Named after President Dwight Eisenhower who lived in the era when he was a child, Eisenhower State Park is an impressive public recreational space.
Located in Grayson County, about a 90 minute drive from Dallas and Fort Worth, the 423-acre park features one of the largest man-man lakes in the USA.
Formerly just a fishing hole, it now attracts over 6 million visitors a year and is renowned for being a haven for boaters, swimmers and anglers.
It’s not just on the water where people have their fun, as ATV riding, picnicking and birding are popular activities here too.
While camping is also high in demand. Which goes a long way to explaining why this Texas state park offers almost 190 different accommodation options, for those who want to stay for a few nights.
Visitors can enjoy a wide range of outdoor recreational pursuits while at the park.
Here are just a handful of some of the many activities you can do there.
Boating at Eisenhower State Park
If you love boating you will love the opportunities Lake Texoma gives you to head out onto the water.
The likes of canoeing, kayaking, SUP and rowboating are all well practiced here, while the main boat launch, which can handles watercraft of up to 26 feet long, can be found to the southeast of Bois D’arc Ridge.
Life jackets are compulsory for all children under the age of 13 and recommended for everyone else too.
The Eisenhower Yacht Club, which resides just northwest of Bois D’arc Ridge, runs a full-service gas dock, as well as a store which has lots of drinks, snacks and boating supplies, as well as gifts.
Swimming at Eisenhower State Park
Despite its shoreline being mainly bluffs, the lake does have a lovely swimming area for visitors to enjoy near Elm Point. You will find it over on the far western side of the park.
If you do go there be sure to stay in the swimming channel, as the bottom of the lake is pretty flat. However, it gets rockier the further offshore you head out.
There are no lifeguards present here so you will have to exercise caution whilst swimming.
Fishing at Eisenhower State Park
Lake Texoma is renowned for being an excellent spot for striped, spotted, largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing, which is best during the fall.
However, you will also be able to catch bluegill, crappie and catfish if you decide to cast a line here.
One of the great things about fishing at any of the state parks in Texas, is that you do not require a licence to do so by the shore.
At Eisenhower State Park you can also hire rods, reels, and other fishing equipment if you didn’t bring yours with you.
OHV Riding at Eisenhower State Park
Away from the water, dirt bikes and OHV riding are very popular activities.
You can partake in this pastime either on specifically designated trails or certain parts of the backcountry.
If you are a novice rider, the 0.5-mile Pee Wee Practice Area, is a good spot for beginners to practice.
However, if you are after a more challenging run, the 0.7-mile Big Woods Canyon Trail will take you on a journey along the prairies.
Alternatively, you might give the 0.7-mile Timber Rattler Run a go, as it is a fun and exhilarating trail. However, just be mindful of rattlesnakes which are prevalent on the route – hence the name of it.
Birding at Eisenhower State Park
If you are into birding you will love the opportunities the park gives you to spot a wide range of species.
Many breeds of birds call the park home, either permanently or at specific times of the year.
Depending on when you visit Eisenhower State Park, you should be able to see bald eagles, pelicans, loons, blackpoll warblers, purple finches,blue grosbeaks and belted kingfishers.
Pets at Eisenhower State Park
The park is considered to be pet friendly, so you are welcome to bring your dog here with you.
That said, some restrictions may apply. So it is worth contacting the main office to determine what they are.
Camping at Eisenhower State Park
For those who are looking for overnight accommodation the park offers a total of 154 campsites for RVs, trailers and tents across 5 different campgrounds.
Of these, 50 offer full hookups for electricity, water and sewer. They also each come with a picnic table, as well as a fire ring with a grill and a lantern post. You’ll find restrooms near these sites too.
Supporting these, there are also 45 sites that come with water and electric hookups. Again these are situated near restrooms and also come with a picnic table and fire ring with grill.
For those who want to put up a tent, there are 13 premium campsites located near water in the Elm Point Area. These also are situated near restrooms and come with their own picnic table. As well as a tent pad, lantern post and fire ring with grill.
There are also 34 more basic tent sites in the Armadillo Hill or Fossil Ridge areas. Both of them share a water spigot and have the same amenities as the premium tent campsite. As well as 12 overflow campsites.
If you would rather stay in digs that offer a few more home comforts, Ike’s Cabin has bunked beds, air conditioning and both heating and electricity.
There are also 34 screened shelters in the Deer Haven area that come with water and electricity.
Eisenhower State Park
50 Park Rd 20
Denison, TX 75020
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Eisenhower State Park:
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