Saturday, July 23, 2016

DESTINATION: Lake O' The Pines, Texas

Our next camping adventure was approximately 12 to 15 miles west of Jefferson at the beautiful Lake O' The Pines.  Lake O’ the Pines (formerly known as "Ferrell's Bridge Reservoir") was created by the construction of the Ferrells Bridge Dam on the Big Cypress Bayou approximately 81 miles upstream from the bayou's confluence with the Red River The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction of the dam in January 1955 and the dam was completed on December 11, 1959.

View of Lake O' The Pines dam

This 18,680 acre lake spreads out over Marion, Harrison, Upshur, Morris and Camp counties of east Texas.  The lake is surrounded by gorgeous pines trees that stretch up to the sky like a fortress that guards the lake.  Fishing species include large mouth bass, spotted bass, catfish, white bass, crappie, sunfish and chain pickerel.   

View of lake from our campsite at Alley Creek

Park entrance sign

Campsite E223 in Alley Creek

There are seven parks spread out around the lake and four of them offer camping.  We chose Alley Creek Campground because half of Alley Creek's 67 sites are for RV only.   This time we made our reservations through the Recreation.gov website.  Like Reserve America, Recreation.gov allows you to select a campsite from either a photo or map.  We picked a campsite that was on the shoreline offering lake views. We were not disappointed with how clean and level the site was.  A closed fire ring, picnic table and trash/lantern pole made this campsite complete.

Tall pines dwarf the RVs camped at Alley Creek

Another view of pines

Buzzards rest on resting boat in cove of Lake O' The Pines

Around 5:00 in the afternoon a summer thunderstorm moved in.  The pines surrounding our camp began to sway but not our Forest River! Inside the trailer you would never know that there was a storm going on outside.  After the storm passed we had a front row view of a rainbow.  The setting sun, filtered by the clouds, lit up the orange east Texas dirt shoreline across the lake.  Maybe that rainbow led to a pot of gold? 

Rainbow and pot of gold?