Camping at Village Creek State Park
So, I went back through my blog trying to find a post about Village Creek State Park. I only found this one but that post isn’t even specifically about the park itself. The first time Chris and I visited the park was sometime in the fall/winter of 2010. We drove down from San Augustine, Texas on a few days off from field work in Sabine National Forest. I think we visited in conjunction with a visit to the Big Thicket units down near VCSP, but either I didn’t take photos or I didn’t bother to blog about it. Kind of weird for me not to have written about that trip, this being a nature/outdoorsy blog and all!
Nevertheless, we found ourselves back at the state park last weekend. We did not have camping reservations for February but I had looked at the forecast for Valentine’s weekend about 10 days ahead of time and it was looking really good for camping. Hitting up campgrounds around Houston or the Hill Country would likely be hit-or-miss in regards to having campsites open. I suspected that heading to east Texas would reveal more open campsites. We waited until a few days out from the weekend to make the reservation in order to be sure the good weather forecast was going to stick.
There is only one campground at the state park with services, electricity and water, and another area with primitive walk-in sites of about 500 feet from the parking area. We like the sites with services just because it makes everything a little easier with the toddler, but we’ve had to do primitive sites before. No big deal. I have to say, the campground at this state park was very weird. Most people already complain about the lack of privacy between campsites in campgrounds, at least here in Texas and in some areas of Florida. I’m not sure how it works in other state parks around the country. But at VCSP you are really stacked up against your neighbor. I don’t know what they were thinking when planning the sites but there is little room for privacy. Now, if you are an RVer, and that’s about 90% of people in campsites with service these days, that’s probably no big deal. You can retreat to your RV for quiet! For tent campers, this set up is not ideal at all in this state park. Another very odd thing was that each campsite also came with tent pads. Great idea if you want to protect sensitive resources and prevent erosion, but not ideal for family sized tents in this era. 10×10 sites in the early 90s when the park was built were probably what was popular then and Texas Parks and Wildlife hasn’t adapated with the changing times. The tent pads were definitely not ideal for people like us who get giant tents! We were assigned a campsite and immediately didn’t like it because of the nearness to our neighbor. Driving through the rest of the campground to see if another site was suited better, we quickly found there weren’t many, really, that would work with our tent. In the end we went with the campsite we were assigned and set up our tent off the pad in the woods a bit. It felt a little like encroaching onto our neighbor’s side but in reality it was so far back that they weren’t going to be going that direction anyway.
Aside from all of that, the park is really diverse and beautiful! We took a half day off on Friday so we’d have a little more time to enjoy the weekend and not feel rushed by getting out on Saturday morning instead. Because we had that bit of time, once we set up our campsite we took off down the Village Creek Trail and hiked a bit.
We came across the only snake we saw the entire weekend, a sweet little ribbon snake. Chris and I were surprised we didn’t see more snakes considering the weather was warming up and it was quite sunny. Perfect for sunbathing snakes!
The evening hike was restorative for all three of us and we hadn’t even gone very far, yet!