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stone beach in the Nail Creek Unit of Lake Somerville State Park

Stone beach in the Nail Creek Unit of Lake Somerville State Park. Photo: Ken Harker, CC By 3.0, Wikimedia.

With its abundant wildlife, scenic creeks and stunning lakeside location, Lake Somerville State Park provides the perfect Texan nature escape.

Although it is just a 90 minute drive from both Houston and Austin, it might as well be a world away, as the park’s serene landscape totally contrasts to the aesthetic of those concrete jungles.

An outdoor lovers paradise, the park features over 40 miles of trails to explore. Most of which take you to scenic lookouts and areas of diverse flora and fauna. Just watch out for alligators and snakes while you traverse it though!

With the 11,630-acre lake at the very heart of this Texas state park, activities like boating, paddling, swimming and fishing are also very popular here. The latter of which also takes place at several creeks and streams, which feed into the lake from the flowing waters of the nearby Brazos River.

Overall the park is divided into four main units – namely Birch Creek, Nails Creek, Lake Somerville Trailway, and Somerville Public Hunting Land. The first two of which offer several RV, trailer, tent and equestrian camping accommodation options for those who want to stay for a few nights at this wonderful public recreational space.


Visitors to the park can engage in a wide selection of outdoor recreational activities.

Outlined below is a brief overview of some of the many activities they can take part in while they are there.

Boating at Lake Somerville State Park

The glistening waters of the 11,630-acre Lake Somerville is a huge drawcard for those who enjoy boating related activities.

At both Birch Creek and Nails Creek there are ramps that will allow you to take to the water in either a boat or jet skis. You will be pleased to know there are no limits on motorized boating, so you can cruise around to your heart’s content.

The likes of canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding are also regularly engaged in at the lake. With these types of watercraft being available to hire onsite.

Fishing at Lake Somerville State Park

You can also rent fishing gear at the park, which is perfect for those who didn’t bring rods and reels with them.

The lake provides plenty of opportunity for anglers to cast a line along its shoreline and jetty, and they do not require a license for doing this. However, one is necessary should they want to head out into the water on a boat to fish.

While fishing, you can expect to catch plenty of crappie, bass and catfish, all of which are plentiful in the lake’s sparkling waters.

Trails at Lake Somerville State Park

Accommodating more than 40 miles of trails, the park offers plenty of opportunity to explore its landscape by hiking, biking and horseback riding.

Some 26 miles of these trails run along the Lake Somerville Trailway which features many different loops. This trail connects both the Birch Creek and Nails Creek Units around the western end of the lake. Passing by several water crossings and showcasing numerous scenic lookout points.

As well as the lake and various other notable sights, you will also get to see a diverse range of flora including dense forests of post oak, hickory, blackjack oak, water oak and yaupon trees.

Birding and Wildlife at Lake Somerville State Park

With over 200 species residing within it, the park is a haven for those who enjoy bird watching. So be sure to bring your camera and binoculars with you when you come to the park.

Many breeds of birds found within the park are seasonal migrators. However plenty live there all through the year.

Depending on when you visit you might be able to spot the likes of northern cardinal, great horned owl, ruby-throated hummingbird and turkey vulture. A bird check­list is available at both the Birch Creek or Nails Creek headquarters.

As well as its bird population, the park is also home to a wide range of wildlife including bobcat, white-tailed deer, coyote, fox, raccoon, alligator, river otter, rabbit and snakes.

Pets at Lake Somerville State Park

Dogs are welcome to visit the park with you, however some restrictions on their presence do apply.

To determine what they are, it would be worthwhile liaising with the main office to receive further details.

Camping at Lake Somerville State Park

For those who want to stay for a few nights, the park offers plenty of accommodation options to suit all camping preferences.

These are situated across several campgrounds including the Birch Creek Unit, where you will find 99 sites that come with hookups for water and either 30-amp or 50-amp electricity. All of these sites are situated near restrooms that have flush toilets and hot showers. They also come with their own picnic table, as well as a fire ring with grill.

Over at the Nails Creek Unit there are an additional 20 sites that come with hookups for electricity and water, as well as 10 that just have connections for water. While this is advertised as an equestrian campground, you do not need to have a horse to camp here. However, you will find horse corrals and hitching posts in this area.

At Birch Creek there are also another 10 sites with water that are set up for horses. A couple of these are ADA accessible. Just three miles from it you will find a group camp that can accommodate 16 people. This site can be reached on foot, or by bike, or horse and has a dining hall as well as a dump station.

Park Location

Lake Somerville State Park
14222 Park Rd 57,
Somerville, TX 77879
Phone: 979.535.7763




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