Daingerfield State Park
Temperatures reached 90 degrees this weekend, and after a chilly winter, we were ready to welcome the warmer weather!! After an early morning baseball game for my son, we loaded up and headed East to Daingerfield State Park.
This was our first time to the park, and we were pleasantly surprised by the hilly terrain of the area! We drove with the windows down after we left the interstate, and the smell of fresh grass and honeysuckle was extremely pleasant!
Daingerfield State Park just beckons you to relax under the big pines trees, or lazily dipping your toes in Little Pines Lake. Of course, we were too busy enjoying all the activities available at the park!
I loved my view of the towering pines from the bed in my tent! We camped on the Cedar Ridge Camping Loop, which was water only, no electricity. The restrooms and showers were nice, clean and very convenient. We had a wonderful breeze, and were awoken by one of the park’s resident Red Headed Woodpeckers.
The Big Pines Camping Area is for RV only, and has access to the lake. The Dogwood Camping Area offers sites with water and electricity. Although it’s on the main road, I liked camping site #11, it seemed to offer a little more privacy.
Swim Area and Platform
Each summer, you can find numerous articles in Texas publications offering a list of the BEST SWIMMING HOLES IN TEXAS, and after a day swimming here, I can’t believe Daingerfield isn’t on every one of them! My kids LOVED the swimming platform in the lake! The rust colored water is surprising clear, and the ground is rocky and firm! Instead of a beach, there is a grassy lawn right down to the steps in the water! Bring blankets to lay out under a tree, or come early to get a table and grill!
My Mommy Tip: Bring a life jacket for younger or weaker swimmers. The platform is about 75 feet out in the water, and is in about 16 feet of water! There are no life guards on duty. We took our huge float to lay out on, and insisted my youngest wear his vest!
The water was very chilly during our visit in early May, although that didn’t keep the kids out of the water at all!
Just up from the swim area is one of the original buildings built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corp, restrooms and the park store.
The park store sells bait, shirts, drinks and these cute little window decals.
Canoes, Kayaks and Paddleboats
The park store offers canoe, kayak and paddleboat rental for the 80 acre, no wake lake. Because of its small size, it’s a perfect place to learn to canoe or take our your first kayak! There are many tables sitting along the shore for a picnic, or just to watch all the boats!
My older kids, 14 and 12, have been paddling for years, and now have their own kayaks. It’s a great way to get out and explore the lake!
All along the shore you can find these the beautiful white Water Lily. Although they are an invasive plant, they are extremely fragrant and appealing out in the lake! The kids were amazed to watch them bloom in the morning, only to close again in the afternoon!
There are several different options for fishing on the lake. A lighted pier offers a great place to take the kids to catch a little perch.
If you prefer catfish, they told me that about 8ft. past the pier the lake level drops from 15ft to about 30ft, and you can find them on the bottom.
Bass can be found around the lily pads and submerged trees you will find along the shores.
We took our canoe out one evening, but enjoyed listening to the numerous frogs we heard along the shore more than we did fishing, although they were hitting the water all around us. We’ve learned to identify several species of frogs since my son and I took the Texas Parks and Wildlife Amphibian Watch workshop. We recognized numerous cricket frogs, leopard frogs and even a lone bullfrog.
Rustling Leaves Nature Trail
The Rustling Leaves Nature Trail meanders for just under 3 miles and takes you completely around Little Pines Lake. I love trails that make a circle, instead of doubling back, and couldn’t wait to try it out!
The multi-use trail provides you with some beautiful views of the lake.
We were dwarfed by the tall pine trees, but also saw many sweet gums, oaks, juniper and a few cedars as well. We enjoyed finding plenty of muscadine vines (too early for the grapes) and young sassafras trees along the trail, as well. The park did a prescribed burn in January 2014, as evidenced by the blackened trunks of the pines throughout the trail.
There are many different bird species in the park, and along the water! Don’t forget your binoculars!
I constantly find myself in a struggle with my six-year-old about screen time. I love seeing this in his hands, instead!
Things To Do in Daingerfield
The Greer Farm in Daingerfield is a pick your own farm, with blackberries, blueberries in May and June, plums in June and figs in July and August. They also have cabins on the lake, and offer cooking classes! Click HERE to visit their website.
Daingerfield State Park
455 Park Rd 17, Daingerfield
Click HERE to visit their website.
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