Drive west about 90 minutes from Fort Worth and you’ll come across the refreshing oasis of Possum Kingdom Lake (PKL). Perfect for a quick weekend getaway or a longer trip to the lake, relaxation in nature is closer than you think.
What to Do
Bonita Shores Boat Rental // Take advantage of the nearly 19,000 acres of lake water and rent a boat from Bonita Shores. Plus, each rental comes with your choice of a water toy, like paddle boards, kayaks, wakeboards, skis, or floating mats. Fun in the sun is waiting for you, and Bonita Shores can make that happen.
The Cliffs Resort Golf Course // If you like to have your feet firmly planted underneath, spend some time on the courses of The Cliffs. This Par-71 course is designed using the natural landscape and has been known to be one of the toughest courses in Texas. Reservations and proper golf attire are required.
Hell’s Gate // It wouldn’t be a trip to Possum Kingdom Lake without a stop to Hell’s Gate, an entry to a cove flanked by two massive cliffs. On the Fourth of July, this is the place to be if you want a good firework show. Get there early if you want a good spot. Hell’s Gate was also home to Red Bull’s cliff diving competition. Hell’s Gate is located on the south end of Possum Kingdom Lake.
Hike & Bike Trail System // With more than 19 different scenic lookouts, 16 miles of trails, and 12 trailheads, toss on your hiking shoe because you’ll need them. Don’t worry, there are color-coded signage maps to help you stay on the path and restrooms along the way. Enjoy the songs of the birds, the beauty of nature, and possibly a sighting of wildlife.
Ranft Guide Service // If driving a boat seems a little overwhelming, but you want to be on the lake so you can be among the fish, a fishing guide service might just be what you need. With more than 310 miles of shoreline, Possum Kingdom is home to a diverse species of fish and aquatic vegetation. With a no-fish, no-pay policy, Ranft Guide Service is committed to great customer service, and that’s not just some fish story.
Rochelle’s Canoe Rental // Whether you are out with girlfriends, family, a special someone, or yourself, a date in a canoe is a great way to see the beauty of the Brazos de Dios, meaning “Arms of God.” There are three main trips you can take from Rochelle’s Canoe Rental ranging from 10 miles to 37.5 miles. So pack the big floppy hat and sunscreen — trust me, any exposed skin will thank you later.
Sandy Beach Swimming // Open for day use only with no admission price, take the kids and go jump in the clear blue waters of Sandy Beach. What makes this area so special and a local favorite? The area to swim in is roped-off. There are covered picnic tables and a playground, in case the kiddos need to burn off more energy.
Where to Eat
2 Old Crows // Open for brunch hours only, this authentic Cajun/Creole restaurant comes highly recommended. You could eat there every day of your visit and find something amazing to eat each time. If you’re looking for a little bit of Louisiana west of I-35, be sure to stop in at 2 Old Crows for your fix of po’boy, gumbo, and an experience you won’t forget.
Bonitaville // It isn’t a trip to a lake town without the option of pulling up to a restaurant by boat. You can also come by car. With a wide variety of dining options from breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between (coffee and desserts), this is a great place to visit no matter what the occasion or the time.
Boondocks PK Bar &Grill // You know the place is good when a parking spot is hard to find. Karaoke on a Friday night, drinks that keep coming, a shuffleboard, and pool table, no wonder it has the tagline of “where friends meet friends.” Great for families (until 9:00 p.m.), a date night, or a place to unwind at the end of the day. Oh, and the food is pretty good, too.
The Chaparral Grill & Spurs Bar // From southern comfort to dining with grace, this restaurant offers an upscale experience with a lakeside view. The Chaparral Grille serves fresh seafood, chicken piccata, filet mignon, beef gyro, as well as delicious appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and more. Attire is casual dress and reservations are recommended for dinner. Spurs Bar presents a more casual and relaxed atmosphere, offering appetizers and sandwiches, as well as cocktails.
Cork and Tap on the Brazos // Looking for a cozy environment to relax and unwind? This is the place. With numerous wines and craft beers to choose from, Cork and Tap on the Brazos is committed to serving you with the best. Hours are limited, but time here is time well spent.
Dos Leones // Sometimes you just have a craving for homemade Mexican dishes and you can find the best at Dos Leones. Fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, chimichangas, nachos and more, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Add a nice margarita to the mix and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a little R&R on your getaway. You will have to travel to Graham, Texas, but it’s worth the trip.
Hemmingway’s Craft House // This is lakeside perfection. Whether you come by boat or you just want to be near the water, this is a wonderful place to lounge, grab a bite, and enjoy a drink. Choose from either the outdoor or indoor bar, lounge areas or a spot by the fireplace and just enjoy yourself. The food ranges from burgers and salads to lunch specials and a brunch buffet. Open six days a week (closed on Tuesdays), Hemmingway’s Craft House needs to be on the itinerary.
