Best place to camp around DFW?!
Well right now in the middle of July there are no good places to camp in Texas except right in front of an AC.
Remember way back when you were a kid and all you cared about was summertime. Now that we have kids the only thing we care about is when is school starting back up again. Relax, I'm kidding, but not really. But seriously, when is school starting back up? Its hard being full time REALTORS and entertaining 5 kids, we're not going to lie. So when our calendar had 4 days with no appointments... We packed up and headed OUT!
With moderate to severe droughts looming over much of north Texas, temps rising above 108 and the crunchy sound of brown grass under our feet we needed a change. Only four hours away from the Dallas Fort Worth area is a hidden little gem located in Arkansas called Cossatot Reefs. This is an Army Corps of Engineers park which is below the damn of Gillham Lake and spans 1,370 surface acres and boasts 36 miles of shoreline. The lake stems from the Cossatot River, designated as a National Wild and Scenic River. Our campsite was completely shaded the entire day and no more than 40 yards from the river. The boys loved our campsite and fished all day, every day. We pulled out a variety of fish from the river ranging from catfish, long-eared sunfish, small mouth bass and even a few drum fish. Some of the guys along the river were even catching alligator gar, yeah I'll pass on that one. With just a short swim from the bank lies a group of rocks nestled in the center of the river perfect for fly fishing.
Our camp site was extremely clean and well kept, not to mention heavily treed by towering pines and red woods. The bathrooms were excellent and each one had a personal shower, and the best thing about the bathrooms.... they ALWAYS SMELLED CLEAN!!! The park was littered with fancy campers and rv's around our tiny pop-up although we never felt crowded. Besides the bounciness of the camper from the slightest movement of any kid rolling in the night and the temperamental air conditioning unit we freaking love camping in that thing. The ole mom car, as Heather so happily calls it (Toyota 4runner) pulled the camper just fine. As a matter of fact it was cheaper to camp for four nights than the cost of the gas getting us there! Every evening was cooking on a open fire and listening to the songs of a bunch of random insects and animals. As long as it didn't roar or rattle I was good. Cowboy coffee in the mornings followed by beautiful sunrises. Yes, every morning I checked my phone like clockwork and every morning I was reminded that we didn't have any service. I just laughed, kicked up my feet and enjoyed the silence. Heather on the other hand was constantly stressed about missing phone calls from her awesome clients back in Parker County, and Weatherford TX, and had to drive 10 minutes up the hill in order to check emails and texts from her clients. She has several contracts at title right now and her buyers and sellers always have a lot of questions! LOL, Forget this I'm going fishing.
Check out the video below.
The following day we made our way down to the Cossatot Falls Access, The "natural Area." Some sources claim that the name of the river comes from an Indian term meaning “skull crusher,” but the term is actually French, cassé-tête (literally, “crushed head”)
"Just go over the bridge and turn left at the gravel road, you'll see the signs" the nice lady at the visitor center says. We didn't see any signs but we made the left on the gravel road. About fifteen minutes into the drive I was beginning to wonder if I was going to hear banjos. I'm fine with banjos, I like banjos. I just didn't want to hear that one song. Yeah you know the song! It seemed like forever and we hadn't seen another car or anything, until finally a lady in a Polaris ranger pulls up next to us. She says " yes sir you're about halfway there, most folks give up and turn around about here." Off we went. Just an FYI, I'd leave your Honda civic or your freshly waxed lambo in the garage. The terrain was definitely not friendly on the suspension or the paint job. Once we finally made it to the entrance we made our way down the bridge to the river. Little did I know I was about to get a workout I wasn't expecting...
As you can see the rocks and boulders are giant! You tip toe in and hope you don't run into something that hurts. You basically lift your legs up and walk on your hands. It's like doing a ninja warrior course underwater. We all came out with our bruises, but in the end it was a lot of fun! Needless to say we all slept well that night.
Be sure to check out the video below.
On our last day we decided to head back to one of our favorite places, Broken Bow Oklahoma. Fortunately it was only about a 45 minute drive from our campsite. We love to go explore Beavers Bend state park and especially the lower mountain fork river. The water is extremely cold even with the air temps reaching close to 100. The rocks are beautiful and a blast to explore, not to mention the great trout fishing.
Be sure to watch the video below!
Sure, we want to go explore Italy, Turkey and Transylvania too, don't get me wrong. But have you checked into tickets for 2 adults and 6 kids? Yeah I didn't think so. For now we are loving our mini vacations here and there. Maybe one day we can take that once in a lifetime trip. But for now, these are the memories that mean the world to us!!