Eisenhower State Park, Denison

As I’m sitting down to write this, I’m amazed at how many pictures I have to share, and how many different things to talk about at Eisenhower State Park!  There was so much to do!  I know this is going to be a long post, but hopefully you are going to LOVE this park as much as we did, and plan a trip for yourself!

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My husband asked if I had a better picture than this one.  You know, one where you can read the entire name.  I think he’s silly, all the bluebonnets are WONDERFUL!  I’m pretty sure we can all guess what the sign says!

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My oldest son was camping at the park with his Boy Scout Troop, so we went to pick him up early and spend the day at the park.  Our first stop was the Swim Beach, and really once you see it, you will never want to leave!

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The Swim Beach 

It’s sandy!  There are some pebbles mixed in, but you can dig in it, don’t forget to pack your sand toys!

The water is lovely, and the clarity is better than I expected!  It wasn’t mushy down in the water, either!  And just look at that view!  Across the lake is the red sandy beaches of Oklahoma!

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Just above the beach are these amazing “not caves”.  The water has eroded the limestone and created these shallow intrusions, but to a kid (of any age) they are exciting to go inside and explore!  We even spotted some bats!

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Here’s another view of the “not caves” from the camping areas above the Swim Beach!

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We hiked up above the swim beach, which is littered with huge chunks of limestone that fallen off the cliffs!  My kids loved climbing in and over them!

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I loved the amazing views!  It was so windy during our visit, but just a perfect day!

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We climbed up to the top, and my daughter had to pose on Lover’s Leap!   Having recently visited Lover’s Leap at Cameron Park in Waco, my kids were confused and curious as to why so many lovers are leaping everywhere!

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ATV Trails

I can’t tell you how excited I was that the park has an ATV trail!  Unfortunately, we didn’t have ours with us, but didn’t I tell you we will be back!  The 10 acre trail is ONLY for mini-bikes and 4 wheelers less than 50″ .   No golf carts or side by side ATVs are allowed, and you can’t ride the ATVs elsewhere in the park.  You must ALSO have an OTV permit, which cost $16 and they sell them in the park.  The money from these permits goes to build and upkeep more ATV trails, which sounds good to me and I’m happy to pay for the permit!  Click HERE for more information on the OTV permit and other places to ride in Texas!

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Hiking and Biking Trails

There are two hiking trails at Eisenhower State Park; the 1/2 mile pedestrian only hiking trail, and a 4 mile hike and bike trail.  We didn’t bring our bikes, my five year is too big to ride with us and STILL won’t ride without training wheels!    We did hike the trail, and while my kids can’t WAIT to come back with our bikes, some of it is difficult and only for experienced riders!  Take a map, or start at marker 5 to avoid the most difficult part of the trail.

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We left the trail at the Ammonite Scenic Point, and walked along the shorelines of the lake!   The sun kept peaking in and out from behind the clouds, making the limestone sparkle!

 

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We found these mussel shells all over the shoreline. Zebra Mussels are an invasive species that inhabit most of the north-eastern lakes, and have now invaded Lake Texoma!  They are destructive to native animals and to man-made structures, and costly to water authorities!  Special care should be used when taking boats in and out of Lake Texoma to keep these out of the rest of our Texas water!

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My kids loved climbing the rocks!  The red streaks are rust from the naturally occurring iron found in the limestone.

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We also spotted many ammonite along the shores!  It’s a fossil hunters paradise, but remember to take only pictures!  You aren’t allowed to keep any fossils found in State Parks.

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Eisenhower Yacht Club

The Eisenhower Yacht Club is privately owned and located inside the park. They operate a public marina, boat ramps and 448 boat slips.

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You can find drinks, snacks, shirts, bait and even fish food in the store!  During the summer they sell snow cones, too!

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They also rent canoes and kayaks, as well as paddle boards and even paddle boats!  Click HERE to visit their website for rental information!

Camping

RV and tent campsites are located in the park.  My son’s Boy Scout Troop stayed at a primitive campsite, but it was right off the road with parking, not a hike in like many state parks.

There are also 34 screened shelters, all located near a restroom with showers.  We walked around the shelters, and most of them had nice picnic areas and were well shaded.  A play area with a swing set was also convenient to the cabins.

Ike’s Cabin sleeps five and has air conditioning and heat, but reservations are hard to get!

Groups can enjoy the Recreation Hall and Kitchen.  with overnight amenities for up to 48 people!

Click HERE to visit the parks website for more information.

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Day Use

Located near the Swim Beach is a Day Use Picnic Area with grills and tables, and a nearby swing set for the kiddos!

 

Fishing

Lake Texoma is known for it’s amazing fishing, and you can fish from the shore at the State Park without a fishing license.

However, if you go out in a boat, it becomes a little complicated.  Since the lake rest on both the Texas and Oklahoma border, you may need both a Texas and a Oklahoma license.   You can also purchase a special Lake Texoma license for $12, which allows you to fish anywhere on the lake.

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We left the park and drove out to the Lake Texoma dam to see what was biting there.  We were surprised to find a Budlight Trail Fishing Tournament going on!  We watched as they brought in some beautiful bass, and placed them in a reservoir so they could be returned to the lake after the tournament!

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My kids got so excited, and asked if THEY could enter a tournament sometime!  Bud Light doesn’t sponsor kid’s fishing tournaments, but they were told to check out Texas B.A.S.S. Youth fishing.   They have youth fishing tournaments.  Registration for tournaments is in the winter, usually February and the season starts in March!

Leaving Texas

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On the other side of the dam, the Red River continues on until it meets up with the Mississippi River!

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Crazy family that we are, we drove into Oklahoma, and turned around to drive back into Texas, just so we could CHEER as we crossed the state line!  We broke out into a chorus of Deep in the Heart of Texas, until my husband had enough and turned on the radio!

Things To Do in Denison

Play

Grayson County Historical Village is a fun place for kids to play and pretend to live a long, long time ago!  Scare them with the thought of no wi-fi!

Eat 

I love the name, Huck’s Catfish, and I love the fish, too!  Click HERE to check out their menu!

Sleep

If you don’t want to camp in the state park, then drive 15 minutes over to Tanglewood Resort and Conference Center!  Click HERE to visit their website.


Eisenhower State Park   

50 Park Rd 20, Denison

Click HERE to visit their website.    


Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun! 

Michelle 

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