The 540-acre Lake Brownwood is close to the perfect escape for those living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. At a drive time of two hours, it’s just close enough to be convenient but just far enough that, as you drive down the highway and shamelessly sing-along to Taylor Swift (don’t deny it), your brain will make the mental switch from your old life—work, crazy neighbors, blaring televisions—to your new (albeit temporary) one—wildlife, cooling dips in the lake, and fireside chats. The hiking is pretty moderate and good for the beginner or casual hiker. Most everything at this park revolves around the lake, though: jet skiing, swimming, and boating are all great here, and the fishing is particularly excellent (even average anglers can easily land bass, catfish, crappie, and even sunfish). It’s all but impossible to leave here unrefreshed, even if your friends judge your T-Swift car karaoke (shake it off, you sound wonderful).
Lovely little camping loop on the lake. Snag a site between 38 and 45 to be closest to the water. Not a lot of privacy, but a good bit of space to spread out. Make friends with your neighbors (they might just work for REI and have awesome gear advice).
Lake Brownwood State Park, located in Brown County, is 537.5 acres acquired by deed from the Brown County Water Improvement District No. 1 in 1934. The park was opened in 1938.
Near the geographical center of Texas, the park is situated on Lake Brownwood, a 7,300-surface-acre reservoir created by damming Pecan Bayou, which is a tributary of the Colorado River. Many structures in use today were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s from timber and native rock found in the park.