If you find yourself in a rut, maybe what you really need is to spend some time outdoors, disconnecting from your cellphone reconnecting with all that nature has to offer.
Well, before you buy your tent and promptly plant it in the random woods behind some suburban strip mall, read through this guide to find out what the best campgrounds are for you and your outdoorsy needs.
You Never Go Camping, and Lowkey Hate the Outdoors
You’re trying really, really hard to convince yourself that you actually don’t hate nature, yet you scream at the sight of a cockroach and aren’t even really sure how to start a fire. If this is you, and you’ve decided that for whatever reason you still want to go camping, I suggest “glamping.”
Also known as, getting drunk in a big, fancy cabin with your friend group where everyone kind of hates each other and hoping some weird axe-murderer doesn’t ruin the fun.
Lake Houston Wilderness Park is your closest bet if that sounds like something you’d be into. It’s only about an hour away, and boasts 5,000 acres of city owned forest.
The cabins here have hotel-like accomodations, and run about $100 a-night. Not bad if you plan on staying with a big group of people and aren’t too picky about where you sleep. Outside of the cabin, you will find plenty of places to hike and do actual outdoorsy stuff, so don’t worry, you’ll be able to get pictures that show how much you absolutely love the outdoors for your IG feed/Tinder profile later.
Other options for those of you hoping to have the least-outdoorsy outdoor experience you can include: Bastrop State Park, Scenic Hill, El Cosmico and Walden Retreats.
You’re a Total Newb, But Still Want the Traditional Camping Experience
No outdoor cabin for you, you want to be out in the wilderness with nothing but the cloth of your tent keeping you covered. The only problem is, you can’t even remember the last time you went camping.
A three-hour drive to the outskirts of Austin at Inks Lake might just be what you need.
While there are lodging options as well, Ink Lakes is a super friendly way to ease yourself into the camping experience. There are public restrooms for campers to use, a nice big lake to swim and fish in and plenty of trails to hike down. This is a great place to bring your dog too, as you won’t have to worry about any dangerous wildlife.
Other newb-friendly but still enjoyable camping grounds include: McKinney Falls State Park, Colorado Bend State Park and Pedernales Falls State Park.
You Are One with Nature, and LOVE To Go Hiking
Get ready to put together that playlist and start downloading some podcasts, because you’re going on a roadtrip out west to Caprock Canyons State Park, about eight and a half hours away, and situated between Lubbock and Amarillo.
This park boasts an expansive 15,000 acres, and will seem very tempting when you find the urge to just drop everything and get away from your busy life.
Once you make your way out here, you’ll need to leave your car far behind and hike up 1.25 miles to reach the campsite, which honestly isn’t too bad. But you will need to bring everything up there with you, including your gear, water and food. This can get pretty heavy depending on how long plan on you staying up there.
John Haynes Ridge is a fairly flat overlook that you might want to check out, but just be aware that you’ll need to climb vertically for roughly half a mile over gravel ledges and broken rocks. There’s also a six-mile loop surrounding this trail that will take you through hoodoo formations, and a small creek bed. Primitive campsites can also be found just off this trail, for those that want to feel extra close to nature during their trip.
The trails are set-up so that you can use them for wildlife watching (this area has tons of bison to check out) or even mountain biking.
Other places perfect for the outdoor and hiking enthusiast include: One Star Hiking Trail in Sam Houston National Forest, Lost Maples State Natural Area and Trail Between Lakes in the Piney Woods.
You Want to Be Near The Water
Marshes, lakes, beaches, whatever, you just want somewhere near the water where you can go for a nice swim, catch some good fish and have fun paddling.
Sea Rim State Park has just what you need. Encompassing 4,000 acres of marshland and dunes, this place has more than five miles of shoreline and is brimming with wildlife.
There are miles and miles of paddling trails, making it a great spot for canoers and kayakers alike.
You also get to decide how outdoorsy you want to be here. There are $95-a-night-cabins for you stay at, and RV campsites as well. You can even plop your tent right onto the beach, or choose the camp’s $15 floating campsite dock, only accessible by boat.
Other options for the water lovers include: Matagorda Island, Galveston Island State Park, Caddo Lake State Park and Lake Livingston State Park.