Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   


Aug 2011 cover image State parks

Park Pick: Better Than Ever

Daingerfield State Park reopens after a quick face-lift.

By Sheryl Smith-Rodgers

Susan and John Edwards used to think campouts mostly meant hiking, fishing and campfires. Then the Plano couple took their two kids to Daingerfield State Park in Northeast Texas.

“Every time we camped there, we’d rent paddleboats and enjoy the lake,” Susan says. “Then the park added kayaks. I’d never kayaked before, so I was nervous at first. But the kids adapted to them instantly.”

Ultimately, the Edwardses enjoyed their newfound hobby so much that they bought four kayaks of their own.

“Now when we go, we pull both our RV and a trailer with our kayaks,” Susan laughs.
Though always eager to return to Daingerfield, the family had to hold off a year while construction crews modernized the park’s restrooms and upgraded the sewer system.

Workers also refurbished three historic buildings built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The former boathouse now houses an interpretive center, and the old bathhouse has been turned into a park store and group dining room for day use.

“Our popular Bass Lodge — which sleeps 14 in five bedrooms — has been completely transformed with central air and heat,” says manager John Thomas. Also, the lodge complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Other than those needed renovations, not much else has changed at the 501-acre getaway. Heavily forested with loblolly pines and hardwoods, the park largely draws families that come to swim, fish and paddle in Lake Daingerfield, also built by the CCC. Visitors can still rent kayaks, canoes, paddleboats and hydroboats. Anglers report steady catches of bass, catfish and crappie.

Hikers who explore the park’s 2.5-mile nature trail, which meanders around the spring-fed lake, may spot resident wildlife, such as white-tailed deer, squirrels and raccoons. In the spring, redbud and dogwood blooms splash their pastel pink and white hues against neighboring evergreens. As temperatures cool, fall triggers another color show when sweetgums, oaks and maples turn brilliant orange, red and gold.

Overnight facilities include 10 pull-through campsites with full hookups, 30 multiuse sites with full hookups and 12 water-only tent sites. Three cabins come with either two or three bedrooms, a bathroom, refrigerator, stovetop and microwave oven (bed and bath linens provided).

Daingerfield State Park is 2 miles east of Daingerfield via Texas Highway 49. For information, visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us/daingerfield or call 903-645-2921.

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