About half-way between Houston and Austin just outside of the small town of Somerville, the Lake Somerville State Park is a scenic haven for spending time outdoors. This gorgeous state park features a gently rolling landscape dotted with several waterways, providing visitors with a scenic backdrop to enjoy a wide range of outdoor recreational activities. If you are planning a visit to Lake Somerville State Park, you won’t be disappointed!
Lake Somerville State Park is a large reservoir, with over 85 miles of coastline. The Lake Somerville State Park wraps around the northern, western, and southern edges of the lake and also encompasses Flag Pond. With a visit to Lake Somerville State Park, you can explore both the northern section of the park, known as the Birch Creek Unit, and the southern section of the park called the Nails Creek Unit.
In both park units, you will find a variety of recreational opportunities, including swimming and fishing in the lake. If you plan to swim in the lake, keep in mind that this man-made reservoir is only 38 feet at its deepest point. This means that the water temperature can become very warm during the mid to late summer months and very cool during the fall, winter, and spring months. The swim areas are largely extend out for many feet at a shallow depth, making this a swimming area well-suited for families. However, swim shoes are recommended to protect your feet from the natural vegetation and rocks on the bottom of the lake.
Both of these units at Lake Somerville State Park also feature picnic areas and camping on campsites with water and electricity hook-ups. In addition, the park features designated areas for horseshoes, volleyball, and basketball. With these amenities that are uncommon at most Texas state parks, Lake Somerville State Park is a great place for large family gatherings and group events.
One of the most popular features of Lake Somerville State Park is the 20-mile Somerville Trailway. The Somerville Trailway connects the Nails Creek and Birch Creek units, and wraps around Flag Pond and other smaller duck ponds. The trails are ideal for hiking, biking, and even equestrian use. Birdwatching is also popular, as Flag Pond and smaller dock ponds at Lake Somerville State Park are home to an abundant variety of waterfowl. The trails are especially beautiful during the spring months when the bright blooms of native wildflower add brilliant color to the landscape.
As you explore the trails and other areas of the park, you will find a variety of beautiful native wildlife and vegetation. Trees that grow naturally here include yaupon, post oak, hickory, blackjack oak, and water oak. Animals that you may see at the Lake Somerville State Park include white-tailed deer, coyote, fox, rabbit, and a variety of waterfowl. The lake itself is home to white bass, crappie, largemouth bass, and catfish, making it a popular fishing spot.
If you plan to visit Lake Somerville State Park, plan to bring plenty of sunscreen any time of year. While some of the area is shaded, there are a large number of wide open spaces in the camping areas, along the lake, and on the trails. While these wide open areas provide for excellent enjoyment of the breathtaking landscape, they also can give you quite a sunburn any time of year.