Pre-Christmas Camping

I would rather camp than be in the stores before Christmas, especially this year. It's just not the same. I was supposed to have Boondockers this weekend, but they cancelled so I made last-minute reservations and hit the road. 


Birch Creek Unit, Lake Somerville State Park

14222 PR 57, Somerville, Texas, USA 77879
Burleson County
979-535-7763

Type of Park: State 
Check In: 2p    Check Out: 12p
December 22-24, 2021 - 2 Nights

⛺ Site #73, Old Hickory Loop - Back-In


πŸ’²20 per night + $4/person/day entry fee
Daily fee waived and 1/2 off 2nd night with the Texas State Parks Pass

• Water
• 20/30 amp (had 50 amp outlet, but only 20 & 30 breakers)
• Fire Ring with adjustable height grate
• Picnic Table: Wood with metal legs, has a canopy, concrete base
• Site Pad: asphalt. Site was long enough for my camper and my truck and was about double-wide
• Accessible site: wide site, concrete walkways (there were others available in the park so I didn't take the last one)

πŸ‘πŸ» Pros:

• Near the water with a trail to get there
• Green space between the site and neighbors
• Good buffer from the wind

πŸ‘ŽπŸ» Cons:

• No complaints

πŸ“ Park Notes: 

• Park does not have a gate 
• Dump Station for each camping loop
• Restrooms / Showers in each loop
• Boat ramp
• Old Fishing jetty/pier is closed
• This campground is better for winter camping. Great buffer from wind and neighbors. Only a handful of sites have direct access to the water.
• Lots of trails
• There are Munzees (including a new one I put out) and Geocaches here
• Group pavilion/kitchen available
• 2 group shelters available
• 🎣 They recently stocked the front pond with rainbow trout


🐦 Wildlife:

• Birds: Shore birds, gulls, egrets, herons, cardinals, mockingbirds, chickadees
• Deer
• Squirrels

πŸ’œ Highlights of this trip:

• Walking the trails
• Finding Geocaches
• Campfires at night and in the morning to make breakfast 
• I love using the packets that change the colors of the flames - AFTER I have done my cooking.
• My brother changed out some light fixtures - LIGHT!!!
• Solo Trip
• NOT being in the stores a couple days before Christmas!
• My son is coming out later to spend Christmas Eve night at the house


πŸ›’ Check out some of my favorite Gadgets and Gear



Fall Camping at Lake Somerville

Nails Creek Unit, Lake Somerville State Park

A nice, quiet fall camping weekend on Lake Somerville. It was a solo trip and since the weather was warm, I brought my kayak on this trip. πŸ‚


6280 FM 180
Ledbetter, TX 78946-7036
Burleson County
(979) 289-2392
Type of Park: State
2 Nights
Check In: 2p   Check Out: 12p

Site #26 - Back-In
πŸ’²20 per night + $4/person/day
Parks Pass Discount saved $18.00 (no daily fees and 1/2 off second night camping fee)
  • Water
  • Max Electric: 30 amp
  • Fire Ring with grate
  • Picnic Table: wood with metal legs, concrete base
  • Site Pad: Asphalt, level, long enough for my camper and truck with room to spare
  • Corrals for horses
πŸ‘πŸ» Pros:
  • Extra parking places across the street
  • Can see the lake from this spot
  • Directly across from the trail to the restrooms/showers
  • Nice green space between this site and neighboring sites. Plenty of room for slideouts, awnings, etc. 
πŸ‘ŽπŸ» Cons:
  • There's not a direct trail to the lake shore other than animal trails through some of the tall grass
  • The table and fire ring are on the non-camping side so it was a little strange. Very dark at night on that side. 


πŸ“ Park Notes: 
  • There are two Units in Lake Somerville State Park. Nails Creek (this park) and Birch Creek (where I stayed recently)
  • Dump Station
  • The Bent Tree and Cedar Creek Camping Areas have a portable trailer for the restrooms and showers. The main buildings are closed from the previous flooding episodes.
  • There are Munzees and Geocaches here
  • Miles of trails in the park and between this and the Birch Creek Unit
  • Great trails for equestrians 🐎 (Equestrians can only access the trails from the Nails Creek Unit. Birch Creek equestrian areas are under reconstruction)
  • 🚫 Some of the trails and areas of the park were closed this weekend due to public hunts
  • Enclosed Group Shelter is available for events (no kitchen). There is a small parking lot next to it though.
  • Family Fishing Pond in the Cedar Creek Camping Area 🎣
  • The open style pavilion near the entry gate doesn't appear to be open. Looks like it's is structurally unsound from previous flooding as well.
  • Eagles have been seen around the Lake but I didn't see any on this trip πŸ¦…


🐦 Wildlife:
  • Birds: Great Blue Heron, Cardinals, Chickadees
  • Deer
  • Squirrels
Crocs are not the recommended hiking shoes


πŸ’œ Highlights of this trip:
  • πŸ”₯ Campfires and breakfast over the fire (and a good steak too)
  • πŸ• My brother came for a short visit to walk the dog. We hit some of the trails and drove around the park.
  • πŸ’š Found a couple geocaches and put out a few Munzees
  • πŸ›Ά I took the kayak out and there was only ONE other boat on the lake
  • πŸ‚ Nice fall colors, but a lot of leaves are starting to fall off already
  • 🌟Warm temperatures and clear nights. Lots of stars are visible out here.
  • πŸ’² Renewed my Texas State Parks Pass
  • 🐴 Several people had their horses with them
  • πŸŽ‚ Came home for Mama's birthday and time with the family πŸ’•
  • 🚘 77 miles round trip - 10.5 mph  

Only saw ONE other boat while out kayaking for about 45 minutes


Cool Outdoor Accessory

I have really been getting a lot of use out of this small side table on my camping trips lately. It's extremely lightweight. I can carry it with one finger. It is quick and easy to set up and take down. Since it's aluminum, you don't have to worry about melting it with hot utensils. It's great next to the grill or fire ring and does double duty as a side table to hold my adult beverages and snacks when I'm relaxing in my rocking camp chair. Just thought I'd share. Check out my demo below. 

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