We visited Inks Lake State Park at the peak of wildflower and bluebonnet season. With our State Parks Pass in hand, we wanted to find a park that was within a short drive (in case there was a freak-out moment) so the boys could have their first camping experience. Inks Lake has waterfront cabins in addition to tent camping, and that worked out perfectly for our family.
Heads up that Central Texas campsites at many state parks fill up FAST in the spring. We booked this trip a month ahead to get a Friday night spot. It only got more crowded by Saturday. Checking other parks’ availability nearby, many were booked up on weekends almost 2 months ahead.
Besides our Parks Pass, the best investment we made was picking up a Chillax Hammock from Costco. They normally retail for $70, and Costco was selling them for $35. The Big Kid spent the entire afternoon and early evening, lounging in the hammock. If the night hadn’t gotten chilly, he probably would’ve slept in it too.
Thankfully, my husband is an experienced camper and got a fire going for us, grilled, set up the lantern and cleaned up any cooking messes. It was nice to be pampered, enjoying the lake, the breeze and the hammock. We even had a goose visit us, and the kids braved the chilly water to take a quick dip. They stayed up WELL past bedtime, playing with flashlights and making shadow puppets inside of the cabin.
The next morning, we were up bright and early. The husband got the camping stove up and running to make coffee and breakfast tacos. After we cleaned up and packed out, we took full advantage of our visit with hiking.
The Big Kid has really impressed me with his hiking skills. He especially loves any opportunity to climb on top of rocks, so we took some scenic detours to peak down at the little waterfalls below. People were sunbathing and swimming. We were trying to keep our kids from getting a little too close to the edges of cliffs!
It probably doesn’t help that they see me planking in precarious places. 😉 It’s all My Peak Challenge‘s fault.
Bluebonnets were everywhere at the park (we went in mid-March) and even along the road leading into the park. There were numerous photo opp spots, and we couldn’t help but take as many pictures as our kids would allow.
We weren’t sure after our long hike whether the kids could handle any more adventures, but after a re-energizing lunch, the Big Kid insisted on renting a canoe. You can’t really tell in the pic, but Bear Shark was nodding off in the back. The gentle rocking of the boat and the warm sun made it perfect napping conditions. We took the canoe out to Devil’s Hole, where crazy teens were cliff jumping, and then back to the dock. A little ice cream snack before we hit the road, and we had two sleeping kids on the drive home.
A successful first “camping” trip under our belt! We have more State Park visits planned this year. I hope I can stay on top of blogging about them without getting too far behind. We really enjoyed our visit and plan to go back, even just to lounge in a hammock the whole time.
Inks Lake State Park
3630 Park Road 4 West
Burnet, TX 78611