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Activities abound at area parks in East Texas

Jan. 1, 2015 at 4:09 p.m.
Updated Jan. 1, 2015 at 4:09 p.m.

While the calendar might still say “winter,” any East Texan knows that you can camp, hike, boat and fish just as easily (and often more comfortably) in the winters months as you can in the summertime.

With a variety of nearby state parks, outdoor enthusiasts can spend an afternoon hiking, camp for the weekend, or enjoy a longer commune with nature without having to leave the area.

Daingerfield State Park

Address: 455 Park Road 17, Daingerfield

Phone: (903) 645-2921

Entrance Fees: Adults, $4 daily; children 12 and younger, free.

Hours: Open daily.

Reopened in 2011 after renovations that look about a year, the 506-acre Daingerfield State Park features three new restrooms, upgraded campgrounds that include full hookup sites, a new wastewater system, a new dock with boat rentals and refurbished boathouse/interpretive center, a new State Park Store and major renovations to a number of Civilian Conservation Corps buildings.

Historic Bass Lodge, which sleeps 13 in five bedrooms, has central air and heat, new furnishings and appliances and a remodeled bathroom that meets Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

Down by the 80-acre lake, park visitors can enjoy the pavilion/bath house that once served as a concession area converted into an air-conditioned and heated park store and group dining hall with upgraded kitchen facilities for day use.

The park offers picnicking, camping, boating (5 mph speed limit), fishing, swimming in an unsupervised swimming area, ranger programs, hiking and nature study.

Tours may be arranged by special request.

Lake Bob Sandlin State Park

Address: 341 State Park Road 2117, Pittsburg

Phone: (903) 572-5531

Entrance fees: Adults, $4 daily; child 12 years and younger, free.

Hours: Open daily.

At Bob Sandlin State Park, a lake, well-stocked with trout, headlines outdoor activities.

Although the lake levels suffered during the drought, it’s back to business as usual at the state park.

Opened in 1987, Lake Bob Sandlin State Park is a 639.8-acre park southeast of Mount Pleasant in Titus County.

The park has revealed evidence of prehistoric Caddoan people, who occupied East Texas from 200 B.C. to 1700 A.D. By 1841, Fort Sherman, a wooden stockade whose site is believed to be in or near the park, was established and the cemetery is located within the park itself. From 1860, the park land was been used for farming and ranching.

Activities include picnicking, hiking, swimming, mountain biking, in-line skating and fishing for largemouth bass, catfish and crappie.

Visitors can spot eagles can be spotted during winter months and a variety of birds and wildlife can be viewed year-round.

In addition to campsites for tents and RVs, the park also has screened shelters with and without air-conditioning, and a group pavilion.

Caddo Lake State Park

Address: 45 Park Road 2, Karnack

Phone: (903) 679-3351

Entrance fees: Adults, $3 daily; children 12 years and younger, free.

Hours: Open daily.

Shrouded in moss and cypress trees, Caddo Lake is as mysterious as it is beautiful.

Caddo Lake was the only natural lake in the state of Texas until it was dammed in the early 1900s when oil was found, and again for flood control in 1914.

Scientists believe the lake formed when floodwater, blocked by massive log jams on the Red River, backed up into the Cypress Bayou watershed, forming the lake. Caddo Indians lived on the land and the Civilian Conservation Corps developed the park.

Activities visitors include camping, hiking, paddling trails, picnicking, nature study, fishing and boating.

Canoe rentals are available year-round from the park headquarters and Jon Boat rentals are available at Crip’s Camp Marina in Uncertain. Many different vendor offer riverboat tours of the lake.



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