We were pleasantly surprised and impressed with Lake Corpus Christi State Park which is 4 miles from Mathis and 40 miles north of Corpus Christi. We expected it to be on a small dry lake with flat surroundings, cactus and low lying sage brush. Not the case – most of the sites are under some trees (albeit not giant hardwoods, but still trees offering shade) and there are plenty of waterfront sites, the terrain is gently rolling, the picnic areas have covered tables and are a stones throw from the water, and Lake Corpus Christi is much bigger than expected. A very nice park.
Lake Corpus Christi State Park, a 356-acre park, is located on the 21,000 acre Lake Corpus Christi. Many of the park facilities were built by the Civilian Conservation Corp and the park opened in 1934.
The park and nearby natural areas are home to many migrating birds including black-bellied whistling-duck, purple gallinule, white-winged dove, pauraque, long-billed thrasher, white-eyed vireo, pyrrhuloxia, and black-throated sparrow. The Park is also home to a variety of wildlife including Javalina and white tail deer.
The Park staff was very friendly and outgoing and does an excellent job of keeping the Park clean and well maintained.
Lake Corpus Christi State Park has 6 different camping loops with 108 sites that are a mixture of water only; 21 water and electric sites; and 24 pull through sites with water, electric, sewer, and 20/30/50 amp service. Some of the sites are close together, others are more isolated, and they range from open to shaded. All have a picnic table and firepit and most have covered picnic tables. The pull through sites have a small and fairly level parking pad and all the other sites have a paved parking pad.
A lot of the water only sites have excellent lake access (less than 100 yards to the water) when the lake is at normal level. The majority of the full hook-up have a view of the lake as do most of all of the other sites. Each camping loop has a restroom with showers.
On a bluff overlooking the lake are 24 screened shelters, some of which are labeled as “shelters with amenities” meaning they have heating and air conditioning and windows. All of the screen shelters have a picnic table and fire pit and some have great views of the lake – like number 14, 15, and 18.
Some of the other amenities at Lake Corpus Christi State Park include:
Bring your fishing pole, Lake Corpus Christi is pretty good for fishing for crappie, striped, large mouth, and white bass as well as blue, channel, and flathead catfish. Kids don’t need a fishing license to fish in State Parks in 2011 and most likely 2012.
We enjoyed our short stay at Lake Corpus State Park on our way from Austin To South Padre Island – what a great way to break up the trip. We rode bikes around the Park, explored the Old Pavilion, threw rocks off the walkway to try and hit the lake, and took a walk and bike ride on the short trail through the woods where we spotted several deer.
This is one of those Parks where you want to park the rig, pull out the camp chairs, gather around the fire with stores and marshmallows, and drop in line in the lake! A relaxing weekend.
We didn’t have time to explore Mathis, but it’s a very small town and doesn’t look like it has much, if anything to see and do. On the other hand, Corpus is only an 40 miles south and is loaded with lots of fun things to do from fishing to museums to sailing charters to exploring the aquarium or an aircraft carrier that served during World War II. Check out our Corpus Christi Map and Ten Things to See and do in Corpus Christi.
Texas Outside uses a tough rating scale and it’s difficult for a campground to get a “10”. Each park is rated on: