Autumn in Big Country

We made a long weekend trip in the RV after lunch on Thanksgiving Day, and it was our first time to be in lovely Abilene State Park in the month of November.  What a treat we found there as the leaves were changing color.  Even though we were just a bit past the prime fall colors, it was still a treat for us to see the vibrant red oaks, as well as the many beautiful live oak trees, too.  While we have visited the park in other seasons, all pictures in this post are from our most recent November trip.

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Elm Creek Trail Head parking area
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Gorgeous red oaks turning
Elm Creek Nature Trail Head
Elm Creek Nature Trail is a great walking trail around the park
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Elm Creek Nature Trail (The best night geocache ever is on this trail, too.)
Elm Creek Nature Trail Bench
One of several nice benches on Elm Creek Trail
Elm Creek Nature Trail Marker
A marker on Elm Creek Trail
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Beautiful park road near Brushy Trail Campground
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Hiking path to the bird blind
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Bird blind
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Information sign at the bird blind
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Brushy Trail Campground ahead
Brushy Trail is gorgeous when all of the trees are leafed out
Brushy Trail Campground is gorgeous when all of the trees are out in non-winter months
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Screened shelters sites are still very popular here in warmer weather months
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The restroom / shower building in the large trailer area is very nice!
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The new yurts are nice, and the group building is just across from these.
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Entering Oak Grove Campground
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Prickly Pear Cactus
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Campsite in Oak Grove Campground
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Road between Oak Grove and Pecan Grove Campgrounds
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Near Pecan Grove Campground
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Fall colors
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Campsite in Pecan Grove Campground – smaller trailers only
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Pecan Grove Campground, smaller trailers only

The photos above primarily show the trailer camping areas in the park, except for Wagon Wheel Campground that is also nearby.  Wagon Wheel is a large grassy common area with nice trees and restrooms that is surrounded by large trailer water and electric hookups that is more suitable to group and open camping needs.  For those wanting to spend time at the pool area in summer months, Wagon Wheel is a perfect choice because it is the closest trailer campground to the pool and concession area.  There is also a nice tent campground with large trees in a different part of the park, too.

The beautiful day use area in the park has many large trees, picnic tables and restrooms, and the CCC era buildings, including the newly renovated swimming pools that are so popular in the summer months, are an outstanding and popular feature.  The old buildings are beautiful and add so much character to the park that is now celebrating its 80th year.

CCC Pool House and Observation Deck
CCC Pool House and Observation Deck
CCC Pool House and Pools
CCC Pool House and Pools, taken from the Observation Deck

We first discovered this park in February 2012, and we return fairly often for long weekends away in the RV.  We also overnighted here on two occasions in route to state parks further away.  This is an extremely popular park for RVers, and most weekends tend to be booked up in advance for the large trailer sites.  However, sites are usually available in Wagon Wheel at the last-minute, if needed.

Geocaching is a great family friendly activity at this park, and in my opinion, it is the best state park for geocaching that we have visited to date.  My goodness, what fun we had when we visited here with some family members in April 2013 and found so many great geocaches.  We also embarked on the Elm Creek Trail at night with the teenagers and our flashlights to find the epic night cache.  We found the cache, but we also got lost in the dark trying to find our way back to camp.  All eventually turned out well, but we learned to set “markers” on our GPS unit when attempting a feat like this in the future.

The quaint and historic town of Buffalo Gap is only five miles from the park, and we always enjoy visiting the town on each visit.  If time permits, pay a small fee to see the Buffalo Gap Historic Village, and check out several interesting gift shops in town.  While there are a few small restaurants in Buffalo Gap (not on the main road), Perini Ranch Steakhouse sits between the park entrance and Buffalo Gap, and I would encourage any first-time visitors to plan to dine there for lunch or dinner while in the area.  Reservations might be needed, as it is a legendary Texas steakhouse and will not disappoint.  For a quick trip into Abilene, just drive fifteen minutes on Buffalo Gap Road to visit the mall and many restaurants and stores nearby, including two large grocery stores, Albertson’s and United.

On a different note, my holiday baking escapades will be happening once again this week, and I am ready to get started.  A few new recipes will hopefully make it into the preparation schedule, along with our regular favorites.  As things progress, I will share some photos and recipes here.

Also, my mother once again took a nasty fall in her apartment on Sunday, but thankfully, she did not break anything this time.  Just to be on the safe side, the ambulance carried her to the ER so that she could be checked out thoroughly and make sure she did not break her pelvis once again that she fractured back in January.  We were there about four hours before they finally sent her back home, and I still made it to a scheduled Christmas party on Sunday night.  All is fine today, and she will take things very easy this week as she recovers from the trauma of the fall.

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Author: DK

Blogger at My Five Fs (Faith - Family - Food - Fotos - Fun) and Animal Wonder. Empty-nester that now shares life with my hubby and our two standard poodles. Enjoys camping in our RV, taking and editing photos, trying new low-carb recipes, baking pretty decorated cookies for special occasions, walking daily, spending time with family and friends when we can, playing with the dogs, and is grateful to God for every single day of this blessed life and for the opportunity to share and connect with some great people here.

4 thoughts on “Autumn in Big Country”

  1. Looks like another lovely Texas State Park. We moved this morning and are staying on the bay at Goose Island State Park. The weather should be nice for our 3 night stay….. fingers crossed. The list of great places in Texas to stay is growing longer all the time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure it is lovely to be on the coast right now, as it is still very nice even up here, too. This park has some really nice oak trees, and we do enjoy going there regularly, especially when we want to enjoy the trees, as those are a bit more rare further north. 😉

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