Our Visit to Lake Bastrop South Shore Park:
Video: South Shore Park | Bastrop TX
Our Neighbors at South Shore Park
In Texas, we are lucky to have several different kinds of public parks that offer RV and tent camping. We have state parks, national parks, forest service parks, corps of engineer parks, county parks, city parks, historical parks and river authority parks. We have been aware of river authority parks for years, but we had never visited one until our stay at South Shore Park on Lake Bastrop. And wow... if this is what river authority parks are like, we look forward to visiting many more!
Our campsite in the Lewis Point Camping Loop was site number 2. It featured a paved parking pad (back-in), 30/50 amp electricity and water connections, a picnic table, lantern hook, fire pit and awesome BBQ grill. We had privacy and shade. Because we were on the opposite end of the loop from the water, our site was quiet and tucked away (even on a summer weekend). A family of deer walked through our site and a raccoon family (Momma and 4 babies) came out to say Hi in the tree behind us every evening.
South Shore Park Headquarters
To say we were impressed by South Shore Park is an understatement! During our week-long stay, this park was incredibly clean, quiet and very well-maintained. Park hosts and staff were visible throughout the park. Campsites were cleaned after each camper left.
One of the truly unique features of South Shore Park is the Lewis Point Commons. This is a public use area for campers only. It is located within the Lewis Point Camping Loop and features a fishing pier, picnic tables and a nice area to put kayaks into the lake.
There is another fishing pier, kayak put-in area, more picnic tables and more amenities at the Day Use Area which is just a short walk or bike ride from the campground.
Hikers can access the Heron Trail (also called Lewis Point Trail), Swift Trail, Loblolly Trail and Loop, and the Gideon Loop directly from the campround.
This entire park is very walkable or bikeable. If you are looking for a relaxing few days surrounded by nature and plan to stay within the park, you do not need a tow vehicle to enjoy everything Lake Bastrop South Shore Park has to offer.
While we were there, the trails and all of the facilities were open and in excellent shape. Restrooms and showers were very clean. Mini golf and kayak/canoe/paddleboard rentals are available through the park headquarters.
Though this park is just 2 miles from Bastrop State Park, South Shore Park received no damage from the 2011 or 2015 wildfires, making it a great park to visit in the summer with lots of shade. This is a beautiful park conveniently located just a few miles outside of the town of Bastrop which has restaurants, shops and anything you might need.
South Shore Park makes our list of parks that we definitely look forward to camping at again.
South Shore Park Fee Board
The History of Lake Bastrop:
900-acre Lake Bastrop was built by the Lower Colorado River Authority in 1964. The earthen dam that formed the lake is 4,000 feet long and 85 feet high. It was built in just under one year. The primary purpose of the lake is to cool the Sam Gideon Steam Power Plant. A fairly constant water level is maintained by pumping in water from the Colorado River when necessary.
The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) operates 2 parks on Lake Bastrop: 176-acre South Shore Park and 182-acre North Shore Park. These parks are connected by a 4.5 mile hiking trail.
Hiking at South Shore Park
Kayaking Lake Bastrop
Things to Do at South Shore Park:
Hiking: With about 9 miles of hiking trails, South Shore Park is a great option for beginning hikers and families with easy, well-marked trails. Most of the trails are accessible right from the camping loop.
For a longer hike, head over to the Day Use Area to find the trailhead for the North South Trailway. This 4.5 mile one-way trail connects South Shore Park to its sister, North Shore Park.
Boating: The Day Use Area of South Shore Park features a one-lane, concrete boat ramp next to a large parking lot. There is a boat dock next to the ramp.
Paddling: Kayak, canoes and paddleboards are available for rent through the park office. You can also bring your own equipment. There are good bank areas for putting into the lake in both the camping loop and the day use area. We absolutely LOVED kayaking on Lake Bastrop. The water was calm and there was a lot of interesting shore line to explore around the park. This is a great paddling park for paddlers of all experience levels.
Biking the Trails
Fishing: South Shore Park offers pier and bank fishing in both the day use and camping areas. You can also fish from your boat. A Texas fishing license is required to fish anywhere here. Lake Bastrop is known for it's largemouth bass, catfish and sunfish. A fish cleaning station is next to the boat ramp.
Biking: All of the hiking trails in the park are multi-use trails open to mountain biking. All of the trails we rode here were fairly easy, with some elevation gain on the Loblolly Loop. Bikes are also a great way to get around within the park.
Bird Watching: South Shore Park features a very nice bird viewing blind. The park has installed multiple feeders and water features to attract birds. The viewing area is covered and has benches.
Wildlife Viewing: During our visit in June, the deer, birds, bunnies and racoons were very active. Deer passed right beside and behind our campsite during the week when the park was quiet. And we had an entire family of raccoons living in the tree behind us. Momma raccoon brought her babies out to see us every night as she taught them how to climb in the tree.
