Trip Report: Ray Roberts Lake State Park

Ray Roberts SP is about 45 minutes to 1 hour north of Dallas and Fort Worth and offers lots to do during a camping trip or a day visit. There’s no better way to beat the Texas heat or to enjoy cooler autumn temperatures than to spend some time outside at the lake.

This park is very special to my husband and I because we just celebrated our October wedding there at an amphitheater on a trail near the headquarters. The couple that goes outside together, stays together!

Ray Roberts SP has two main units where you can camp, hike, kayak/canoe, and enjoy a family day grilling in their day-use areas. The main units are Isle du Bois and Johnson Branch and they are open from 6am to 10pm, 7 days a week, all year long! There are also satellite units where you can use the self-pay station. 
We’ve camped many times at this park (Isle du Bois Unit), made a dutch oven dinner at one of the day-use sites, and our favorite activity is to kayak on the river in the Greenbelt Corridor!

Spending Fourth of July on the Greenbelt!
Day Visit
July 2012

Both sites get a fair amount of use throughout the year and are a great place for boating. There are almost always boats on the water. We’ve never been on the water, except by kayak, but hear great things from our neighbors. Both main units get pretty busy during major holidays, like Fourth of July. We went to the Isle du Bois unit two July’s ago and it was packed! We were hesitant to launch our kayaks just because there were so many boats and we’re not quite experts…yet! We ended up visiting the Greenbelt Corridor at the Elm East area and found complete solitude. It was great because the friends in our group had never been on a kayak or canoe, so we got to teach them in a calm environment. If you enjoy having a little more peace while you’re getting outside, consider the Greenbelt Corridor for day-use on a major holiday. Every other day, though, definitely visit the main units and get to know the Interpretive Ranger. They’re always having events.

If you do go camping in summer (yes, we went camping two weeks after Fourth of July because we’re crazy like that) I would highly suggest getting a site with electricity and water at your campsite. It just makes it a litter easier to bring a fan and to stay hydrated. And bring a tent, tarp, or some kind of canopy because some sites only have very little tree cover. We always hear about “summer camping”, but I think we realized that only people in the Northern US enjoy summer camping. Camping in a Texas summer isn’t for the weak, but it sure is fun to swim in that cool lake water!

Our kayak on the bank near our campsite
in the Hawthorne Camping Area
July 2012

How much does it cost to visit?

What can you do at Ray Roberts?
  • picnic
  • camping (group, water/electric, equestrian, and developed)
  • hiking
  • biking
  • horseback riding
  • swimming at the beach
  • boating
  • fishing
  • primitive camping/ backpacking (Johnson Branch Unit)
  • Lantana Resort (Jordan Unit)
  • Lake Ray Roberts Marina (Sanger Unit)
  • Greenbelt Corridor (bike/equestrian trails & great kayaking/canoeing trails)
Visit the Interpretive Center and learn about the area and the local animals! 
© 2013, Bienvenido Adventure. Republication requires a link back to the original post and permission from the author.