‘By the River’ in Texas Hill Country

11 04 2019

By The River RV, Ingram, TX

From San Angelo we’ve made the relatively short trip to Ingram, TX – just west of Kerrville in the heart of the Texas Hill Country.  We’re back at By the River RV Park where we first stayed in the truck camper in 2010.  We visited this area last year when we enjoyed dinner with friends at the Wild Ass Hey Barn right next door.

We’re parked in site #31, a spacious “Premium” back-in site overlooking the Guadalupe River.  Facilities here are top-notch, with a club house, laundry room and shower facilities.  Across the river, there’s even an island of tent sites.  After experiencing several other campgrounds in the Kerrville area, By the River is our favorite.  And, with Wild Ass Hey Barn within walking distance, never a need to drive and park for a good burger a cold beer and some Hill Country music!


Kerrville/Ingram, TX

21 03 2018

Along I-10, Texas Hill Country

Ah…the Texas Hill Country!

Like no where else in the state, with wooded hillsides, beautiful limestone formations, deep caverns, and valleys of wandering creeks, this is one of our favorite spots in the US.  Starting at the Llano River valley at Junction, the hill country extends south to Uvalde, and east all the way to northern sections San Antonio and western areas of Austin.  Centered nearly in the middle of the region is Kerrville, a city of about 25,000 established along the Guadalupe River.  We’re parked in Ingram, TX just west of Kerrville at Johnson Creek RV Park.  We last visited this park in 2010, PARK REVIEW and this year have joined friends from Montrose, CO as they spend time in Kerrville before heading back to Colorado.

Johnson Creek RV Resort, Ingram, TX

Surrounded by an active pecan orchard, Johnson Creek has expanded from 50 to about 70 sites and with another 10 or so planned, this is still a relatively small park.  On the banks of Johnson Creek, a small tributary of the Guadalupe, this RV park offers a quiet retreat for winter Texans, full-time residents and a few overnighters.  Initially arriving without a site available, we’re assigned the “overflow” site at the far south side of the campground.  Equipped with water and electric service, this site is quiet and very private.  Later in the week we move to site #34 that provides additional services of sewer and cable TV.  Currently site #33 serves at the “exit” for the last row until it’s extended to the main road.  Initially this seemed like it might be annoying – but in fact the extra space afforded by this “drive-by” site improves the view and privacy of #34.

“Overflow” Site, Johnson Creek RV Resort

With virtually no OTA TV and only 12 channels of cable, the satellite comes in handy and despite having an orchard all around, is fairly easy to set-up.  There are a handful of WiFi access point around the campground.  Our WiFi booster helps select the best and overall the service isn’t too bad.  Nothing close to video streaming quality, but workable. During our stay we joined friends for several outings.  On Friday night we all enjoy huge portions of fried catfish at a bar/restaurant next to By The River RV Park PARK REVIEW where we stayed in 2010.  Over the weekend we explored Bourne with a stop at the creekside Dodging Duck Brewhaus for hand crafted brews and snacks of fried green tomatoes.  Later in the week we enjoyed Mamacita’s Mexican restaurant in Kerrville – perhaps the closest we’ve found to Uncle Julio’s – one of our all-time favorites in the Dallas area.

Johnson Creek RV Resort, Ingram, TX

After a very quick 5 nights in Kerrville, we’re back on the road headed for the Lower Rio Grande Valley.  More from two overnights enroute to the valley…

Buckhorn Lake RV Resort, Kerrville, TX

24 04 2017

Buckhorn Lake RV Resort

We’ve decided to skip San Antonio and continue to the Texas hill country. With the kick-off of Fiesta San Antonio on Thursday, the RV parks are full, the streets are packed and we’re ready for something a bit more quiet than the urban setting of Travelers World RV park south of town.

Instead, we’re parked at site 6028 at Buckhorn Lake RV Resort, just outside Kerrville at exit #501 of I-10. This is a spacious corner site, but nearly as close as you can get to I-10. In fact, we can see the East/West entrance ramp signs from here. This is a beautiful resort – well planned, plenty of space, nice wide concrete pads and patios, blacktop roadways and well positioned full hookups and spotlessly clean. Most of the main sites are organized in two loops of pull-throughs surrounded by back-in sites. There are also coach sites (pull in with hookups on the opposite site) along the small creek that runs through the property. Beyond is the “Adult-Only” area with 6 pull through sites, each with shared utility areas, surrounded by 14 mostly coach pull-in sites.

Across a bridge over the creek is “The Club”, a 60 site, very exclusive residential community for Class A Motorhomes. Sites without buildings are in the $70,000 range. Built-out with a casita, these sites are listed for up to $270,000.

