Whether you are looking for a relaxing retreat or a lakeside destination filled with fun and adventure, Possum Kingdom Lake is the place to escape for a holiday weekend or a quieter mid-week getaway.
Nestled in the Palo Pinto Mountains foothills along the Brazos River Valley, Possum Kingdom Lake is 75 miles west of Fort Worth off Texas Highway 16. Voted one of the most picturesque lakes in Texas, Possum Kingdom offers almost 20,000 surface acres of crystal-clear blue water with depths of 145 feet. With over 300 miles of shoreline varying from cliffs to rocks to sandy beaches and isolated coves, the lake, a reservoir completed in 1941, is managed by the Brazos River Authority.
Possum Kingdom (“PK”) Lake offers clear blue water for excellent fishing, swimming, boating, skiing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. You’ll find many lakeside areas where you can stay in luxury accommodations or camp at RV spots or in a tent, as well as picnic, hike, bike, study nature, watch birds and wildlife, or geocache. Or kick back in your gravity chair, relax, and listen to the lake lapping the rocks along the shore.
Some of my fondest memories at the lake are a romantic Valentine’s weekend at The Cliffs Resort, boat rides on the lake, picnics with the grandkids at scenic lakeside tables in the state park, and striper fishing with a guide.
Things To Do At Possum Kingdom Lake
Possum Kingdom State Park, Store, And Marina
In this 1,528-acre state park, spend the week in one of six air-conditioned cabins or camp at one of over 100 campsites with water and electricity, water-only sites, or primitive walk-in sites. You can fish for largemouth, striped or white bass, white crappie, channel, or blue catfish. The park has a fishing pier, fish cleaning station, and boat launch.
Pro Tip: If you fish from shore in a Texas state park, you do not need a fishing license.
You can rent canoes, boat slips, tubes, water skis, wakeboards, and kneeboards at the State Park Store and Marina. The store stocks a variety of camping and fishing needs, plus grocery items.
For birding, see chipping sparrows and painted buntings, and along the shore, you can look for herons, shorebirds, and egrets. During the winter, you are likely to see waterfowl and a bald eagle or two. In the brushy uplands, listen for canyon and Bewick’s wrens, plus see black-chinned hummingbirds and lark sparrows perched on tree branches. When RV camping, it’s fun to set up a hummingbird feeder to watch the divebombing and flights.
Kids can become Junior Rangers, borrow an explorer pack loaded with tools for exploring the park, or pick up a free Junior Ranger Activity Journal and complete tasks to earn a badge.
Pro Tip: Purchase a Texas State Park Pass that covers entry to more than 85 state parks for you and your family for one year. The passes offer discounts on camping, park store purchases, and equipment rentals.
Rent A Boat
You’ll find all boat rental businesses located on the east side of PK Lake. You can rent boats and personal watercraft at seven different locations. Here are three, as examples.
Hell’s Gate Watercraft Rentals, at Bluff Creek Marina, the first cove west of Hell’s Gate, you can rent a Sea-Doo two-person watercraft for $70 an hour; kayaks rent for $25 per hour, and boats rent for $90 per hour. A Suntracker 14-person Party Barge rents for $75 per hour, all minimum two hours.
At WaterRush on San Bar Road, you can rent pontoons, Jetovators, kayaks, Hydrafly, paddleboards, tubes, the WaterRush Pad, or charters at competitive prices.
Get boat rentals, swimwear, apparel, and footwear at Naylor By The Water on the northeast side of the lake, across from the state park. The cost of your rental includes life jackets and safety equipment. You can rent boats for two-, four-, six-, or eight-hour days.
Things To Do Around The Area
Fort Griffin Historic Site In Albany
Home of the Official State of Texas Longhorn Herd, Fort Griffin State Historic Site served as one of a line of several defensive forts from 1867 to 1881, and today, the site offers camping, fishing, hiking, stargazing, and living history. Remnants of a mess hall, barracks, powder magazine, and hand-dug well stand as historical reminders. The skies are dark for viewing constellations, planets, and the Milky Way at monthly stargazing events.
Fort Belknap In New Castle
Fort Belknap is the northern anchor of a series of U.S. Army Forts built to protect the Texas frontier from the Red River to the Rio Grande. Troops stationed at Fort Belknap facilitated the settlement of the area by pursuing bands of Native Americans. The fort was abandoned during the Civil War and again after September 1867. Today, some buildings have been restored and entertain group gatherings.
