March 4, 2018 Jasper, Texas

Entrance to Martin Dies State Park
Entrance to Martin Dies State Park

Martin Dies State Park, Texas

I arrived at Martin Dies State Park, located 11 miles west of Jasper, Texas, last Monday after traveling from New Orleans on a dreary, rainy day that did see occasional glimpses of the sun as I travelled west. However, by the time I reached my destination, it was raining once again.

Flooded Campsites
Flooded Campsites

As you can see from the accompanying images, they seem to have had a bit of wet weather hereabouts too. Note the campsite utility posts and picnic tables under a foot of water. Most of the campsites in the park were closed due to flooding when I arrived, but fortunately, there was pretty much no one here and thus I was able to grab one of the high and dry sites.

The park is located on a large body of water and overall is a pretty nice place to stay. The RV campsites are fairly well spaced and I was fortunate enough to find one of the few sites without a tree canopy that would prevent my DirecTv from finding a signal. No park WiFi, but there is a fairly strong Verizon signal. The town of Jasper has a Walmart, a Lowe’s, several fast food restaurants, and most anything else one would need for shopping.

My Lakeside Campsite at Martin Dies State Park
My Lakeside Campsite at Martin Dies State Park

Water and electric at each site and there is a dump station in the park. Each site has a paved pad as well as a picnic table on a separate concrete pad. All but a few sites are well shaded. The nicest sites along the lakeshore near the swimming beach are for tent campers only.

Closed Trail
Closed Trail

There appear to be some nice hiking trails through the woods and wetlands, but, unfortunately, they were all closed off due to flooding during my stay.

Flooded Dumpsters
Flooded Dumpsters

It was nice of the park to drag a dumpster out where you could access it without waders.

I have taken a couple of 100 mile drives out into the surrounding country on two very nice blue sky days during my stay here, but, alas, have found little to bother photographing. This region is primarily mixed forest, very green with some redbud starting to show along with some colorful yellow flowered vines now in bloom. I encountered some hilly terrain, and with all the dense mixed forest, I have to say it almost reminds me a bit of parts of New England, if not for the fact that all the streams and lakes are muddy rather than clear. Plus I am quite certain, come the summer heat and humidity, the resemblance would be lost.

I am treading water here, planning on visiting my long lost brother a bit farther north in Arkansas, and kind of waiting for the chance of ice and snow to pass before heading another 400 miles northward. So, although I have enjoyed a quiet, peaceful stay here at the State Park, I am going to move a couple miles tomorrow to the Army Corps of Engineers Sandy Creek Park that is located on the shores of this same B. A. Steinhagen Lake. On a drive through of that COE park, I was very impressed with the facility and, of course, the $9 camping fee ( half price with Senior Lifetime Pass, $18 for youngsters ) for a water and electric site on the shore of the lake is a ridiculously good deal that I couldn’t pass on.

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