Hungry Fox Restaurant // This is a must when you’re in PKL. Voted best on the lake, the catfish is worth ordering. Having perfected that dish as well as others since 1944, the Hungry Fox serves the meal you need and the one you won’t forget. A great family atmosphere for children of all ages. Open seven days a week and priced just right, visit Hungry Fox for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Pearl’s // Stop in when you crave comfort food or just anytime you’re in the mood for good food! When the menu consists of signature old fashioned meatloaf with buttermilk pie for dessert and you’re sitting inside a historic building, you know this place is worth a visit. Could be a reason for a road trip all by itself, just to come sit down and enjoy those southern favorites.
The Pizza Shack // Serving only the best pizza with the freshest ingredients, The Pizza Shack is a favorite among local and visitors alike. There’s a lunch buffet that includes all-you-can-eat pizza, salad, and a drink for less than $10. When you’ve got hungry, growing kiddos, after a morning of outdoor adventures, this might just be the place to refuel for the afternoon.
Where to Stay
The Cliffs Resort // Choose between the resort villas (one-bedroom villas with a king bed and basic amenities) or The Inn (private rooms with balcony seating, complimentary Wi-Fi access, and gas fireplaces in the elite rooms), either way your stay at The Cliffs Resort will be relaxing and beautiful. The landscape boasts natural canyons, water views, and rolling hills, everything you want for a vacation. While at the resort, you can enjoy rounds of golf, fine dining, a fitness center, marina, parks and playgrounds for the littles, swimming pools, and a spa. This is a luxury resort within hours of home.
Cozy Cottage with a View (Airbnb) // With a 4.9 rating, this cozy and comfortable cottage is located on the east side of PKL and has everything you need for a weekend of self-care or a family getaway, like premium Tempurpedic-style mattresses. Sleeping up to eight people, there is also a guest cottage available for additional charge for extra space. The best part, it has lake access and a boat launch. Pricing for a two-night stay is around $554 (fees included).
Dale River Ranch // Nestled within 1,000 acres, Dale River Ranch is the perfect place for hunters, family getaways, bachelorette parties, and more. Their tag line is “The Place to Play!” While on the ranch, enjoy activities like hunting, fishing, canoeing, live music, and great food. The lodge has two private bedrooms, a loft, and three full baths. For parties more than 10 people, they ask that you call directly for best accommodations.
Entire Lakeview House (Airbnb) // Panoramic views of the lake, located on the west side of Possum Kingdom, you’ll enjoy all the amenities this lake house has to offer. Three bedrooms and two baths makes this a great location for large groups. Although there is no water access, the views are amazing. Pricing for a two-night stay is around $707 (fees included).
The Hide-Away // With 19 cabins ranging from one to three-bedroom units, The Hide-Away serves as the perfect getaway with scenic views. All the original cabins were remodeled in 2001 and more have been built since providing all the comforts of home. Fully furnished with linens, towels, kitchen amenities, The Hide-Away is just missing you. Pricing is dependent on the season and holidays.
Lush Resort // The name says it all. This resort offers lakefront suites, hotel rooms, bungalows, pools, and dining. With year-round events like Whiskey Weekend, Parents’ Night Out, and holiday events, this resort has something for everyone. Founded in 2014 by a newlywed couple looking for adventure and a love for Possum Kingdom, they have poured their hearts into Lush, and it is evident in the details. The amenities are next level! Do yourself a favor and book a few nights at Lush Resort.
Possum Kingdom State Park // Looking to connect with nature in the most primitive way? Stay overnight at Possum Kingdom State Park. Options available include air-conditioned cabins, water and electricity hookups, water-only hookups, or tent sites. There are public restrooms and hot showers available within the state park. During your stay, enjoy the other services such as canoe rentals, fishing, hiking, playgrounds, and more. Prices range with each stay option, but are very affordable.
Rock Creek Camp and RV Resort // When you stay here, you’ll be greeted with open arms and smiling faces. Rock Creek offers cabins and RV hookups. The cabins are all furnished with air conditioners, kitchenettes, showers, bed lines, and more. All you need packed into a little cabin. Here’s a fun fact: No charge for children under age 10 who are accompanied by an adult. There are 13 RV hookups equipped with water, electric, and cable. Some spots have sewer access, but there’s also a dump station, important to any RV owner. Pricing is very affordable.
For more driving destination ideas, check out Fort Worth Moms “Guide to Road Trips from Fort Worth.”
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Janie is a writer for Fort Worth Moms. Joining Janie on the pursuit of life’s adventures while laughing along the way are Janie’s husband, Jared who is a flight school director and pilot, their angel baby, Jackson (2016) who passed away shortly after birth, and newest crew member, Jensen (2018). With an undergraduate degree in communication from UTA and a master’s in health communication from the University of Illinois, writing has been a creative outlet for Janie. Working full-time in healthcare, being involved at her local church, and volunteering with the Junior League of Fort Worth, Janie is passionate about serving people and holds a special place in her heart for women and children. When they are not headed to their next adventure, you can find Janie and her family creating their own adventure as proud Fort Worth residents. Read more articles by Janie here!