Young County Veterans Memorial
Located on the Downtown Square next to the courthouse, the Young County Veterans Memorial features a seven-foot red granite star inscribed with the names of 157 military men and women who died since World War I. Granite panels honor 5,088 veterans of the county who have served during the 20th century.
Graham Historical Walking And Driving Tour
Download the Action Bound App representing the Graham Downtown Historic Walking Tour and Driving Tour of Young County to learn the history of cowboys, American Indians, oil, and cattle, sponsored by Wildcatter Ranch and the Graham CVB.
Chandor Gardens In Weatherford
Visit the Chandor Gardens in Weatherford, located in the Historic District, featuring a 3.5-acre formal English garden surrounding the 5,600 square foot Douglas and Ina Chandor mansion, with a 30-foot human-made waterfall, various fountains, and ornate Chinese architecture.
Jack County Museum
Located in an 1882 residence, the Jack County Museum was the home of Tom M Marks, a local teacher and county agent who founded the local Corn Club, which evolved into the 4-H Clubs of America. The site also houses the 1887 Powell log cabin, filled with period furnishings representing pioneer life.
Mineral Wells Fossil Park
Free admission and open from 8 a.m. to dusk; the Mineral Wells Fossil Park is a mecca for the dedicated fossil hunter, where erosion has revealed ancient species of sea lilies, urchins, clams, oysters, corals, plants, and shark teeth. Take nail aprons, small zip bags, knee pads, a hat, and plenty of water. Be cautious of scorpions and snakes, as well as steep slopes and loose soil. Happy digging!
Rent A Cabin, Plus Visit Nearby Places To Eat
Besides a cabin at the state park, you can rent other places at Possum Kingdom Lake from rustic to luxury.
The Cliffs Resort
The Cliffs Resort is a master-planned community perched 200 feet above Possum Kingdom Lake with an 18-hole golf course, pool, marina, ship store, spa, fitness center, and restaurant. Accommodations include the inn, condominiums, townhomes, villas, and an RV camping area.
Pro Tip: Dining is available at the Chapparal Grille and Spurs Bar.
On the road to Graham, you’ll find upscale amenities at Wildcatter Ranch with 41 guest rooms in the lodge, cabin suites, OT’s Cabin and Homestead, and the estate. Reconnect with nature on a private horseback ride with ranch cowboys, learn about Fort Belknap, Native Americans who once roamed the area, and the ranch history. You can’t beat the sunset views from the rocking chairs at the cabins.
Pro Tip: The Wildcatter Steakhouse offers mesquite-grilled steaks, seafood specials, and chicken-fried steak.
Hide-Away Cabins And Inn
Choose from 19 cabins by the lake featuring one, two, or three bedrooms with kitchens, dining, and family rooms at Hide-Away Cabins and Inn. Located on the peninsula across the street from public boat ramp #3 and Sam’s Dock, you will have free access to the property’s Pavilion. At the dock, you can rent boats or personal watercraft.
Pro Tip: Enjoy lakeside dining and music at Rockin’ S Bar and Grill on site.
Fox Hollow Resort
At Fox Hollow Resort, you’ll find fully furnished cabins equipped with linens, TVs, and Wi-Fi, plus RV spots with full hookups. There is plenty of rentable dock space, plus a fuel pump open 24 hours, seven days a week.
Pro Tip: The Hungry Fox Restaurant is home to the best catfish on the lake.
One-, two-, and three-bedroom cabins at PK Lodge provide limited supplies; see the list of things to bring, including bath towels, washcloths, pots, pans, dishwashing detergent, and trash bags. Or choose from 10 RV spots with full hookups. You’ll find canoe and kayak rentals, boat slips for rent, and lots of swimming areas.
Possum Hollow Camp
Possum Hollow Camp offers a choice of 22 cabins plus RV sites with full or partial hookups. You can rent a boat slip here, too. You can get a steak, steak and shrimp combo, grilled shrimp, or fried catfish at the restaurant, to name a few selections.
If you are looking for a lakeside retreat where you can access cabins, RV sites, upscale condos, or large houses that sleep a dozen or more, Possum Kingdom Lake has it all. PK Lake is the best-kept secret in North Texas! And for more Texas inspiration, consider our picks for Best Of Texas: From Big And Bold To Quaint And Charming, These TX Towns Deserve A Visit.