Home » Camping is more than a tent at Cooper Lake State Park

Camping is more than a tent at Cooper Lake State Park

by Taylor Nye

Have you ever been camping? If not, how would you like to get started? Do you know your camping comfort level? Cooper Lake State Park is a perfect place to explore camping since the park has such a wide variety of overnight opportunities! The park contains two unique units perched on the banks of Cooper Lake. The South Sulphur Unit, which is the largest of the two, is located on the south side of the lake, and the Doctors Creek Unit on the north side. Both parks have a wide variety of camping site types available. Just like Goldilocks, you can find something that’s “just right”! From people who wish to stay in their own motorhomes or travel trailers, to those wishing to camp in a tent by the lake, and even to those who don’t own any camping gear at all, Cooper Lake State Park has something “just right” for the night enjoying the great outdoors!

The cabins at the South Sulphur Unit come furnished with beds, kitchen, and a bathroom. Most of them include beautiful lakeside views. The only thing for you to bring is linens and cookware.

For a cozier experience at either side of the park, we have mini cabins. These smaller cabins are one room structures with two bunk beds, mini fridge, microwave, and AC/Heat. Again, no camping equipment is required. Just bring your pillows, sheets, and blankets from your house and you’re ready to go!

The screened shelters are next level in amenities. These shelters help protect you from the rain while still letting you enjoy the view. Bring your air mattress, hammock, or whatever you want to sleep on, and skip the tent for the weekend. So, you have too many people to fit in the shelter? Go ahead and bring the tent and pitch it next to your shelter.

For those wanting to spend the weekend in their motorcoach, RV, or camper van, both park units have water and electric sites with some having lake views. South Sulphur has a camping loop available for equestrian campers right next to over fifteen miles of hiking/equestrian trails. All of our sites except for our cabin area are also available for tent campers who want electricity to help beat the Texas heat or cold. You can park right at your site, unload, and get setup for a weekend at the lake.

For a more primitive experience, the South Sulphur Unit has 15 water-only sites along the lake’s edge. These sites share a parking lot, and you are only a short walk away from your tent home for the weekend. For a group experience, Doctors Creek has a group site for multiple tents that will accommodate up to forty-eight people. This site has amazing lake views!

Once you have decided on your camping comfort level, be sure to make your reservation by visiting TexasStateParks.org or by calling (512)389-8900. Both park units fill up 3 to 4 weeks in advance

on weekends most of the year, so reserve your site early. Once you arrive, enjoy your weekend fishing, hiking, swimming, boating, dark sky stargazing, join a ranger led educational program, roasting marshmallows over the campfire, or just enjoy nature resting under a giant post oak. Texas State Parks are great places to relax, recreate, and recharge your soul!

Park entrance fees are $5 for adults, with kids twelve and under always free. Senior Texans 65 and older will only pay $3 to enter the park daily with a Bluebonnet Pass. Unlimited park entrances for you and everyone in a vehicle you are in can be accomplished with the purchase of a Texas State Park Annual Pass for $70. This pass is good for over 12 months from the date of purchase. All programs are free with a valid entrance permit

For more information on this or other events and programs, visit the Facebook pages:

  • Cooper Lake State Park – South Sulphur 903-945-5256
  • Cooper Lake State Park – Doctors Creek 903-395-3100

UPCOMING EVENTS

Doctors Creek Unit
Saturday, November 6 – DC 
Skins and Skulls – 10 a.m. @ Doctors Creek Headquarters – Get an inside look at some of the creatures that live in our park.
Sunday, November 7 — DC
Reading with the Ranger – 10 a.m.  Meet at Doctors Creek Pelican Point Day Use Area. 
Explore nature in literature with a ranger.
Saturday, November 13 —DC
Fossils – 10 a.m. @ Doctors Creek Headquarters 
How are fossils created? Take a journey back in time as we discover how fossils were formed.

Saturday, November 20 — DC
Dutch Oven Cooking – 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Doctors Creek Pelican Point Pavilion. Join the NETDOGs as they prepare an assortment of food using cast iron cookware.

Sunday, November 21 — DC
Becoming a Jr. Ranger – 10 a.m. Meet at the Doctors Creek Headquarters; learn what it takes to become a Jr. Ranger.

Saturday, November 27 — DC

Walk Your Dog in Wildlife – 10 a.m. Meet at Doctors Creek Cedar Creek North Loop – Bring your pups for a walk in nature.

South Sulphur Unit
Saturday, November 6 – SS

Skins and Skulls – 2 p.m. @ South Sulphur Heron Harbor – 
Get an inside look at some of the creatures that live in our park.

Saturday, November 13 — SS
Fossils – 2 p.m. @ South Sulphur Heron Harbor – How are fossils created? Take a journey back in time as we discover how fossils were formed.

Sunday, November 14 — SS
Photography Walk – 10 a.m. Meet at South Sulphur Coyote Run trailhead. Join us on a short walk gathering tips and tricks of outdoor photography. Cell phone cameras will work just fine on this walk.

Friday, November 19 — SS
Campfire Stories – 7 p.m. Meet at South Sulphur Sunset Cove Day Use Area.  Bring your campfire stories to share with us and bring your S’mores fixings!

Saturday, November 20 — SS
Kid Fish – 1 p.m. meet at South Sulphur Heron Harbor fishing wall. Join us we celebrate Universal Children’s Day learning to fish.

Friday, November 26 – SS 
Stargazing – 7 p.m. meet at the South Sulphur Swim Beach. Join us as we explore the late Autumn night sky. 

Saturday, November 27 — SS
Walk Your Dog in Wildlife – 1 p.m. Meet at South Sulphur Coyote Run Bring your pups for a walk in nature.

Sunday, November 28 – SS
Nature Journaling – 10 a.m. Meet at South Sulphur Heron Harbor for a morning of observing nature and the varied ways to record our findings.

Contributed by Steve Killian

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