A Guide to Visiting Purtis Creek State Park: Hiking and Camping One Hour East of DFW
January 1, 2024
Purtis Creek State Park is a peaceful place to hike or camp that is conveniently located an hour outside of Dallas, Texas. The park opened in 1988 and costs $5 per person without a Texas state park pass. As usual with Texas state parks, there are well kept trails, electrified campsites and beautiful scenery.
2024 Update: Purtis Creek is one of the Texas state parks in the path of the total eclipse occurring on April 8th, 2024! Be sure to make your reservation 30 days in advance if you plan on watching it here.
Purtis Creek State Park Camping
Purtis Creek has a variety of campsites to choose from. There are 59 campsites with water and electricity, some walk-out tent sites and several primitive hike-out sites. The hike-out sites are nice and secluded on the Beaver Slide Nature Trail. Some have lake views while others are more wooded. You can see photos of each site when booking your reservation.
Curious if it’s worth it to buy a Texas state park pass? Check out my article all about Texas state parks!
Purtis Creek State Park Lake
The lake in the center of the park has a boat dock with a speed limit of “idle only.” The lake is also known for fishing. Largemouth bass, catfish and crappie all live within the lake. You do not need a fishing license to fish there.
Purtis Creek Hiking
There are about 6 miles of trails within the park. The Wolfpen Hike and Bike Trail is divided in three sections, the red, blue and green loops. All of the loops wind their way through the trees with very little elevation change.
On the red loop, you’ll find a tree that bends in a 90 degree angle halfway up the trunk, which is very neat to see. The Beaver Slide Nature Trail is another nice trail, totaling 1.2 miles. The trail makes its way through the woods and over bridges with glimpses of Purtis Creek Lake. It’s also a good place to look for wildlife.
The Solar Walk trail is a flat path next to the lake that extends the length of the dam. There are signs throughout the path representing each planet in the solar system in distances that are to scale. This half mile walk is a great activity for kids!
Nearby Purtis Creek
Combine your trip with visiting some of the nearby attractions in the area.
East Texas Arboretum
Located just 15 minutes from Purtis Creek, the East Texas Arboretum is another great place to explore nature. The gardens have over 2 miles of trails and a mix of historic structures, flowers and greenery. You’ll find a barn with antique farm tools, a beautiful garden planted by a master gardener, shaded picnic areas and more.
Cedar Creek Brewery
About 20 minutes from Purtis Creek State Park, Cedar Creek Brewery is located near the Cedar Creek Reservoir. The brewery has a mix of outdoor and indoor seating and serves a variety of beers. Try the unique Smoked cherry Quad for a beligan-style ale with added cherrywood or a the Dankosaurus for an East Texas take on West Coast IPAs. The attached restaurant serves pizza, wings, sandwiches and more.
Canton, Texas is a 20 minute drive north of Purtis Creek and is home to the Canton First Mondays trade days. If you visit during the right weekend, check out the world’s largest flea market and shop for handcrafted goods, vintage items and more. The event happens once a month, check their website for details.
Explore More of the Piney Woods
If you want to visit more of the region, check out my north Piney Woods article with amazing things to do in the area, from wineries to eerie and mysterious lakes.
If you are looking for a place to stay nearby for a glamping experience, head over to my article on Getaway Piney Woods! These cabins are located about 35 minutes away.
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