Centered around the stunning lake which it is named after, Lake Whitney State Park is a scenic 755 acre park in the Hill Country region of Texas, just 45 minutes from Waco.
Although it was officially opened to the public in 1965, it is an area that is believed to have accommodated human life for well over 12,000 years, according to archaeological findings. More recently, Native Americans lived along the river here during the early 1800s, while pioneers occupied the area in the 1850s.
Today this Texas state park is best known for being a watery recreation area for those who enjoy activities like boating, swimming, fishing and water skiing. Hiking, picnicking and geocaching are other things that attract people to it too.
Camping is also a major draw. With Lake Whitney providing the perfect backdrop to stay a few nights, at the modern onsite campgrounds that are well set up for RVs, tents and trailers.
No matter what time of year you go to the park, it provides plenty of ways to enjoy, and make the most, of its fabulous landscape.
Here are just a handful of some of the many things you can see and do during your visit there.
Water Activities at Lake Whitney State Park
Whether you are into boating, canoeing, kayaking or SUP the lake provides plenty of opportunity for you to do that.
You’ll find a boat ramp there which will easily help you get into the water.
Other popular watercraft activities include wakeboarding, tubing, rafting and waterskiing, and there is plenty of surface area to safely accommodate them all.
Swimming and Beach at Lake Whitney State Park
During the heat of the summer, many people partake in swimming at the lake.
A great way to cool off, there is a designated swim area located at the southwestern corner of the park, as well as a lovely sandy beach to enjoy.
Be sure to put on plenty of sunscreen if you plan to sunbathe here, as you can burn very quickly.
Also be mindful that this swimming area is not patrolled. So you will need to do so at your own risk.
Not far from this swimming area, you will also find several screen shelters that come with picnic tables and bbq grills. There is also a children’s playground too.
Fishing at Lake Whitney State Park
Lake Whitney State Park is renowned for being an excellent place to fish. Indeed, regular bass tournaments have been held here since 1956.
There are still plenty of bass around, which you can choose to try and catch from the shoreline, by wading into the water or taking a boat out onto it.
Whichever way you decide to cast a line, like with all state parks in Texas, you will not require a fishing license.
Should you need it, there is a camp store near the edge of the lake that sells bait, food, drink and any other items you might require.
There is also a fish cleaning station available near the White-Tail Campground, if you are successful in catching some.
Hiking at Lake Whitney State Park
Away from the water, you can explore the park in more detail via its hiking trails.
Several trails wind their way through its stunning landscape, showcasing much of its flora and fauna.
This includes the relatively easy Two Bridges Trail Loop which will take you on a 0.9 mile journey past the post oak forest, towards two quaint wooden bridges.
The Towash Forest Trail which extends for 1.2-miles is another easy trek to attempt. Starting from the parking lot at the Sunset Ridge Campground, it takes you on a lovely course along the perimeter of the lake.
Nature & Wildlife
Nestled on the Washita Prairie, on the eastern fringes of the greater Grand Prairie, the park’s landscape features a stunning mix of rolling Indiangrass and little bluestem grasslands, as well as creeks, streams and woodlands. All of which provide a natural habitat for a range of wildlife.
The park is home to white-tailed deer, which you should regularly see, as well as armadillos, raccoons, squirrels, foxes, coyotes, bobcats and snakes.
Birders have identified over 200 species of birds including sandhill crane, Forster’s tern, canyon towhee, brown thrasher, Philadelphia vireo and grasshopper sparrow, to name but a few breeds.
Pets at Lake Whitney State Park
Pets are allowed in certain sections of the park, so you can bring your dog with you if you wish.
However, some restrictions may apply. So it is worth contacting the park’s main office to determine how they might affect you.
Camping at Lake Whitney State Park
For those who want to stay at the park for a few nights, there are several camping options available.
All up, the park offers 8 campsites that come with full hookups for 50-amp electricity, as well as water and sewer.
At these sites, tents are allowed with RV. Each of them comes with a picnic table and a fire ring with a grill. Restrooms with hot showers are also located near these sites.
As an alternative to these, there are also 8 sites that come with the same amenities, as well as hookups for just water and 50-amp electricity. A further 8 comes with just water hookups too.
Should you prefer something a bit more upscale, there is a cabin available to hire that can sleep up to four people.
Furnished with air conditioning and heating, it comes with its own picnic table as well as water and a lantern post.
Lake Whitney State Park
Whitney, TX 76692
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Lake Whitney State Park: