A Lesser-Known State Park In Texas Is A Pretty Escape Perfect For Camping

Texas is a state travelers can count on all year long to provide adventures of all kinds. Whether it's rodeos and Southern BBQ that pique your interest, or you're looking to enjoy stops in wine country paired up with a sunny coastal town retreat, you'll find it all here. However, if you're specifically heading to East Texas on your next getaway and looking to enjoy a lesser-known destination that's refreshingly scenic and ideal for camping, you'll find it at Mission Tejas State Park.

One of 89 state parks Texas hosts according to Texas Parks and Wildlife, Mission Tejas State Park is an off-the-beaten-path gem that's wonderfully rich in history. It's also a great place to immerse yourself in nature when you're looking to unwind, recharge, and enjoy time far from any crowds. Located in Grapeland off State Highway 21 East, Mission Tejas State Park provides guests with a remote destination to experience where even cell signals are hard to find. The park's pristine placement near the Davy Crockett National Forest means you can indulge in pinewood surroundings and replace the stress of city life with wildlife watching and new discoveries in nature instead. Since opening in 1935, it's a place that continues to draw in visitors looking for something different from the typical state park experience in Texas.

Enjoy tent or RV camping at Mission Tejas State Park

If you're looking to enjoy a multi-day stay at Mission Tejas State Park, it's a picture-perfect place to enjoy either tent camping or RV camping depending on your preferences. If you choose to park your RV on-site, you'll want to keep in mind that this smaller campground is only designed to accommodate RVs up to 28 feet long. In total, there are 10 RV campsites to choose from that are either back-in or pull-through accessible. Each RV site is paved and set up to support electric and water hookups. You'll find a BBQ grill at your RV campsite as well as a picnic table, fire ring, and a lantern post. For added guest convenience, the RV campgrounds include access to on-site showers as well as a dump station.

Park guests excited for a more primitive camping experience can opt for one of the 17 tent camping sites at Mission Tejas State Park. 15 of those sites have water and electricity included while two are water-only destinations. In addition to the nearby restrooms, the tent campground is designed with sites that are set up with a picnic table, fire ring, and a grill. There's plenty of parking available and sites are shaded to make for a comfortable stay even in the middle of summer.

Spend time hiking, fishing, and wildlife-watching

Choosing to camp at Mission Tejas State Park maximizes your opportunities to get out and explore the local scenery as well. Hiking is a great way to admire the landscape here while also enjoying encounters with historic landmarks along the way. You'll find you have easy access to around 8.5 miles of hiking trails on-site that can be explored at your own pace. If you choose to head out on the Nabedache Loop, you'll be treated to lush forested terrain that runs right along the historic El Camino Real. This historic stretch of land is part of a Spanish road system dating back to the 1690s. Some trails at the park take you past a replica of a 1690s-style Spanish Mission while other routes run right past the Rice Log Home which dates back to 1828.

When you're ready to swap out your hiking gear for a fishing pole, you'll find the pond close to the park's picnic area is a great place to cast a line. You don't need a fishing license in hand to enjoy time on the water here and the same goes for an afternoon out seeing what's biting along San Pedro Creek. If you happen to be a bird-watching enthusiast, you can always pair your fishing with time training your eyes on the skies overhead. There's a good chance you'll see blue jays, cardinals, and woodpeckers along the way as well as deer in the surrounding forest.