Comprised of two units, Nails Creek and Birch Creek, the Lake Somerville State Park draws crowds because of its secluded campsites (which feel private even with hundreds of other guests), trails and lake activities. A laid back environment with a little something for everyone, Lake Somerville is popular for family reunions, holiday trips, and group outings with people of all ages.
Located less than 2 hours from both Austin and Houston, and only 40 minutes from College Station, the lake’s central location makes it an ideal place to meet up for a weekend with friends and family from other parts of the state. Whatever your outdoor activity of choice, be it running, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, swimming or paddling, there is a place to do it at Lake Somerville. Bring your own gear or plan to rent. Just be sure to claim your campsite before heading out to play if you don’t want to risk losing it to another visitor.
Lake Somerville offers a variety of camping options, from large group to individual campsites. While a few primitive sites are available, the majority (more than 100) have access to water, electricity, nearby bathrooms, picnic tables and parking spots. There are additional equestrian campsites and RV hookups available. Reservations can be made in advance, and are highly encouraged during busy season, from March through the Fourth of July.
The Lake Somerville Trailway is a popular, multiuse 13-mile trail system that connects the Birch Creek Unit with the Nails Creek Unit. Individual trails vary greatly in length, but are fairly easy terrain to navigate. The only available water on the Trailway is for horses and dogs. All drinking water for hikers must be brought with them.
Mountain bikers share the multiuse trailway with hikers and horses. The trails are a combination of doubletrack, singletrack, wide pathways and ranch roads, making for an easy to moderate ride.
In addition to boating and fishing, visitors can take canoes, kayaks and paddleboats out on the lake. Both canoes and kayaks, along with personal flotation devices, are available for rent.
With many open, beachy areas to choose from, guests are welcome to seek out privacy as they please when choosing a spot to go swimming in the lake. With no lifeguards on duty, guests assume all responsibility for their own safety. Check with the park headquarters to find out the lake water level during dry years. Water shoes are recommended when swimming.
Know Before You Go
The Birch Creek and Nails Creek Units have reciprocity, so if you pay to enter at one location, you can show your car sticker to get into the other location without paying again the same day.
Campers looking for access to hot showers swear that Nails Creek has the nicer, cleaner facilities, and those staying at Birch Creek are welcome to make the 33 minute drive to make use of them.
Ants are a frequent cohabiter of Lake Somerville campsites. While not the biting kind, guests frequently comment on the pervasiveness of the ants throughout their stay.