Shirley Creek Marina & Campground Review & Rating

Texas Outside Rating: 5.2

Shirley Creek Marina & Campground Website
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Shirley Creek Marina & Campground Overview:

Shirley Creek Marina has gone through some tough times in 2009 and early 2010 during which time the facilities and campsites were neglected.  New management has taken over in 2010 and is committed to significant improvements and upgrades with a goal of making Shirley Creek Marina a premier park in Texas. 

A majority of the improvements are planned to be completed by March 2010 and the priorities include:

  • redoing a majority of the overnight RV sites that are near the water to include: level sites, 30 and 50 AMP service, great water views from your door, picnic tables, room for big rigs, and fire pits
  • general clean up and operational improvements
  • limestone paved campsites and roads in the campsite area
  • redecorating and upgrading the cabins
  • adding a sandy beach and swimming area

Several other improvements and upgrades are planned for 2011, some of which include:  a store with staples, fishing gear, bait, and more; gas dock; fishing pier; restaurant; pavilion with a kitchen area; additional boat ramps; hiking and biking trails; day use area; improvements to the primitive camping area; possible kayak and canoe rentals; and more.   After a meeting with the new owners and the current manager, there is no doubt in my mind that this could be one of the best destination RV parks in Texas offering several fun things to do, special events, good cabins, and great lakefront camping.

If you set the right expectation, today and until the improvements are made, this is a very good place for lakeside camping or staying in one of the cabins and enjoying a weekend boating.

Today's rating is based on our experience prior to all the improvements.  My guess is that when all the upgrades are done, this park will be one of our top 25 favorite parks.   Come back in March and read our updated review.

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Amenities and Fun Things To Do:

All of the following will change significantly starting in September 2010.  The 30 existing sites closest to the water have 30 amp and water but most are small and very difficult to get any size camping rig level.  The front row sites are less than 100 yards from the water and have a great view of the marina and a good sized cove.  The shoreline in front of the sites is perfect for overnight boat parking. 

There is a mixture of overnight and full time sites further up a hill with limited lake views.  Most of these sites have 30 and 50 amp, water, and sewer hookups.  All of the sites in both areas are well shaded. 

There are 12 duplex log cabins available for rent.  Each of the duplex cabins are one bathroom and one bedroom with two double beds and a living and kitchen area with a sleeper sofa, TV, mini fridge, 2 burner stove, and a kitchen sink.  When we stayed in one of the cabins in September 2009, they were very functional but in need of upgrading.  Linens and pillows were provided but there were no utensils.  The new owners will be redecorating the cabins and making some needed improvements like queen beds, flat screens, better refrigerators, and more.  There is one cabin in not a duplex and has two bedrooms.  The cabins are on a bluff and a short downhill walk to the marina and water. 

Some of the amenities as of September 2010 included:

  • monthly boat slips
  • an office with ice
  • primitive campsite area
  • two lane boat ramp and ample parking
  • dated swing set and fort

We have plans to come back in March to update this review.


A Typical Texas Outsider Day:

Shirley Creek Marina is located on the north end of Sam Rayburn Reservoir, which is a beautiful lake with over 560 miles of shoreline.   The north end of the lake is littered with tree stumps, which makes this end of the lake perfect for catching some huge fish.  Boat lanes as well as recreational boating areas have been cleared to give you access to the largest portion of the lake (which is relatively stump free) and to areas for skiing, boarding, or tubing. 

When we stayed at Shirley Creek, we enjoyed all of the typical camping activities - games, good food, campfires, starlit nights, swimming, and unwinding after a hard work

But one of the main reasons we come to Shirley Creek is to enjoy all that Sam Rayburn has to offer.  It is a beautiful lake with plenty of coves, sandy beaches, and smooth water.  Read our review of Sam Rayburn Reservoir to learn more about the lake and what there is to see and do. 

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Cool Nearby Activities:

Shirley Creek is about 25 miles east of Lufkin and less than 35 miles from Nacogdoches and San Augustine - all of which offer some things to see and do ranging from Antiques to Zoos. 

We have played and reviewed some golf courses in Lufkin as well as Nacogdoches.  In fact, Lufkin is home to Crown Colony which is consistently ranked as one of the best in Texas.  And Sam Rayburn Resort is undergoing some changes and should reopen their course in 2011. You can use this map of East Texas Golf Courses to find some good courses to play. 

Angelina National Forest is nearby and offers hiking, biking, birding, and lots of beautiful scenery and wildlife.

Campground Information

Website Link
Locate This Park:
Area Map
Texas Outside Favorite Sites: The new (March 2010) waterfront sites will be fantastic

Campground Rating

Overall Rating:
Scenic Beauty:
Things To Do:

Additional Pictures of Shirley Creek Marina & Campground

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Texas Outside Campground Rating System

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