While you watch forecasts for a glimpse of non-triple-digit Texas weather, why not start cultivating that list of fun places to visit once the heat gives us a break.
Turn that group chat into a real adventure at Bug Beach at Possum Kingdom Lake, whether your group enjoys camping, hiking, space to swim, or cookouts with a fantastic view.
Nestled on the Brazos River just northwest of the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex or 2.5 hours from Waco, Possum Kingdom Lake is just the escape you’re looking for with its clear, cool water and 219 miles worth of impressive cliff-filled shoreline.
Bug Beach, aka BRA Area #5, is located at 2760 Frontier Unit Road in Graford. And best of all, it’s free, open year-round, and no reservations are needed.
If you don’t plan to camp, book any local reservations in advance, as the popular water supply reservoir attracts a variety of visitors and local rentals book up quickly. Since PK Lake is a bit of a drive from your local watering hole, you don’t want to come unprepared.
Bug Beach has a variety of features free to the public. There’s a boat ramp so you can take your watercraft out on the lake. There is a designated swimming area, which is roped off for everyone’s safety and enjoyment. There are 10 different sites at the park to pitch a tent, and each has its own fire pit and grill. Generators are permitted but keep your neighbors at the park in mind and make every effort to keep the noise down.
The park connects to a trailhead that leads those looking to stretch their legs through the extensive Possum Kingdom Lake Hike and Bike Trail network. Walk, run or bike any amount of the 16 miles of paths that connect each of the parks on the peninsula and offer scenic rest areas equipped with benches.
Bug Beach is one of 10 park areas the Brazos River Authority provides at the reservoir. Feel free to bring your dogs; just don’t forget to keep them on a leash and out of the designated swim areas.
Most importantly, leave the glass containers at home before making the trip. Too often, accidents happen, and we don’t want anyone stepping on glass.
Make sure to take home great memories, but leave no trace after your visit. And if you need any assistance during working hours, call the Lake Office at 940-779-2321. If you need help in the evenings or on the weekends, call the local non-emergency number for the sheriff’s office – they can reach out to the on-call Lake Ranger.
Here are a variety of maps of Possum Kingdom Lake and where Bug Beach, along with the other parks, is specifically located. Possum Kingdom Lake is rather long, and driving around the lake can take up a good part of your visit if you get turned around. For best directions to the park, print or screenshot the map on your cell phone. Cell service can be spotty in areas.
So what inspired the name Bug Beach?
Kevin VanDuser has an idea. VanDuser has authored two books about Possum Kingdom Lake’s history and has been described as “a PK evangelist, historian, and self-described lake rat,” according to this Texas Monthly article.
VanDuser said in an email that he first heard the name “Bug Beach” while working as a counselor at the Boy Scouts of America Camp Constantin in the mid-’60s to late ’70s. The 385-acre camp includes six miles of shoreline on Possum Kingdom Lake.
“From what I recall, locals called it Bug Beach because the area was completely void of trees where native and invasive grasses covered the site,” he said. “Walking from the grassy field to the waterfront was like running a gauntlet through bugs and bull nettle. The swim area was popular because of its sandy bottom covered with soft aquatic vegetation.”
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bug Beach, aka BRA Area #5
2760 Frontier Unit Road Graford, TX 76449
- Free and open year-round. No reservations needed.
- Includes a boat ramp, picnic tables, designated swimming area, a trailhead, and 10 tent sites, each with a fire pit and grill.
- One of 10 Possum Kingdom Lake public use areas.