possum kingdom state park

Possum Kingdom State Park – Family Vacation Guide

For a Texas retreat that boasts hill country views and a serpentine lake, Possum Kingdom State Park is a picturesque option.

Possum Kingdom State Park

We enjoyed a three-day weekend getaway at Possum Kingdom State Park during the first weekend of October. Arriving around noon on Friday, we found some shady campsites with minimal slope to set up our tents. The campsites are uneven, so if a flat area is unavailable, it’s best to sleep with your head elevated uphill.

After setting up and snacking, we headed to the swimming hole. A roped-off section of the lake keeps boats at bay, and there are ample covered picnic spots with grills for relaxation. Post-swim, we explored the park, returned to our campsites, lit a fire, and prepared dinner. Our site featured a fire ring with a swiveling grill cover and a separate charcoal grill. Dinner consisted of steaks, hot dogs, burgers, and baked potatoes, enjoyed around the fire before we called it a night — the perfect conclusion to our day.

possume kingdom lake fishing hole

On Saturday, we rose early, enjoyed breakfast, and ventured out to try our luck at fishing. Shore fishing can be challenging, especially when trying not to encroach on rented sites—commonly fully booked on weekends—or navigate through dense shoreline vegetation. Despite these challenges, it was still enjoyable to fish.

They say a bad day of fishing beats a good day at the office, and indeed, even with just the occasional nibble from bluegill on our lures, the experience was preferable. The fishing slowed as the wind increased, but the on-site store did offer live bait, and the shoreline teemed with minnows, ripe for catching with a cast net if necessary.

I had hoped to rent a kayak for fishing, but the weather conditions and wind speed regulations made that option unfeasible, so shore fishing was our activity for the day.

Post-fishing, we explored the park’s trails. The paths provided stunning lake vistas, though they bore scars from past fires, with some sections engulfed by regrowth. The trails, steep and strewn with rocks, would occasionally open up to clearings, presenting idyllic spots for a picnic or to snap a scenic photograph.

possum kingdom lake

There are still plenty of reminders of the fires from 2011 such as all the burned trees with black trunks, but the area is starting to recover as other plants and animals move back in. The deer were plentiful and always coming down from the hills to say hi to campers.

burned out trees possum kingdom lake

Once back down from our hike, we cooked dinner and spent another night by the fire.  Park was bustling, and the smell of all the campfires filled the air.

Sunday morning was our first day of fall in Texas for many of us. We finally had some colder weather, and we hit the dew point, so everyone woke up thinking it had rained, but instead we were just welcomed by one of our first signs that fall was finally here. We enjoyed relaxing and hanging out and slowly packed up camp to head home. It is always nice to end a peaceful weekend with a cup of coffee and some cool weather while we wait for the tent and gear to dry before packing away.

We came in with no real plans other than a weekend of relaxation and Possum Kingdom delivered. We were a little saddened we couldn’t get the kayaks out, but such is life.  I look forward to a future trip and hope to explore more of the lake by paddle and try my luck at fishing again.

Things to do at Possum Kingdom State Park

Park Store

The park store offers snacks, drinks, firewood, kayaking, canoe rentals, and all the camping accessories one could need. A word of warning though if there is any wind, they won’t rent out kayaks or canoes.  While it can be disappointing to make the drive out there with hopes of renting a kayak to explore around on, I do understand they don’t want you getting blown across the lake and getting stuck; the high wind does seem to be an unpleasant fact this time of year at the park (fall).


Possum Kingdom State Park offers many different campsite options from Primitive sites a short hike from parking to sites with water, electricity (30 amp and 120v service), and cabins.

All the non-primitive tent sites are close to bathroom and shower facilities.  Primitive camping has a bit of a hike to the nearest facility.

Campsites include picnic tables, fire rings, and primitive sites include a pole to hang anything that would attract wildlife. The critters are fast to eat garbage or food left behind, so secure it away or utilize the poles.


Possum Kingdom SP includes a boat launch ramp and plenty of parking for trailers. There is a nominal launch fee for the boat ramp.

A fishing pier is also located adjacent to the park store and provides an excellent spot to fish in a calm cove.

Restrooms and Showers are located across the park and within walking distance of campsites, parking, store, and boat ramp.


There are lots of activities available at Possum Kingdom State Park.  As mentioned earlier, there is a swimming hole, a canoe & kayak rental at the store, and a boat ramp to launch your boat. There are hiking trails around the park; however, ever since the fire, many of the trails aren’t as well marked as they used to be.

Possum Kingdom State Park Activities:

  • Hiking
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Swimming
  • fossil/mineral hunting
  • open areas for frisbee/catch/sports

While hiking the trails, you are exposed to some fantastic views of the lake when you hit spots free from trees.

In some parts of the lake along the hills and cliffs, primarily where the Brazos River flowed, you can often find good fossil beds in the shales/slate rocks to hunt around for some fossil treasures.


Possum Kingdom state park has an interesting historical element to it; it was the last of the Texas parks built and managed by the CCC – The Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC was a public relief program that started as part of the New Deal to get young 17 to 18-year-olds back to work, and it was the Possum Kingdom, State Park.


I couldn’t read enough about the CCC and recommend following the above links to learn more.

Massive wildfires hit the Possum Kingdom in 2011, burning 90,000 acres but the park and surrounding area are recovering quickly.

Directions to Possum Kingdom State Park

Take U.S. Highway 180 to Caddo, and then go 17 miles north on Park Road 33.

The Park HQ is located at:

(degrees, minutes, seconds) N:  32° 52′ 25.17″
Longitude (degrees, minutes, seconds) W:  98° 33′ 34.20″




Is this the lake that the band is named after?

Yes. Yes, it is.

When is the best time to visit Possum Kingdom State Park?

Spring and Fall are the best times for camping to avoid the heat and not be too cold, but nothing can beat spending the summer on the lake if you enjoy boating, swimming, and water activities.

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Possum Kingdom State Park Guide

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