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picnic and swimming area at Possum Kingdom State Park

Picnic and swimming area at Possum Kingdom State Park. Photo: Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons.

While West Texas is generally not regarded as being a particularly verdant or lush area, Possum Kingdom State Park provides an exception to this rule in the form of its stunning lake.

Boasting around 300 miles of shoreline, the lake is one of the biggest and oldest reservoirs in the Brazos River Basin. While technically an artificial reservoir, it is more like a natural lake in its appearance, which may go some way to explaining why it is such a popular destination to visit.

A great place for boating, swimming, fishing and hiking, it is a favored weekend or vacation getaway for residents of Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth. All of which are situated just a two hour and 30 minute drive away.

As well as the water activities, those who do come to this Texas state park can observe a diverse range of flora and fauna. They can even stay in the park’s modern campground, which can accommodate RVs, trailers and tents, and also boast a nice range of amenities and facilities.


Park visitors are able to enjoy a wide range of outdoor recreational pursuits during their time there.

Below is just a small selection of some of the many activities you can do at Possum Kingdom.

Boating at Possum Kingdom State Park

You’ll find the boat launch situated in between the Shady Grove and Lakeview campgrounds, which should give you easy access to the water.

While watercraft is not permitted near the swimming area, as well as some of the no-wake zones that are dotted around the water, the lake here is a terrific place to enjoy power-boating.

As the lake is so big you’ll never experience too much in the way of crowds. That said, if you prefer canoeing or kayaking, the best place to do this is near the shoreline. Particularly near the swimming area or fishing pier.

If you didn’t bring them with you a range of watercraft is available to hire out at the marina, including skis, boards, canoes and kayaks. You will also find boating slips available too.

Swimming at Possum Kingdom State Park

From the start of March to the middle of fall the water at the lake is generally warm enough for a swim.

If this is something that interests you, the swimming area is situated on the west side of the park. While it is safe in that it is situated away from the marina, fishing pier, boat launch and other busier parts of the park, there is no lifeguard on duty here. So you will need to exercise caution when you go for a dip.

That said, the water is pretty stoic most of the time, so you should be fine to splash about in there.

If you are into snorkeling and scuba diving, you will be able to partake in these activities on the lake too.

Fishing at Possum Kingdom State Park

For those who want to fish, the lake provides plenty of opportunity to catch the likes of bass, catfish and crappie.

You can either choose to fish from the shore, in a boat on the lake or at the pier. Which can be found near the park store, along with a fish cleaning station.

Anglers do not need a license to fish from shore, but you might need one depending on where else you want to fish. So it’s worth seeking clarification from the parks prior to heading out into the water.

Hiking at Possum Kingdom State Park

For those who would rather stay on dry land the park has a number of hiking trails for visitors to explore.

Some of these trails are relatively easy to traverse, while others are more challenging. They also cover a range of distances, most of which are quite short.

One of the best trails to attempt is the 1.4-mile Lakeview Trail, which showcases stunning wildflowers in bloom in the spring.

Another good one to tackle is the 0.4-mile Longhorn Trail Overlook which provides lofty panoramic views of the park.

For a more difficult hike, the steep, half mile, Chaparral Ridge Trail should get your heart rate going.

Pets at Possum Kingdom State Park

You are welcome to bring your dog to the park, although they will have to be supervised at all times and kept restrained.

Several other restrictions apply, so if you intend to bring your pooch with you, you would be well advised to contact the park’s main office to determine what they are.

Camping at Possum Kingdom State Park

For guests who want to stay overnight at the park there are a number of camping options available to you across four main areas.

At Spanish Oaks you will find 21 sites that come with water and either 20-amp, 30-amp or 50-amp electric hookups. All of these sites come with picnic tables, as well as waist high grills and fire rings with grills. They are also located near restrooms that have flush toilets and showers.

Similarly at Shady Grove there are 40 sites like these that have exactly the same amenities. This campground generally closes for winter and reopens on the 1st of March.

Between the Chaparral Trails and Lakeview camping areas, there are also 53 sites available that either have, or share water. Each of these sites can accommodate 8 people and come with their own picnic tables. The Chaparral Trails Camping Loop closes between the months of December and February.

As well as these sites, the park also features 10 primitive walk-in campsites which you will have to cover a distance of between 50 to 150 yards to get to. These sites sleep four people each and come with their own picnic tables, fire rings and lantern posts. To get to the nearest bathrooms you will also have to walk about half a mile.

Park Location

Possum Kingdom State Park
3901 St Park Rd 33
Caddo, TX 76429
Phone: 940.549.1803




Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Possum Kingdom State Park: