October 23, 2014

Wild Texas Parks: Choke Canyon State Park: Calliham Unit - Choke Canyon Reservoir - Calliham, TX

Choke Canyon State Park: Calliham Unit - Choke Canyon Reservoir
Calliham, Texas (McMullen County)


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About the State Park

Choke Canyon Lake
Copyright © Justin W. Moore
Choke Canyon State Park is comprised of two units, Calliham and South Shore, surrounding 26,000-acre Choke Canyon Reservoir. Camping, hiking, boating, fishing, picnicking, birding, and wildlife observation are popular throughout the 1,100-acre Calliham Unit of the park. Approximately 2.5 miles of hiking trails are available, including a .5 mile Bird Trail.

Numerous developed (RV) campsites, water-only campsites and screened shelters are available. The unit also features two boat ramps, tennis and basketball courts, baseball diamond, gymnasium, group dining hall, playground, and a seasonal swimming pool (open daily from Memorial Day through August.)

Established as a water supply for Corpus Christi, the reservoir is now home to roughly 200 bird species and abundant wildlife, such as white-tail deer, javelina (collared peccary), wild turkey, greater roadrunner, and golden-fronted woodpecker. American alligators are occasionally observed in the Calliham Unit's 90-acre lake, adjacent to the tent camping area.

Park Ratings

Explanation of Symbols
Campsites/Overnight Facilities*** 3 star
Leashed Pets Permitted?Animated Running Dog YES
Picnic Areas/Playgrounds**** 4 star
Solitude** 2 star
Trail System* 1 star
Water Recreation**** 4 star
Wildlife**** 4 star
Ratings are based on a scale of 0 (low) to 4 (high).

Wild Texas Notebook

Justin and I made our first visit to Choke Canyon on a typical hot, humid South Texas summer day. We explored both the Calliham and South Shore units, finding the former offered better birding and wildlife viewing opportunities. During our visit, we observed white-tail deer (extremely tame, due to years of being fed by "generous" visitors), wild turkey, golden-fronted woodpecker, red-winged blackbird, and numerous shorebirds. Fishing in the reservoir appeared to be quite good. Fish species include: catfish, carp, freshwater drum, and several species of bass.

For more information, read our trip reports:

  • Choke Canyon Camping
  • Location

    The Calliham Unit is located 12 miles west of Three Rivers off State Highway 72. From State Highway 72, take County Road 302/Recreation Road 8 to the park headquarters.

    The nearest major Texas cities are: Austin, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Del Rio, Laredo, San Antonio

    Maps for Choke Canyon State Park: Calliham Unit - Choke Canyon Reservoir

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    Coordinates for GPS Users:

    28.4657298° Latitude    -98.3541101° Longitude (WGS84/NAD83; decimal degrees)
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    Hours

    Open 7 days a week year-round from 6 AM to 10 PM for day use activities.

    Check for restricted park access before any trip. When controlled public hunts are in progress, general access is not permitted.

    Fees

    A park entrance fee is charged per day -- $3 per person for adults 13 years of age and older. (Texas residents age 65 or older pay only $2 per person.) NOTE: Listed fees may not be accurate year-round due to seasonal changes. Contact the park directly to confirm fees.

    Campsite and other facility fees are in addition to the park entrance fee.

    Note: Learn about the $60 Texas State Parks Pass which exempts passholders, and the passengers in their vehicle, from the entrance fees at all Texas State Parks.

    Reservations

    Reserve Now for campsites or other park facilities.

    Reservations can also be made by calling TPWD's Central Reservation System at (512)389-8900 from 9 AM to 8 PM Monday through Friday, 9 AM to noon on Saturdays.

    Calliham, Texas Weather

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    Volunteer Opportunities

    Contact the Friends of Choke Canyon, the officially recognized non-profit support group of Choke Canyon State Park, at P.O. Box 69, Calliham, TX 78007.

    Official Contact Information

    The State Park is managed by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

    Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Choke Canyon State Park: Calliham Unit - Choke Canyon Reservoir

    Calliham, TX 78007

    Telephone: (361)786-3868
    TPWD Park Info: 1-800-792-1112

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