While various silver screen and TV portrayals over the years, might have formed a stereotype in your mind that they are all dusty deserts and rolling tumbleweed, the Lone Star State actually has a very diverse landscape showcased within them.
Comprising of over 600,000 acres, they include everything from large shimmering lakes and picturesque, raging rivers to, craggy hilltops and scenic woodlands.
For people who live near Longview, these state parks provide wonderful opportunities to partake in a range of outdoor recreational activities like fishing, swimming, water sports, boating, hiking and camping. All of which can be done in areas of sensational natural beauty which are great for photographing.
Now that Covid related stay-at-home restrictions have ended, you are free to venture out and about as you please. If you would like to explore the great outdoors of Texas, this list of 5 state parks near Longview should give you plenty of inspiration of where to go.
Map of State Parks Near Longview TX
Here is a map of the Texas state parks covered in this post:
List of State Parks Near Longview
All of the five state parks near Longview conveyed below can be reached within a 4 hour drive from the city.
Most of them can be visited as a day trip. However, if you would like to stay at any of them for an extended period of time, they all offer a number of different options for overnight camping and other types of accommodation.
1. Purtis Creek State Park
Location: 14225 FM 316 N, Eustace, TX 75124
If you love fishing then the Purtis Creek State Park is somewhere you should definitely visit.
Located an hour and 25 minute drive west from Longview, the park features a 355-acre lake that is a renowned spot for catch-and-release largemouth bass fishing. In addition, you can also hook crappie and catfish that you can take home or cook at the park.
To assist your angling experience they have dedicated fishing piers, as well as fish cleaning stations and boat ramps. Best of all you do not need a fishing license to cast a line here.
If you are not into fishing, there are plenty more activities you can do here including swimming, paddling, kayaking and canoeing. In addition there are also a number of hiking and biking trails you can explore too.
The park offers 59 campsites with water and electricity. It also has 5 walk-in tent sites and 13 primitive hike-in sites as well.
2. Lake Tawakoni State Park
Location: 10822 FM 2475, Wills Point, TX 75169
For a more woodland experience why not head to Lake Tawakoni State Park?
You will be able to get to it via a 90 minute drive east of Longview, on the central south shore of Lake Tawakoni.
Once you do get there you will be presented with some 376 magnificent acres of oak forest to explore via almost 5 miles of fabulous hiking and mountain bike trails.
You will also find a stunning lake which is great for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and fishing, that also accommodates over 5 miles of scenic shoreline,
Situated just 50 miles east of Dallas, the park hosts a campground that offers sites with full hookup or water and electricity. It also has a primitive group campsite that can house up to 48 people.
Location: 433 FM1244, Whitney, TX 76692
If you are looking for a really fun family destination, the 755 acre Lake Whitney State Park provides a little something for everyone.
Situated 3 hours northwest of Longview, this park is another haven for water sports enthusiasts. Offering everything from swimming and fishing to water-skiing and boating, you will have a whale of a time on its gorgeous lake.
A beautiful place for a picnics, with lots of scenic spots available, the park also has a number of lovely trails to explore. Along which you may spot a wide variety of wildlife, including the likes of armadillos, opossums, raccoons, deer and bald eagles.
Lake Whitney is also a fantastic spot to see the stars at night in skies that are crystal clear. whilst geocaching is a popular activity here too.
If you would like to camp here, the park offers a number of campsites that are full hookups, or come with either just water, or with electricity and water.
4. Fort Parker State Park
Location: 194 Park Rd, Mexia, TX 76667
Over in Mexia, some 2 hours 30 mins northwest of Longview, the Fort Parker State Park sits at the picturesque Navasota River Crossroads.
Established in 1935, the park is a great place for a digital detox with plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, swimming and bird and nature watching. In addition, boating and fishing are also very popular activities here too.
One of the main reasons for coming to this park is to witness magnificent sunsets, which are widely considered to be among the best in Texas. You will definitely want to snap lots of photos of them for your Instagram or other social media accounts.
Camping options here include screened shelters or cabins. Unfortunately the cabins do not possess beds or bathrooms, but they do have air-conditioning and there are toilets too.
5. Lake Arrowhead State Park
Location: 229 Park Rd 63, Wichita Falls, TX 76310
At 4 hours southeast of Longview, Lake Arrowhead State Park is the furthest drive from the city on this list, but it is definitely worth it.
Covering 524 acres, the park offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, nature watching, geocaching and even disc golf. However its major highlight is undoubtedly its magnificent lake.
A prime spot for fishing, with the main catches being bass, crappie and catfish; swimming and boating are also popular on the 16,200 acre lake too.
In terms of camping options, the park features eight loops, each of which has six campsites. In addition, they also have primitive walk-in and equestrian camping areas for you to use too.