Nestled in the rolling hills of the farms and ranches near Brenham is a lake that offers a place to play and a place to relax just 90 miles from the hassles of Houston. Lake Somerville covers 11,460 acres and has 85 miles of shoreline. It provides water for the area and was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1960’s.
A state park is located at this lake in two distinct units. The Birch Creek Unit is located on the north shores of the lake and comprises 640 acres. It offers 103 partial service campsites with water and electricity, four dump stations and 20 equestrian tent sites with water only. This unit also offers a Group Trailer Area with 30 water and electrical sites and a Dining Hall.
The Nails Creek Unit, 300 acres located on the southeast corner of the lake, has 40 campsites available with water and electricity, a dump station and 20 tent sites, 10 of those being equestrian.
The Birch Creek Unit offers three picnic areas and the Nails Creek Unit offers two. There is a total of 30 miles of hiking, biking and horseback trails throughout the park.
Fishing is excellent in both units, and the Birch Creek Unit provides an 80-foot concrete fishing jetty. Both Units offer an enclosed fish cleaning shelter. The Nail Creek Unit maintains the west bank of Cedar Creek where anglers can find good crappie fishing from January to late April.
The Birch Creek Unit has two two-lane boat ramps and the Nails Creek Unit has one two-lane boat ramp. Both Units offer volleyball courts. Both sand and grass are available at the Birch Creek Unit, while the Nails Creek Unit offers just one grass court. Lake swimming is allowed, but no lifeguard is on duty.
The two units are connected by the Lake Somerville Trailway where visitors can find 100 primitive campsites, four sanitary toilets and six shade shelters.
For something different, consider Nails Creek Unit for weekend hayrides. They even offer “Hayride Weddings.”
For more information about the two units, please feel free to call Russell Fishbeck at the Birch Creek Unit or Glen Korth at the Nails Creek Unit.
For bait and tackle near the park, the Birch Creek Unit Headquarters offers some basic supplies. For more extensive needs in the Birch Creek Unit area, try Big Creek Marina on Park Road 4 in Lyons for live bait, tackle, gas and a camping area and motel on the premises. Call Big Creek Marina at (409) 596-1616. Judy’s Grocery is located in the town of Somerville and in addition to groceries, offers bait, tackle, gas, a bar & grill, a pool room and dancing. Contact Judy’s Grocery at (409) 535-4030.
For fishermen in the Nails Creek Unit, bait and tackle can be found at the Checkpoint Trading Post at the intersection of Overlook Park Rd. and FM 1948. Bonnie and Steve Todee can help with your fishing needs, including renewing your fishing license, at (409) 289-4102. The Rocky Creek Store on FM 1948 on the south shores of the lake offers fishing supplies, boat storage and a restaurant. Contact Andy Holley at Rocky Creek Store at (409) 289-3426. Burger & Stuff, located on FM 180 in Burton is southwest of the Nails Creek Unit and has bait, groceries and liquor available. They can be reached at (409) 289-2466.
If you want to stay near the park but can’t camp, several motels are available nearby. The Big Creek Marina offers a motel in Lyons near the Birch Creek Unit with AC and kitchenettes. They accept Visa and MasterCard and the motel is located close to the marina. Surrey Inn is located in Caldwell, just 16 miles northwest of the lake, and has 24 rooms, a pool, cable TV, a cafe on the premises and takes major credit cards. Surrey Inn’s rates range from $32.00 for a single to $37 for a double, with a $4. charge for each additional person. The Varsity Inn, also located in Caldwell, has 63 rooms, a pool, cable TV and takes major credit cards. The Varsity also serves continental breakfast on the weekends. The rates here range from $37 for a single to $43 for a double, and $4 for each additional person.
If you need a fishing guide for the lake, Paul Place comes highly recommended. Place Guide Service can be reached at (409) 693-3017.
– Lake Havasu
– Lake Havasu