Review of Hamm Creek Park, Rio Vista Texas
Located about 8 miles west of Rio Vista, Texas and along the banks of the beautiful Brazos River is the small, quiet, clean, scenic, and somewhat unknown Hamm Creek Park. Located below high wooded hills, the Park is home to day use areas and camping areas including full hook-up RV sites, equestrian sites, and tents sites.
Hamm Creek Park was constructed in the 1950s as part of the recreation plan for Lake Whitney and in the 1980's it was the primary recreation area for military personal stationed at Carswell Air Force Base. The Park closed in 1990 and Johnson County took over the operation and maintenance of the Park from the Corp of Engineers in 2007. Johnson County made a number of improvements to the Park and has done a superb job of keeping the Park clean and well maintained.
Hamm Creek Park is home to a variety of wildlife from boar hogs to bobcats, fox to wild turkeys plus armadillos, raccoons, opossum, and white tail deer as wells lots of our feathered friends - cardinals, geese, purple martins, blue jays, hummingbirds, and more. Hiding in the Brazos River just waiting for your bait are smallmouth and largemouth bass, sand bass, channel catfish, sunfish, gar, crappie, and flatheads.
Hamm Creek Park has two boat ramps but in early 2014, the water level was down 11 or more feet. The ramps are open but it's not possible to launch anything larger than a small fishing boat or john boat. It's perfect for putting kayaks or canoes in the River. Call ahead and find out the River condition and water level before you visit.
Hamm Creek Park is a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and get away with the family or friends for a fun relaxing weekend or a weekend filled with games around the campfire, hiking or biking, kayaking, fishing or boarding/sking if you have a boat. Just the drive into the Park from the small town of Rio Vista (population 890) is scenic and relaxing - farm and ranch land followed by rolling hills and lots of trees.
Hamm Creek Park has 10 primitive camping sites with covered picnic tables, grills, and fire pits - all of which are along the bank of the Brazos River. Across the road and a large grassy area from the day use and tents are the RV and equestrian sites. The entrance to these sites are secured by a gate requiring a code. There are 21 very long (over 80') pull through sites plus 9 back sites. The first 5 sites have water, electric, and sewer hook-ups and rest have water and electric (30 and 50 AMP service) plus a large covered picnic table, firepit, trashcan, and grill. All of these sites are very spacious with lots of room to spread out. A few of the sites have limited shade with small trees. Most of the sites have some gentle slope that may present a challenge getting level without blocks. The hook-ups are conveniently located for an quick hook-up.
Equestrian campers will love Hamm Creek Park! There are 10 equestion sites with water and electric, long parking spots, and picnic tables under some great shade trees. There is also a corral for the horses.
The roads and sites are paved and wide enough for big rigs to maneuver. There is plenty of parking for boat trailers at the ramp, extra vehicle parking throughout the park, and parking for horse trailers at the equestrian sites.
Some of the amenities at Hamm Creek Park include:
There is a quarter mile nature trail that leads to Hamm Creek and a spring fed pool plus a rugged trail for mountain bikes, hiking, or horse back riding - the trail traverses through the trees and up and down the rolling hills with some great views from bluffs up to 500 feet.
As mentioned earlier there are two boat ramps but the water was so low that the ramps were not usable for large boats. With the water level down, you can still launch small john boats or canoe or kayaks.
This stretch of the Brazos River is very scenic and it's perfect for swimming, fishing, or boarding/skiing. The Park side of the river has a bank while the other side is a sandy beach. Most of the Park is covered by a "no wake" zone and even with the water level down over 10' the River is still up to 10' deep.
The staff is very friendly and helpful and seems to want to make sure that you enjoy the Park and surrounding area during your visit.
We come to Hamm Creek for the pure joy of camping, enjoying nature and the River, and getting away from the city for a fun weekend with the family or friends.
We like to take the easy half mile hike that winds through trees, vegetation and along the creekbed to a natural spring. Along the way you'll see a variety of plants, lots of homes where animals live, interesting rocks, and if you're lucky you might find some fossils or maybe an arrowhead.
When the water level is up and we can launch the boat, this stretch of the Brazos River is excellent for skiing, boarding, tubing, or just pulling up on the sandy bank for swimming or a picnic. About 15 miles down river, the Brazos River turns into Lake Whitney with some towering cliffs, clear water, and good coves. Read our review of Lake Whitney to learn more.
If we stay at Hamm Creek for a few days we'll typically try to get away for a round of golf at nearby Squaw Valley Golf Course (two great courses), Cleburne Golf Links, or White Bluff which also has two excellent courses.
If you're looking for a scenic drive, then take FM 916 to FM 1108 to FM 1434 which leads into Cleburne State Park.
If you've got a boat, as you cruise down the Brazos River toward Lake Whitney, you'll see some very interesting rock formations and cliffs such as Indian Head Cliff, Bluff Mills, Robinson Bluff, Klondike Ranch, and Bee Mountain, some of which are over 700 feet tall. The River is usually not crowed with boats and the bluffs protect it from the wind meaning you'll find smooth water plus stunning scenery, and some great sandy beaches.
A few miles from Hamm Creek Park is Low Water Bridge Canoe Rental at U.S. 67 and FM 199 where you can rent kayaks, canoes, or tubes and enjoy the Brazos River - they also have a shuttle service.
Rio Vista is the nearest town and it's small but has a restaurant (Roughnecks) that we hear has pretty good food and a cool atmosphere, a Subway, liquor store, and a little more.
If you play golf, you're surrounded by some great courses - here is a North Texas Golf Map to help you find some.
Texas Outside uses a tough rating scale and it’s difficult for a campground to get a “10”. Each park is rated on: