Note: Since we visited Rusk State Park the control of both Rusk and Palestine State Parks and the Texas State Railroad has been transferred to American Heritage Railways. These two parks, Rusk and Palestine are home to the Official Railroad of Texas, the Texas State Railroad. Come on out and ride the steam engine train through the piney woods 50 miles between parks. You may board on either end. The trip is 1 1/2 hours in each direction with a 1 1/2 hour layover at a victorian style depot where you may shop for railroad related memorabilia and picnic in the park. The Palestine park in Anderson County offers primitive, water only campsites. There are no showers. The Rusk park in Cherokee County offers 32 pull-thru full hook up sites and 38 water and electric sites with tent pads. We stayed in site #6 one of the full hook ups. Situated on a hilly rocky area it offered great views of the park. The train track actually loops into the park. If you choose campsites 21 thru 31 you will have a noisy front row view as the train clamors by on it’s way to Palestine. This park is a delight to wander and explore. There is a short nature trail, a small (15 acre) stocked fishing lake and a fishing pier. In season paddle boats and canoes are available for rental. The park at Rusk is right off of U.S. 84. If you choose campsites 16, 18, 20 or 22 you will see and hear the highway traffic.
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