Abilene State Park

Saturday, June 14 through Monday, June 16, 2003

HOME -> Camping

See more pictures taken at Abilene State Park

Abilene State Park is located near Tuscola and Buffalo Gap , Texas.  Both towns are 25 or 30 miles south of Abilene, Texas which is in the Panhandle Plains region of Texas.   The Texas State Parks web site has information and a map of the park.

This is a great park.  It is around 25 miles south from the Abilene city limits.  The parks main feature (other than nature) is the swimming pool and Lake Abilene.  This region has suffered from a nasty drought over the past few years.  Even though they received around 5 inches of rain this past week, Lake Abilene is still very low.  We drove by the lake on Sunday afternoon (it is across FM 89 from the park) and didn't see any boats out on the lake.  The lake water levels looked very low.

That may explain why the park didn't fill up Saturday night.  Most folks had left the park Sunday morning.   Sunday night and Monday morning were quiet. 

We got one of only three spots with sewer hookups.  It seems that all campsites have good shade from trees.  The trees aren't as tall as they are in Bastrop or Goliad State Parks.  However, the trees are tall enough to canopy over the campsites.   Around the campsites are live oaks which provide the bulk of the tree canopy.   I was disappointed to find so many "cedar" trees.    "Cedar" trees are really non-native invasive junipers.  These trees are all over South Texas and the Hill Country and they are pushing native grasses and trees out.  See the bottom of this page for a "cedar."

While the park is 25 miles south of Abilene, it is still pretty remote.  We had to drive 25 miles from the park to find an open gas station that sold diesel on a Sunday.   The drive (US 277) was interesting because it highlights the geological boundary between the plains and Texas Hill Country.

I've seen rabbits, a fox, deer, an armadillo, butterflies, and birds.  The folks in the campsite across from us said they saw a raccoons and armadillo.  Sunday morning on my nature walk, we smelled the distinct odor of a skunk.

Click on image for larger format picture.  Abilene State Park//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Abilene State Park//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Abilene State Park//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Abilene State Park//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Abilene State Park//

Above is our campsite.  In the picture above right, you can see the nose of my truck poking out from our campsite.  The folks across from us were very nice.  One of the men helped my back the trailer into the spot.

The pictures below show trails around Buffalo Wallow.  They recently had heavy rains (around 5 inches I heard) and all the creeks, rivers, and lakes were full of red water.   Red like the red dirt in Oklahoma.  Not red like blood.  The large pool of water in some of the pictures below is Buffalo Wallow.  Apparently, long ago before nearly all buffalo were killed, this area used to be a major migratory route for buffaloes.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built the water tower, swimming pool, refectory/concession stand and other things around the park.  The sign below and to the right is adjacent to the pool area.   The sign says "Campfire Tails - Saturday nights 9:30."  We would have gone had we known.  Sounds like real fun.

Click on image for larger format picture.  Abilene State Park//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Abilene State Park//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Abilene State Park//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Abilene State Park//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Abilene State Park//

This tree is adjacent to our campsite.  I just like the look of it.
Copyright © 2003 Larry Pearson, All rights reserved.