Tyler State Park

Located north of Tyler, TX just a few miles from I-20 on exit 562 is Tyler State Park. The park is managed by Texas Parks and Wildlife and hosts a 64 acre, spring fed lake. It’s the perfect place for a morning paddle if you like to beat the crowds and the Texas heat.

Kayaks and paddle boards are available for rent from the onsite boat-house and more than 140 campsites are nestled among the pines trees. Boats are allowed on the lake, but are restricted to 5 mph.

Looking north across the lake at Tyler State Park

A $6 fee per adult will net you a day pass.  Be sure to arrive early on summer weekends as the park reaches capacity and the rangers turn visitors away when the parking maximum is reached.  We generally arrive at 7:30 or 8am and paddle for 2 to 3 hours.  Activity picks up by 10am.

We found that the best places to launch were the boat ramp or the north parking lot near the swim and bath house.

The north parking lot has a well manicured grass beach with a cement bulkhead, stairs into the water, and a swim platform.   The parking area is 20 to 30 steps above the water, so be prepared to carry your board down a cement staircase. No dogs allowed on the grass beach.

If you have a canine companion or prefer to park near the water the boat ramp may be best for you.  It’s also on the north side of the lake and provides ample parking and easy access to the water.

View from the boat ramp at Tyler State Park


Name: Tyler State Park

Location: 97 miles east of Dallas, TX or 11 miles north of Tyler, TX

Cost:  $6 per adult, $70 for annual state park pass

Size:  64 acre lake

Fishing:  Yes, stocked

Boats:  Yes, but 5 mph limit

Special Note:  Great place to spot turtles

Best time to go:  Sunrise to 10am, May-October

Watch out for: errant fishing lures and fish hooks

Rentals available: Yes – kayaks, stand up paddle boards, paddle boats, canoes, john-boats

Camping available: Yes – 143 sites, many with water, electric, and sewer connections. Group facilities and cabins also available. Check the official park website for reservation information.

Also see: 13 miles of hiking and mountain bike trails


Smooth water on a summer morning at Tyler State Park

Photos: Richard