CAMPGROUND NAME: Ratcliff Lake
VISIT DATE: 02/22/1997
UPDATE DATE: 4/9/2011
RANGER DISTRICT: Davy Crockett
NEAREST CITY/TOWN: Ratcliff
RESERVATIONS: 1-877-444-6777 or make on-line reservation
From Ratcliff, TX, take State Rt. 7 west 1 mile to campground
sign. Turn right at sign into campground.
The elevation is 200 ft.
The campground, built in in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC),
has four loops - Lakeshore, Dogwood, Loblolly, and Overflow. It stretches
2.2 miles around Ratcliff Lake and has retained its charm and character
over the years.
Lakeshore loop is more a spur than a loop. It is split between a few
combined campsites, along the campground's main interior road, and lots of
tent only sites. Several of these tent only sites are walk-in and are along
the shoreline. The campsites at the beginning and end of Lakeshore Loop are
very spacious while the sites in between have a more intimate feel. There is
no bathhouse in Lakeshore Loop; campers use the nearby Dogwood Loop
facilities. Privacy between campsites is excellent.
Every campsite in Dogwood Loop, which is a spur and loop, has either electric
and water hookups (on the spur) or only electric hookups (in the loop). The
bathhouse in the spur is an older style with showers that are not wheelchair
friendly or private. On the other hand, the bathhouse in Dogwood's internal
loop is modern with private rooms containing wheelchair friendly showers and
toilet facilities. Privacy in this loop is fair.
Loblolly Loop stretches over a point reaching into Ratcliff Lake and has a
more rustic feel. All the sites in Loblolly have a view of the lake and the
day use area can be seen from several campsites. This loop is more open with
less middlestory and privacy is good.
Overflow Loop is next to the 4C Mill Site ruins and has the campground's
playground along with walk-in tent sites on the lake. The most open and, with
designated open field parking, least formal of the campground's loops, The
Overflow Loop is outstanding for large families or groups who want to camp
together. This is the only loop where traffic noise might be distracting.
Privacy varies from fair to excellent.
Ratcliff Lake started as a log pond and source of water for the Central Coal
and Coke Company (thus the 4C name) Sawmill that operated here from 1902
through 1920. The 4C operation removed most of the area's trees. The
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company F-4 reforested the land in the
mid-1930 and the planted Loblolly can be seen throughout the campground (look
for pine trees standing in straight lines). The forest is maturing and today,
along with the pine, the campground enjoys several species of oak, beech, and
other deciduous trees. Although the campground is heavily wooded, it is
spacious with ample room for the various types of living units.
A concession-operated snack bar, convenience store and boat rental (canoes and
paddle boats) are found in the day use area at front of campground. A primitive
boat ramp is also located in this
Open Seasonal: No
Open All Year: Yes
Because of storm damage during April 2011, campground is closed.
Call the ranger district office for status
RATE AND MAXIMUM STAY PERMITTED
Rate: $10 per day - no hookups
Senior Discount - $5 per day
$15 per day - electric/electric & water hookups
Senior Discount - $10 per day
$20 per day - full hookups
Senior Discount - $15 per day
Maximum Stay Permitted (days): 14
CAMPGROUND SITE CONFIGURATION
No. RV Sites: 0
No. Tent Sites: 29
No. Combined Sites (Tent or RV): 46
Total Sites: 75
Tent Pads: Yes
Open Sites: No
Wooded Sites: Yes
No. Tables on Sites: 75
No. Grilles on Sites: 75
Equestrian Camping: No
No. Full Hookups (includes waste): 3
No. Water and Electric Only: 11
No. Water Only: 0
No. Electric Only: 15
No. RV Pull Throughs: 0
Waste Station: Yes
Potable Water at Waste Station: Yes
Average Parking Apron Size: See RV Comments
The parking aprons are broken asphalt and gravel in Dogwood and
Loblolly loops, some paved and some dirt in Lakeshore Loop, and
open field on grass and gravel in the Overflow Loop. Some
parking aprons show signs of erosion and leveling may be a
challenge. The 3 full hookup campsites may be occupied by a host;
they are NOT on the reservation system.
Dogwood Loop - any size RV
Loblolly Loop - 13' X 35'
Lakeshore Loop - N/A
Overflow Loop - open field parking
BATH AND SHOWER FACILITIES
Flush Toilets: Yes
Hot Showers: Yes
The bathhouses in the Loblolly and Dogwood Loops (interior loop)
are modern and wheelchair friendly.
Public Phone: No
No. Water Spigots (non-site): 16
No. Threaded: 16
Wheelchair Friendly Toilets: Yes
Swimming (provided): Yes
Boat Ramp: Yes
Boat Carry Down Access: Yes
Power Boating: Yes
Boating (no power): Yes
Water Skiing: No
Rafting (whitewater): No
Kayaking (whitewater): No
Ratcliff Lake is 45 acres. Power boats limited to electric
4C Trail (foot only) - 20 miles
Tall Pines Trail - 1.5 miles
Trail Tamers Trail (foot, wheelchair friendly) - 0.75 miles
Largemouth bass, bream and Channel/Blue catfish. There are wheelchair
friendly fishing piers.