(Last Updated On: November 1, 2022)
sunset over Cooper Lake State Park

Sunset over Cooper Lake. Photo: Park Facebook Page

Located about a 90 minute drive from Dallas and 30 minutes from Paris, Cooper Lake State Park is a popular waterside getaway for those who want a break from the fast pace of city life.

Centered around the 19,000 acre man-made lake, which the park is named after, Coopers Lake State park provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.

As you would imagine, the likes of fishing, boating and swimming are very popular activities here. As is hiking and horse riding, with more than 3,000 acres devoted to these pastimes.

Known for its scintillating landscape of rolling hills and prairies, the park affords fabulous views and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. All of which is best seen from any of the trails that meander their way through it.

This also provides a noted terrain for geocaching and, of course, camping. Of which there are plenty of options for RVs, trailers, tents and cabins, as well as group and equine camps too.


A main draw of this Texas state park is that visitors can engage in a wide range of outdoor recreational pursuits while in it.

Here is just a small selection of some of the many things you can do during your time there.

Water Activities at Cooper Lake State Park

The park is a haven for those who enjoy swimming or riding watercraft.

Over near the South Sulphur area of the park there is a sandy beach and a designated section for swimming. The beach is a fabulous place to top up your tan, while the sparkling waters of the lake will give you a welcome cool down, when the heat of the Texan sun gets too unbearable.

For those who enjoy boating, canoeing, kayaking, SUP and water-skiing there is plenty of surface area around for you to do that.

Some of this watercraft equipment is available to hire in the park, if you didn’t bring it with you.

Fishing at Cooper Lake State Park

Cooper Lake State Park is renowned for being one of the best places to fish near Dallas.

The lake has two designated fishing areas which attract anglers from all over Texas.

Whichever one of them you decide to cast a line at you should be able to hook plenty of blue catfish, spotted bass and both largemouth and smallmouth bass.

At these designated fishing areas you will find fishing piers, boat docks and cleaning stations.

Hiking at Cooper Lake State Park

Out of the water, hiking, biking and horse riding are very popular activities, with over 3,000 acres of the park set up for this.

All up there are more than ten trails which vary in length and degrees of difficulty. All of which showcase every part of the park from its grasslands and wetlands to its prairies and of course the centerpiece lake.

However you choose to explore these trails, make sure you have your camera with you, as you will want to take plenty of photos of the park’s fabulous landscape.

Birding at Cooper Lake State Park

Home to more than 100 species, Cooper Lake State Park is a birders paradise. So be sure to back your binoculars with you when you come to the park.

Some of these birds live in the park all year round, whilst others appear during seasonal migrations.

Depending on when you visit, you might be able to see the likes of the Arctic Peregrine Falcon, American Avocet, American Oystercatcher and Bald Eagle.

Geocaching at Cooper Lake State Park

Cooper Lake State Park offers several geocaching sites for those who enjoy this modern-day treasure hunt phenomenon.

Should you want to partake in this activity make sure you bring a GPS, as well as hiking shoes, a trail map, pencil and a cheap item to trade in the adventure.

Also hit up the geocaching website to determine the coordinates and don’t forget to sign the log if you happen to be the first person to find a new geocache.

Pets at Cooper Lake State Park

Pets are welcome in the park, although you must keep your dog on a leash at all times you are there, and also cleaned up after them as well.

If you plan on bringing your pooch with you to the park, some restrictions may apply. So it’s worth contacting the main office for further clarification.

Camping at Cooper Lake State Park

For visitors who want to camp at the park there are several options available for overnight accommodation. Most of which are contained within two main campgrounds.

At Doctors Creek Unit you will find 2 sites that come with hookups for 50-amp electricity and water hookups as well as 36 sites that come with 30-amp electricity and water hookups.

All of these sites also feature individual picnic tables, outdoor grills and fire rings. They are located near restrooms as well.

Over at the South Sulphur Unit you will find 42 single campsites and 1 double campsite that comes with 50-amp electric hookups. There are also 31 single sites and 3 double sites with 30-amp electric hookups. All of which also come with water hookups and the same amenities you will find at the Doctors Creek Unit campground too.

In addition to these RV and trailer sites, there are also 20 cabins available for those who want a bit more comfort.

These come with air conditioning and heating, as well as electricity and water, kitchen and cooking facilities and enough beds to sleep between 6 to 8 people. They are also situated close to comfort stations that have toilets and hot showers.

Other accommodation options at the park include tent sites, as well as group camping and horse sites.

Park Location

Cooper Lake State Park
95 Park Road 8154
Cooper, TX 75432
Phone: 903.395.3100




Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Cooper Lake State Park: