Fairfield Lake State Park is a beautiful Texas State Park located about 90 minutes southeast of Dallas. With over 130 campsites located around Fairfield Lake and plenty of outdoor activities, you're sure to find something for everyone at this peaceful spot.
We visited Fairfield Lake State Park for two nights in October 2020. For reference:
- We are a family of six, with four kids aged toddler to teen.
- We camp in our 29ft East to West Travel Trailer.
- We typically bring our Sheltie, Emme, with us when we camp.
Activities at Fairfield Lake
Fairfield Lake State Park offers plenty of activities for everyone from hiking, biking, bird watching, and swimming. We decided not to bring our kayaks this trip but regretted it slightly when the late October weather surprised us with warm days in the 70s.
Hiking at Fairfield Lake
We hiked the 2.0mi "Nature Trail" that hugged the shoreline with the additional 0.4mi "Scenic Loop" option. The paths were well maintained and there was plenty to look at. We saw tons of animal tracks and prints, as well as evidence of hogs passing through. We even saw deer grazing in the brush for a few moments before they hurried off.
The majority of the trail was shaded by tall trees and offered a handful of opportunities to look out over the lake. I don't know if it was the off-season or the current state of travel, but we didn't see anyone else on the trail. The only people we talked to during our hike was a pair of anglers (in their boat) that we could see through one of the clearings.
The "Nature Trail" at Fairfield Lake was an easy hike for our kids. I don't regret doing the 0.4mi scenic loop (which didn't look much different but included a few benches to rest and observe), but I will say that the hike was probably 0.5mi too long for our four-year-old. I wore our three-year-old on my back and only let him out to walk the last 0.5mi or so, otherwise we might not have made it out before dinner (ha).
Biking at Fairfield Lake
On our first day at Fairfield Lake State Park, we biked around to see the park, the Nature Trail entrance, and one of the boat ramps. We're used to biking on gravel and dirt county roads, so gliding on the smooth pavement was nice.
The next day, while the boys were napping with Emily at the campsite, I took the girls trail riding on the same Nature Trail we hiked that morning. There were a few points where Sophia (8yo) needed to walk her bike as the elevation with all of the tree roots proved too difficult, but for the most part, it was an easy ride.
When we finished the trail, we decided to bike more of the park. We rode over to the second boat ramp, amphitheater, and explored the Hill Homestead Well.
Fishing at Fairfield Lake
We didn't get the chance to do any fishing at Fairfield Lake State Park this trip but plan to the next time we visit. We saw a handful of anglers fishing from boats during our hike, but no kids. There is a fishing pier and a place to clean fish, but nowhere inside the park to buy bait.
Fairfield Lake is 2000+ acres and has a maximum depth of 49 feet. The lake was previously used as a cooling reservoir for a nearby power plant, which made the lake warmer than average, but that plant closed down in 2018.
RV Campsite #45 at Cooks Ferry
This was our first time choosing a campsite, so we weren't sure what to look for in regards to location. We chose RV Campsite #45 at Fairfield Lake State Park because:
- It was available. We purchased the travel trailer only two weeks prior and were surprised how booked up everything was!
- It had the hookups we needed. We wanted a water hookup and 30-amp electric hookup. None of the sites offered a direct sewage hookup, but there is one dump station near the park entrance.
- It had a view of the lake and was within walking distance of the public bathrooms/ showers. We weren't sure if we would enjoy the latter, but we did. Again, I don't know if it was because we camped during the week, the late season, or complicated travel situation, but our area of the park did not seem to be crowded.
This site was a back-in; a pull-through would have been nice but it wasn't difficult by any means. Next time I would definitely try to choose a site where the camp area (picnic table, space to play) was on the same side as the RV door. Ours was on the opposite side at this campsite and, while not a big deal, it is something I will be cognizant of in the future.
What the Adults Thought
Considering this was our maiden voyage, it was a great success. The weather surprised us with crisp mornings and cool, sunny days- perfect for hiking and biking. The kids slept well which was another surprise. We weren't sure how the little ones (especially the youngest who is still in a crib at home) would do in the shared bunks.
Meal Planning while Camping
I was most proud of Emily's meal planning. We ate well and even managed to finish off all of the leftovers. Here's what we packed:
- Dinner: Pulled Pork Tacos (made in the Instant Pot Mini)
- Breakfast: Instant Oatmeal (made with an electric kettle)
- Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (made with an electric griddle)
- Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup (made in the Instant Pot Mini)
- Breakfast: Homemade Pancakes (made with an electric griddle)
- Lunch (as we headed out): Leftovers + turkey and cheese sandwiches
Our only complaint was the hard-as-a-rock mattress. We are spoiled by our Tempur-Pedic at home, but it seriously felt like we slept on a concrete slab. We will be looking into replacing that sooner rather than later.
What the Kids Thought
Isabella: Hiking and biking the trails was my favorite thing we did at Fairfield Lake State Park. I enjoyed being out in nature and was surprised by all the trash I found. I picked up all of the cans and plastic bags I came across.
Sophia: My favorite part was on the last day (Saturday) when more families moved into the park. There were a lot of kids and I wish we had more time to race our bikes up and down the hill in front of the campsite.
Ian: I liked hiking and that we didn't see any bears. I did not like that the park only had swings.
Eli: I liked dad's hammock.