Beyond The Water's Edge At Eisenhower State Park & Birthplace - Denison, TX
I decided to visit this State Park during the last part of November, just before Thanksgiving when the leaves were putting on their final showcase of the season and casting their amber and red tones everywhere. It was absolutely breathtaking to pull into the park and start to see this area unfold around me.
Eisenhower is named for our former president, Dwight D Eisenhower, who was born in nearby Denison, Texas. Opened in 1958 to tourists as a Texas State Park, the area is divided amongst lake activities and wildlife preservation. In more recent years they have added ATV trails to accompany the bike and walking trails, the swimming beach and the outdoor amphitheater and pavilion.
Day use here is only $5 or for those camping you can easily find a perfect fit for your needs between $12 and $25. I noticed depending on the loop of camp you are enjoying amenities do vary as to site sizes. All sites except primitive and a single specialty reservation lot were equipped pretty standardly with a metal picnic table and fire ring with grill. The biggest differences were in that some had electricity and water while others had neither.
I really enjoyed the spacing of the campsites, though the area I was visiting for the day had neighbors the spacing managed to mask any noise that might come from their camp. The tree coverage in the area was amazing and shady, I can only imagine this to be a necessary feature during the hot Texas summers.
Since I was only able to enjoy the park for a day, after enjoying one of the campsites for a lunch, I took to the hiking trails and explored the many areas there are to check out. I was most excited about the swimming beach, it reminded me of the beaches I had seen in Nevada nestled along the Colorado River in groves of mountainous rocky mountains. It felt secluded and while the beach area itself was a mix of rocks and sand, it could be a great retreat on a warm day for some fun with the family. The steps down to the beach captured my attention, I later noticed the same steps repeated by the marina and also by the amphitheater. They were unlike poured concrete and made for a more organic feel to the landscape. Created by bags of concrete hardened then used as pavers the surface provided a perfect step that was both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
A few things to remember about Eisenhower:
In this area throughout camp and other parts of the property you might see bats, armadillos, beavers, coyotes, deer, opossums, rabbits, bobcats, raccoons, foxes, squirrels and roadrunners. In addition, during warm months you can see a variety of snakes hiding on rocky surfaces so always be aware of your surroundings and remember to keep your food items secured inside your vehicle.
The Lake is a BIG draw. This is one of the more popular stops along the massive Lake Texoma. Because of this you can take advantage of fishing, utilize the boat ramp and boat houses or rent one of the many watercraft they have to offer. CLICK HERE for more information about the lake, requirements of fishing and boating, activities available and any current advisories.
There is an interpretive guide online which will completely give you a better perspective of the park and some of what it has to offer. CLICK HERE
Overall I would give the State Park a 4 of 5 stars. I feel as though the park is large enough to accommodate large groups, essential during the busy lake season including holidays such as the 4th of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day. With the spacing it provides, not only can it accommodate crowds but it can make for a still enjoyable experience when visiting on these busy seasons.
Activities vary for those seeking non-lake related things to do, this is of great interest to me as a traveler who does not often hit the lake on one of my adventures. I like that there is an option for someone like myself to be able to if I choose however it isn’t the sole focus of the site.