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This Free Texas River Is A Wonderful Hidden Oasis That Is Perfect To Visit This Summer

Hidden gems are amazing and they're great when they come with a place to swim, especially with this Texas heat.  Thankfully, we've found Pugh Park in Christoval, Texas, also known as The River Park near San Angelo. The river is super relaxing and you can even spend up to three nights of free camping there. 

Visitors of the beautiful park and river are allowed to bring their own water gear like tubes and kayaks for all the summer fun you can imagine. Swimming is allowed at your own risk so we advise you to take all safety measures while you cool off from the Texas sun. There is also a rope swing that is free for everyone to use that will make you feel like a real-life Tarzan. 

The campsites are first come first serve and they are the only places you are allowed to make a fire for those cooler nights. Camping is right off the shore so you can hop into the water first thing in the morning! During the summer months, camping can not exceed three days due to the limited amount of spots. The spots don't have hookups so it will be just old fashioned camping there.

If you don't plan on spending the night, you can use one of their BBQ pits to whip up a snack. There are plenty of shady trees for you to enjoy and even have a picnic under. You can bring your favorite puppy as long as they stay on a leash, so bring Fido along for a fun day out! The spot is perfect to hang out with friends and the fact that it is secluded means you'll get to be as loud as you want without people overhearing you (but if there are other people just be mindful okay?).

The park is free for the public an is open 24 hours. We suggest being extra careful when going at night as there is no lifeguard.

Pugh Park is located at Ranch Road 2084 on Toenail Trail. For more information on the park, you can visit their website here. 

Pugh Park

Price: Free

Address: Ranch Road 2084 on Toenail Trail

Why you need to go: The river is free and a wonderful hidden oasis. You can spend the night and are free to bring all your favorite water gear.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.

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