Lake Bastrop Mini Golf
Other Amenities at South Shore Park:
The Day Use Area of South Shore Park is home to several family-friendly amenities including:
Mini Golf: Lake Bastrop Mini Golf is a 9-hole miniature golf course. It was in great shape while we were there. Fees during our visit were $8 for 9 holes or $14 for 18. Pay at the park office.
Volleyball: Near the Mini Golf course, you'll also find a sand volleyball court.
Tetherball: The day use area of this park also has tetherball.
Swimming: There is a designated swimming area in the lake at the Day Use Area. Swim at your own risk. There are no lifeguards.
Playground: The park's playground is also in the Day Use Area.
Group Rental Facilities: South Shore Park offers 2 group rental facilities: Osprey Point Hall is an indoor facility, and the park's pavilion is a covered outdoor area with picnic tables.
Store: The park headquarters houses a small store with a few camping/fishing items and souvenirs.
South Shore Park Details:
Open Year Round? Yes
Peak Season: March - September
Non-Peak Season: October - February
Reservations Available: 6 Months Prior to Camping Date
Total RV/Tent Sites: 38
Total Cabin Sites: 18
Contact Lake Bastrop South Shore Park:
Park Address: 375 South Shore Road, Bastrop TX 78602
Park Phone: 512.498.1922
Reservations Phone: 855.392.7638
Reserve a Campsite at South Shore Park Online
Visit South Shore Park's Website
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RV and Tent Camping at South Shore Park:
Lewis Point Camping Loop
Total Sites: 6
Site Numbers: 19, 20, 23, 26, 28, 31
30/50 Amp Electricity
Electric, Water and Sewer Hookups
Partial Hookup Campsites
Total Sites: 32
Site Numbers: 1-18, 21-22, 24-25, 27, 29-30, 32-38
30/50 Amp Electricity
Electric and Water Hookups
Every campsite in this park has a paved parking pad, picnic table, grill, firepit and lantern hook. Most are back-in sites. There are 2 pull-through sites. There are sites that can accomodate any size rig here. Camping loop restrooms with showers are located inside the camping loop and were very clean during our stay.
A trash dumpster is located next to the campground restroom, and a dump station is located at the front of the park near the entrance to the camping loop. It is well-designed, clean, easy to get in and out of, and very spacious.
Many of the campsites here offer very good shade. Some are friends and family layout and others are more private. The camping loop has it's own lake access with fishing pier and kayak put in area for campers only.
Cabins at South Shore Park:
Osprey Point Cabins
Total Cabins: 6
Site Numbers: 39-44
Includes Toilet and Shower? No
Park near the Cabin
Total Cabins: 12
Site Numbers: 45-56
Includes Toilet and Shower? No
Park near the Cabin
Each cabin includes electricity, air conditioning and heating, and ceiling fans. A cabin sleeps up to 5 folks with two sets of bunk beds: one with a full size bed on bottom and a twin bed on top, and the other with twin beds for both bunks. A picnic table, grill and water spigot are also on site. Restrooms with showers are located within each cabin area. Some cabins are pet-friendly and some are listed as ADA compliant.
Visiting South Shore Park For a Day:
Day Use Areas
The day use area at South Shore Park on Lake Bastrop includes a swimming area, 9 hole mini golf course, sand volleyball court, tetherball, fishing pier, boat ramp, picnic tables, hiking/biking trailheads, a bird blind, kayak/paddleboard rentals, and a playground.
South Shore Park Information:
Year Opened: Lake Bastrop was constructed in 1964.
Discount Passes Accepted: 2 Day Passes are included with each night of camping. Seniors and folks with disabilities are eligible for discounts on day use entry.
CCC Park? No
Park Store? Yes
Pet Policy: Pets are allowed throughout the park and on trails, but must be kept on a leash at all times. Pets are not allowed in buildings except for the pet-friendly cabins.
Lodging Options at Lake Bastrop South Shore Park: RV Camping, Tent Camping, Air Conditioned Cabins
South Shore Park Reviews: Campendium, Campground Reviews, RV Parky, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google Reviews
Amenities: lake access, forest, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, fishing, paddling, swimming, boating, nature trails, mini golf, playground, recreation hall, picnic pavilion, small store
Operated By: the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA)
Region: Central Texas
Nearest Towns: Bastrop TX (4 miles), Alum Creek (8 miles), Sayersville TX (11 miles), Smithville TX (14 miles), Paige TX (14 miles)
View the South Shore Park Map
Take a Look at the South Shore Park Trails Map
Learn More About Fishing at Lake Bastrop
Weather at Lake Bastrop South Shore Park
Tags: LCRA Parks, Central Texas, River Authority Parks