Camping at Lake Brownwood State Park, Brownwood, TX

Nov 11

Camping at Lake Brownwood State Park, Brownwood, TX

This article was originally posted on August 22, 2014

Since our goal is to have a mobile lifestyle, what better way to try out that lifestyle than going on a camping trip?

We wanted to visit an attraction in nearby Cross Plains, TX (post coming next week) so we decided to stay at Lake Brownwood State Park in Brownwood, TX.

It was going to be a late check in, so I called and got information on the process. We were looking at a three-hour drive so I wanted to be sure we had a site available. We weren’t able to leave San Antonio until 6pm due to issues with our van. We finally got on the road and drove up through the hill country.

The Texas hill country is beautiful! There’s a ruggedness about the hills, the land, the knobby trees. We were lucky enough to see it as the sun was setting to our left. I was glad I’d brought paper directions instead of relying on our cell phones for the navigation. After passing through Fredricksburg (which is definitely on our To Visit list) we lost our signal on our Verizon phones. By they time we reached Brownwood, I had a data signal of 1X, which led us to our next turnoff with no trouble. Then it was gone again.

We reached the park around 11pm and most campers were already tucked in and asleep. I’d seen the map of the campground beforehand and wanted to get either site 66 or 67 on the Comanche Trail campground. We were assigned 64, but it was covered in ants. We moved to site 66, but found it covered as well, and 67 was taken. I wanted 66 because it had a nice view of the water – or would in the daylight – but we didn’t have any time to find a new site in the dark. We we set up our tent the best we could to the side of our van. By then it was midnight and the last camper to still have a lamp burning had turned it off.

Before we went to sleep, we stood on the road and looked up at the sky. The sky was beautiful. There are no words for the beauty in that sky, far from any streetlights and buildings. We could see the Milky Way stretch across the dome overhead. I felt very small.

We slept as best we could. It was hot and we prayed for a breeze to blow through the tent. We were also on an incline and kept slipping down. We managed to get a few hours of sleep but were up with the sun. We paid for our spot at the office and let them know about the ants. Everything was covered in ants. We couldn’t use the fire ring, the picnic table – nothing. I found another site, site 54, but it was smaller and further back up the road with no view of the lake. We sat in our van and ate cereal for breakfast, waiting on the park staff to come and spray for ants. They never came.

About two hours later the people in spot 67 had eaten their breakfast and left. So around lunchtime we moved to 67, had much fewer ants, and still had a view of the water.  We went back up to the office and let them know about the switch. Then I drove into town to a Dollar General to pick up some ant spray and lighters – Scott’s lighter was out of fluid.

We spent Sunday at the campsite. There was a lot of shade and quite a few breezes, but it was hot. I sat in the shade, read a book, and relaxed. Scott worked on some projects, we talked, we argued, we sat quietly for a while, then we decided to drive around, check out the rest of the park and enjoy the AC in our van. We’d planned to hike some of the trails, but it was too hot. After seeing the rest of the park, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable hiking the trails. Most were overgrown with shrubs and grass and out in the open with little shade.

We went down to the boat ramp and explored the other campground circles. Our campground, Comanche Trail, was the oldest in the park. Some of the sites had stone benches and tables that had been built by the CCC during the 1930s. Site 66 was directly across from one such table and bench and I spent a good bit of Sunday morning sitting there with my book under the tree in the shade, my feet up on the stone. Comanche Trail also has the most shade and is exactly what I wanted in a campsite – despite two sites being covered in ants. This section is for tent camping, camper vans and small travel trailers. The larger RVs were placed at a couple of other campgrounds with barely any shade.

The cost for two days was $46. This was for the campsite ($15 night), the day use pass for 2 people in the park and park admission. I plan to get a Texas state parks pass since we do plan to use the state parks often and it will save money over the course of the year.

It was so hot that we were praying for sunset. I took a shower around 4:30 just to cool off and Scott cooked our dinner – hot dogs and beanless chili – over a campfire. We roasted marshmallows for dessert. Yes, even in the 80 degree evening heat, we roasted marshmallows.

We went to bed early and ended up taking the fly off our tent. It was keeping it too hot inside and wasn’t letting any breeze come through. We were up again at sunrise on Monday morning, ready to head to Cross Plains for the rest of our trip.

We enjoyed our visit to Lake Brownwood State Park and will visit it again.

On a side note – the lake is very low. It didn’t stop anyone from going swimming or boating, but it’s noticeable. The area is in a heavy drought, and we passed several signs on ranches to pray for rain. Please remember Texas in your prayers. Without rain, several ranches have no water for themselves or their stock.

See more pictures from our camping trip in our photo album on Dropbox – Lake Brownwood State Park Camping Trip


  • Cost $46 (campsite + day use fees + park admission for 2 people for 2 nights)
  • No cell service or data at the campground or surrounding area. This wasn’t an issue for us but be aware. Wi-fi at the office. 
  • Two campsites were covered with ants. Luckily we were able to move to a new one, but the park staff never came out to treat the sites. 
  • The best section – Comanche Trail. A lot of shade and views of the water on the bottom section of the loop. Great for tent camping and small RVs or camper vans. 
  • Friendly staff.
  • Bathhouse nearby with 2 shower stalls, 2 sinks and 4 flush toilets. Bathrooms were cleaned daily, but it’s a typical campground bathroom. No AC and there are bugs.

Have you visited Lake Brownwood State Park? What did you think? Let me know in the comments or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.


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