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jimmyjazz

Camping near Austin

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I'm looking for a spot within 1-2 hours of Austin to go car camping with my wife & kids on Thanksgiving weekend.  Probably just one night.  We usually go to Muleshoe Bend, and might go back, but I'm curious to hear if there are any alternatives that might be better.  One problem in Travis County might be the existing burn ban -- I'm still waiting for a return call from the Parks Department regarding campfires in fire pits.  I assume other nearby counties are also under burn bans.

Proximity to water (lake or river) would be nice, but not required.  Bike trails would be great.  Are there spots near Canyon Lake, Lake Buchanan, etc. we should consider?  Other?

 

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15 minutes ago, Judge Roybeanbag said:

Pedernales  Falls, Inks, Beuscher - you probably should have made reservations by now though.

Inks Lake isn't sold out -- haven't checked the rest yet.

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Wow that's surprising.  Inks is usually pretty booked up, figured it would have been for that holiday weekend.  Good luck!    Further out is Colorado Bend (good hiking).

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Check into private lands.  The burn bans aren't as strict.  They do have to enforce a couty-wide burn ban when applicable but in general they allow ground fires in a ring when state parks don't.  My kids and I like camping at Reville Peak Ranch.  It's mainly set up for mountain biking and obstacle courses but you can hike their trails too or just relax at a campsite.  

https://rprtexas.com/activities/camping/

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3 hours ago, jimmyjazz said:

Inks Lake isn't sold out -- haven't checked the rest yet.

Make sure to hit the swing sets by the picnic sites on the water, across the cove from the boat launch. They have some giant old school pipe-framed swing sets where you can get a legit ~8 feet off of the ground if you put the hammer down. Last time I was there a few years ago they were still there. Brought back some awesome memories.

You'll also want to hike back to Devil's Hole.

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2 hours ago, Your Mom said:

Check into private lands.  The burn bans aren't as strict.  They do have to enforce a couty-wide burn ban when applicable but in general they allow ground fires in a ring when state parks don't.  My kids and I like camping at Reville Peak Ranch.  It's mainly set up for mountain biking and obstacle courses but you can hike their trails too or just relax at a campsite.  

https://rprtexas.com/activities/camping/

Looks interesting.  Chock full of Aggies, but interesting nonetheless.

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Blanco is usually open. On the other hand, it's not a lot of wide-open space, and it's right in the middle of town, so how enjoyable it is really depends on your point of view. I used to live about 3 blocks away from the park, so it never seemed all that special to me personally, but I have had a lot of people tell me over the years that their families really dug it. Probably too cold to go swimming by Thanksgiving, but there's plenty of interesting walks around. Not so much if you're looking for immersion in nature, though.

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20 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

Any of these spots rent kayaks or canoes?

Colorado Bend has kayaks, Buescher has canoes.  On Buescher, I haven’t stayed in one but they have some pretty cool looking screened shelters and cabins.  Inks does too but they’re hard to get.

Paddle rentals:

https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/parks/things-to-do/boat-rentals-at-state-parks

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I actually don't love their campsites at ERock, IMO if you're not climbing there are better places to camp.  Plus it's likely that climbers and scouts have the good spots reserved already.

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I doubt there will be spots there, pedernales and most state parks that weekend. State parks reserve quick. Check out the lcra parks or other Travis county parks. Some of those are overlooked.

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Some private/alternative options:

Sulphur springs camp near Colorado bend. Private campsites, should allow a campfire.

Tejas camp on lake Georgetown. Army corps lake, setup campsites near the parking lot, built in fire rings. The river is really cool there.

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