As an added benefit, and completely unplanned, we’ve met up with good friends from Dallas.  Here at Buckhorn Lake for a weekend rally, we enjoy spending an evening with them and fellow-ralliers from all over Texas. Safe Travels M&C – it was great seeing you again!

Standard back-in sites run $39.60/night with Good Sam discounts. Water-View sites are $44.10 and Adult-Only sites run $48.60. Monthly rates get the nightly rate on a standard back-in site down to about $18/night plus metered electric. As nice as this resort it, the noise from I-10 is nearly always in the background. Arriving on Sunday there was a slight breeze from the north that effectively cut the traffic noise. But as the winds shifted from the south, the traffic was always noticeable. Even back in the Adult-Only area, furthest from the highway, you could hear the traffic, especially the drone of the 18 wheelers. For a Hill Country Resort, where you expect peace and quiet, Buckhorn Lake doesn’t measure up to other parks in the area.

Tomorrow we’ll pack and travel west about 50 miles on I-10 before turning north toward San Angelo. More from there…

The Texas Hill Country

26 03 2016

WP_20160326_010cWe’ve just spent 5 nights enjoying the company of great friends at Guadalupe River RV Resort in Kerrville.  We’ve reviewed this park before, but overall things haven’t changed much in the last year except for new ownership. The park is now a Yogi Bear “Jellystone” park, part of a group of locally owned parks and a national franchise.  We’re parked in site #154, right next to friends in #153 and just a few steps from one of the large assembly buildings and the River Rock Saloon.  This is the first time we haven’t been in one of the Riverside sites – they were all full this year.  And, it appears that this increased occupancy is starting to drive up the pricing here.  Regular sites go for $42 per night and $50 on weekend nights (here they count Fri, Sat and Sun as weekend nights)  and $55 on holidays.  Premium sites – those with a bit more space on row ends are $45, $55 & $60. Riverside sites are $52, $63 & $70.  Add to these fees $4 per day for Cable TV (there’s very little over-the-air here) and $3.50 for Wifi and nightly rates are approaching excruciating.  Monthly rates are significantly better, running about $18.50/day including WiFi and TV.

There are many very nice sites here, plenty of large grassy space, some nice bushes and great shade trees.  But, exploring a bit more you find significant deferred maintenance.  In the Adult Spa/Pool area, the steam room has had an Out Of Order sign for several years. The hot tub is also not working.  Of 4 washers in the laundry area, only 3 are operational.  Hopefully the change of ownership will also introduce some cash to improve these types of items.    So far, the majority of activity seems to be the addition of park models.  New spaces are being built to accommodate these – right down the center of the resort and another row behind the saloon along the river.  We’re hopeful for this park  -but with their top-tier rates, it seems that they need to start showing improvement.

We’re headed to Lake Corpus Christi State Park for a quick overnight before headed to Harlingen, TX in the Rio Grande Valley.


Review of By the River RV Park

9 04 2010
By the River RV Park

By the River RV Park

We’re on the way back home, and our first night is at By the River RV Park near Kerrville, TX. This park is only a few miles from where we stayed 2 weeks ago, Johnson Creek RV Resort.

By the River is about ½ mile off of the secondary highway that runs parallel to I-10, through Kerrville, Ingram and Mountain Home, Texas. This off-highway location offers a quieter environment than at Johnson Creek which was closer to the highway. Another difference is that the river is visible here at from nearly all of the sites. The sites are laid out in a long double row, one side backed in overlooking the river, the other across a paved roadway. Most of the sites here are back-in sites, with a few pull-throughs at the far end of the park. All sites have full hookups, water, sewer, 30 or 50 amp electrical and cable TV. There is a picnic table at most sites.

When we checked in around 4pm, they were preparing a “pot luck” dinner of Texas Fajitas and made sure to invite us to join them. While we didn’t join in for dinner, it appeared that they had a good crowd, so I assume they have a fairly large group of permanent, or at least long-term residents.

The large clubhouse building contained the registration office, a kitchen facility, a small library/setting area the restrooms and the showers. The restrooms and showers were very clean, well maintained and easy to access through an outside door with combo lock. There was also a very nice pool area next to the clubhouse.

Overall we enjoyed our stay at By the River more than at Johnson Creek. This park feels a bit more welcoming, has slightly larger sites, and has more of an “in-the-woods” feel because of less cement and pavement. The pool and outdoor BBQ/entertainment areas at Johnson Creek are certainly the better of the two, but we didn’t use those facilities in either location. By the River RV Park gets a thumbs up, we’d definitely stay here again.

Rates start at $30/night for a standard back-in site, we opted for the back-in premium water-front site at $36, or $32 after the 10% Good Sam discount.