Ray Roberts SP -- Johnson Branch Review & Rating
Ray Roberts SP -- Johnson Branch Overview:
Johnson Branch is a large park with over 1500 acres on the north side of Ray Roberts and it has 104 sites with water and electric and 50 primitive sites for hiking in and tent camping.
Johnson Branch is situated along the shores of the 30,000-acre Ray Roberts Lake and it is a part of the Ray Roberts Lake State Park Complex which consists of the two state park units (Isle du Bois and Johnson Branch), six satellite parks (Jordan Unit, Pond Creek, Pecan Creek, Buck Creek, Sanger, and Elm Fork), Wildlife Management Areas, wetlands, waterfowl sanctuaries and the 20 mile Ray Roberts Lake to Lake Lewisville Greenbelt Corridor - which is excellent for hiking or biking, birdwatching, and horseback riding.
Johnson Branch Unit is very well maintained and it is a perfect place to spend a weekend camping on the lake, fishing, boating, or biking and hiking.
Amenities and Fun Things To Do:
Johnson Branch Unit has 5 areas for camping - two of which have 50 primative walk-in campsites, one has water and electric for tent camping only, and the two remaining areas with around 100 sites have water and electric for tent, trailer, or RV camping.
There are a number of great sites on the water and the majority of the sites are shaded, have somewhat level pads, a picnic table, and fire pit.
In addition, to some good campsites, Johnson Branch Unit has a number of other amenities, some of which include:
- showers and restrooms
- trailer dump station
- picnic area and playgrounds
- two group picnic pavilions
- roped off beach swimming area
- boat ramps and ample trailer parking
- fish cleaning facility
- amphitheater and kids fishing pond
One of the reasons we love Johnson Branch Unit is because is has some of the best and most challenging bike trails in Texas. There are over 10 miles of mountain bike and hiking trails that wind through the trees, up and down the hills, and along the lake. Sections of the trail are technically very challenging for mountain bikers.
There is also a 2.6 mile paved hiking and biking trail for beginners, kids, or just an easy ride through the country side.
A Typical Texas Outsider Day:
We enjoy staying in Johnson Branch for the camping experience, riding the variety of mountain bike trails, and boating on the lake.
We are partners with Free Spirit Adventures and you should consider them for a fun adventure to Ray Roberts Lake SP – Johnson Branch. As a full service camping outfitter, they offer customizable camping adventures and they take the chore out of camping by:
- setting up camp
- preparing all of the meals
- providing 5 star outdoor comfort with top of the line equipment
- and guiding you through amazing destinations with a variety of things to do
And Free Spirit Adventures offers Texas Outside Visitors a 20% discount on an adventure with them.
Here is an example of a typical day with on a trip to Ray Roberts State Park's Johnson Branch Unit with Free Spirit Adventures.
The first morning we are up bright and early to prepare a tasty Over the Campfire breakfast for our sleeping adventurers.
As soon as the fire begins to crackle, out comes the bacon! The oink oink is cooked over the open fire until crisp. A couple 14” Dutch Ovens are lined with sliced bread, forming what will be a crust for our Sunrise Breakfast Pie. Then eggs are beaten, seasoned, cheese is added, then poured over the bread. Last but not least the oink oink joins the mixer, the lids are shut, and the lump coal is added. Once done we have a high protein, tasty breakfast, served to you like a slice of pizza, on an enamel plate, with fresh coffee, and orange juice.
Now that everyone’s tummies are at maximum happy, it’s time to load up the gear for the ride. We’re taking a short country drive to the Ray Roberts Lake and Lake Lewisville Greenbelt Corridor. The greenbelt is a wilderness area with approximately 10 miles of multi-use trails and waterways for mountain bikers, hikers, kayakers, equestrian use, and nature photography. The 1,500 acre Ray Roberts Lake/Lake Lewisville Greenbelt Corridor runs North and South along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, connecting Ray Roberts Lake with Lake Lewisville.
After the ride, everyone is ready to cool off, and relax. Back at camp we already have the Igloo full of Gatorade and bottled water is chilled and ready to drink. While everyone is relaxing in the camp chairs, talking about the ride, we’re whipping together a fresh light lunch. Dorito Salad – Cheddar Doritos topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pinto beans, or optional black beans, fresh sliced avocado, shredded mozzarella cheese, with Italian dressing.
After everyone’s food settles, it’s swimming time! Johnson Branch has a nice beach/swimming area and it also has some good private areas to go swimming at as well.
After the cool relaxing dip in Lake Ray Roberts and a happy tummy, the eyes can sometimes get a little heavy. While some of the group retires to their tents for sheep counting, others grab their tackle boxes and fishing poles. Fortunately, we have a great private lakeside campsite, right on a sweet fishing spot. So even if you’re no pro fisherman, you’ve got a pretty good chance of hooking a catch.
With the sun down, the sheep counters are up, and so is the campfire. Of course where there is a campfire, comes the cast iron tasty meals, stories, laughter, good times spent in Mother Nature, and memories made to last a lifetime.
Cool Nearby Activities:
There isn't a lot to see and do that's close to Ray Roberts State Park Johnson Branch Unit, so plan on spending all your time enjoying camping, the lake, the trails, and friends and family. Have fun.
- Overall Rating:
- Scenic Beauty:
- Things To Do:
Texas Outside uses a tough rating scale and it’s difficult for a campground to get a “10”. Each park is rated on:
- Scenic Beauty: a campground that is flat with no trees or character gets a “1” and hills, lots of trees, beautiful lake site, and lush ground cover gets a “10”
- Park Condition: the cleaner, well kept, and maintained campgrounds receive high scores
- Amenities: we are looking for lots of amenities like restrooms, dump stations, playgrounds, boat ramps, shelters, concession stand, rental toys, and more.
- Campsites: low scores are given for sites that are right next to each other (good for getting to know your neighbors, but not what we’re looking for when we’re camping); have no lantern holder, no water or electricity, no fire pit, no grill, or no picnic table (or it’s rotten wood); have no trees and no view; the ground cover is crushed rock (my bare feet hate that stuff!); and they require a lot of work to get your rig level.
- Things To Do: Bonus points are given for campgrounds that offer lots of fun things to do at the park or very nearby – this includes: biking, hiking, climbing, boating, entertainment, golf, swimming, fishing, volleyball, horseshoes, and more