A wonderful aspect about the great State of Texas is that there is always a road less traveled; always a place you didn't expect to find. Camp Wood, on the western edge of the central Hill Country, is the perfect place to discover a Texas that most never see...
RV owners generally love the open road. You would probably agree, There's nothing like heading to your favorite destination or campground to spend a quality weekend enjoying the place(s) you love the most.
But sometimes the need to travel and having a particular place to go don't go hand in hand. You may have the itch to get out and drive, but - for whatever reason - you want to go somewhere different - a trip down the road-less-traveled to a place unique and fresh.
In Texas, that's never a problem. Take, for instance, Camp Wood, Texas, and the surrounding hill country countryside.
Nestled on the very edge of the Texas Hill Country lies this community untouched by the harried tempo of the modern world. It's beautiful hills and peaceful, flowing rivers and streams take you away to another time; a time when people knew how to relax and enjoy nature, and the camaraderie of friendly neighbors. Camp Wood is located 110 miles northwest of San Antonio and sits picturesquely on the Nueces River at the junction of Texas 55 and RR337.
The community sits in one of the most pristine canyons in Texas. Recently, a beautiful scenic drive in the area was named one of the fifteen most scenic spots in Texas by Texas Highways Magazine. And for good reason. The scenery is breathtaking, from it's hilltop vistas with lush evergreen foliage to the crystal clear spring fed rivers and creeks, it mesmerizes all who visit. In fact, those who have never been there before would swear that the area is not in Texas. It's often been called "Little Colorado," though thankfully it does not have the Colorado crowds!
Nueces Canyon is a Mecca for wildlife with over 200 species of migratory birds visiting the region each year. Wildlife watching is a favorite past time here. You can never tire of watching herds of whitetail deer gently grazing in the cool early morning hours, watch lizards scamper across the beautiful limestone and granite rocks, or get lucky enough to sight the official state mammal, the armadillo, a very curious looking creature. Also native to the area is the wild turkey, and turkey hunting is big in the area in season.
If you're into bird watching, one of the most interesting and fun ways to observe the aviary population of the region is "birding by kayak". Bird watchers frequent the Nueces Canyon year round. In fact, if outdoor activities are your passion, there is plenty to do here.
There are many great campgrounds, hiking opportunities swimming, kayaking and canoeing throughout the pristine and peaceful canyon. And just a short drive from Camp Wood are two highly frequented State Parks, Lost Maples State Park and Garner State Park, each with it's own special attractions that draw thousands of visitors each year.
One of the best features of the area for Rvers and campers is the near-perfect year round weather. Camp Wood is warm and dry in the summer and mostly mild in the winter. Spring and fall are the best times to visit, with some of the most vibrant spring wildflowers and fall foliage viewing areas in the state.
For a small community Camp Wood offers some interesting shopping and local interest points. The local library houses a rare Frederic Remington bronze as well as fine art offered by local artisans. In fact, art and music have been a focal point in recent years, and the recent conversion of century-old railroad station into an Art Center has broadened the art offering for visitors. The Canyon's Art, History, Music, and Theater Association plays host to a number of events each year including the infamous Cowboy Symposium. Rounding out the local entertainment menu are community theater productions, jam sessions, writers group meetings and fund-raisers to support the art community.
And shoppers won't be disappointed either. There are a number of unique shops along Main Street Camp Wood that offer items as varied as Mexican silver (Mexico is a mere 60 miles away), fine photography, antiques and lots of mohair fashions.
Mohair, incidentally, is big industry for Texas, and especially Camp Wood. This is Texas sheep and goat country, and some of the highest grade mohair comes from local ranches.
The area's versatile wool comes from the Angora goat and is well known for it's beauty and comfort. Local resident Dolores Vernor is famous for her unique clothing designs. Her shawls, coats & vests are sold in some of the finest specialty retail stores in San Antonio, Austin and the Hill Country. Delores learned her skills and talent for working with mohair in her native Mexico.
In fact, Camp Wood has long and close ties with Mexico. The first settlers near Camp Wood were part of a Franciscan mission established by the Spanish in 1762. The mission was unsuccessful for many reasons but primarily because of the Lipan Apaches natives who would made life difficult for the settlers of central and south Texas. It was because of this Indian population that the United States created a military outpost at Camp Wood in 1857 to protect the wagon trail that connected San Antonio and El Paso.
The installation was named for Major George W. F. Wood, and it is from this commanding officer the city garnered its' name. After the Civil War the fort was periodically used by United States troops and Texas Rangers who were charged with protecting the new Texas frontier. The keepers-of-peace were charged to "range" over wide areas so as to scout the movements of Indians.
Another interesting historical note: Charles Lindbergh crashed his airplane in the middle of the Camp Wood hardware store just two years before his infamous Transatlantic flight. There's a Texas Historical Marker in the city park to honor this humorous incident.
But perhaps what makes Camp Wood most memorable are the local residents, proud citizens who are always happy to share their community with visitors.
So if you have the itch to travel and have no particular place to go, consider taking a step back in time in Camp Wood. "Relax and let go of your worries", as the Chambers slogan says, and enjoy Camp Wood and the alluring Nueces Canyon.
Along with the cabins there are six (6) pull thru RV Sites with water and electricity (30 Amp) and septic hook ups. Each of the RV sites includes a BBQ pit. The Camp also offers ten (10) sites for tent camping that overlook the Nueces River.
Located on Highway 55 South of Camp Wood, this recreation facility has full RV hookups, primitive camping and bright, clean cabins on the Nueces River. A piece of heaven nestled in the Texas Hill Country on the bank of the Nueces River. New log cabins with full kitchens and baths. 50 new 20/30 AMP hookups under huge 100 year old Pecan trees. Immaculate bathhouse. 2 dump stations. Picnic tables, grills/firerings, river fishing, swimming, tubing, and nature walks. Volleyball, basketball and a playground. Primitive camping. Pets on leash.
Spanning 3200 acres along the banks of the Nueces Lake in the heart of the hill country. 20 RV sites with full hookups, phone, modem friendly, dump station.
Located on the Nueces river 3 miles south of Camp Wood on TX 55. Very nice, 30 hookups all with water and electricity, some with complete sewer.
Located on Highway 55 North of Barksdale. This scenic RV site has full hookups, camping sites, boat ramp, and swimming. Lake accessibility.
Victor's RV Park
Located on Highway 55 in Montell. RV sites with full hookups.
Welch's RV Park
Located in Camp Wood at 7th & Leon Klink. RV sites with hookup, washateria, showers, and city water are available. (830)507-3245.
The premiere kayak outfitter for the Nueces River Canyon. Kayaks are available at Clear Creek Outfitters. Stop in and let them help you with trip lengths, river conditions, and put-in and take-out locations.
Prices include kayak, paddles, lifejackets, and seat backs, shuttles are available. Reservations can be made by phone.