation from a state park. But it’s sure fun to look for them.
We found these fossils sitting on a table in an empty campsite. These are great examples of the fossils you can easily find just walking around the shores. The circular ones are ammonites, and the other is half of a bi-valve (clam). They are said to be approximately 80-100 million years old.
Hiking and Biking
There are two hiking/biking trails in the park, the Towash and the Two Bridges Trail. Both offer a nice view of native hardwoods, and are relatively flat and easy trails. The towash is about 1.1 miles and Two Bridges is just under a mile. If you are wanting a longer hike or ride, nearby 12.5 mixed use Hopewell Trail, or hike to the top of Powelldale Mountain.
The low lake level has closed the boat ramp in the park, however we put in our canoes and had a nice day exploring the quiet cove, while the March wind made the main lake too choppy for most boats. The park does not rent any boats.
An observation blind is located in the park near the Towash Trail, but we spotted deer abundantly in the park, as well as soft shell turtles and plenty of hawks.
The park offers tent camping, RV and shelters. The shelters are located near the swim beach, under large shade trees.
My favorite campsites are in the Road Runner and Lake View camping loop. They offer easy lake access and a little more elbow room, and I’m all about elbow room!
Lake Whitney S.P. is unique in that it has a working runway inside the park, where guest with small planes can land, averaging about 4-5 planes a week during the summer. The airstrip is also home to the Whitney Area Miniature Aircraft Club, where remote controlled plane enthusiast meet about twice a month.
I hope this encourages you to head out to Lake Whitney S.P., and I would love to have you tell me about your visit!
Things To Do on Lake Whitney
Visit the Cell Block Museum in Hillsboro, the Hill County Jail until 1983, and see the jail cell where Elvis Presley once spent the night! During the war he was stationed at Fort Hood, and was arrested for drunken behavior. On the way there, play “Hound Dog” for the kids! Click HERE to read more.
Texas Great Country Cafe We stopped at this unassuming little cafe after every local in town referred us there! We all ordered the chicken fried steak, and it was hand battered and delicious! They will even pan fry it on request! I eyed some amazing looking stuffed bell peppers, too. To top it off, the family owned restaurant makes all their own pies, and each one was better than the last. I was impressed that they even had my favorite, buttermilk pie!
Lake Whitney State Park
433 FM 1244, Whitney
Click HERE to visit their website.
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