Inks Lake State Park

INks lake state park

3630 Park Road 4 West - Burnet, Texas 78611                                  Terry Rodgers - Superintendent                                                                                       512.793.2223

Sporting a similar bortle scale of Pedernales falls state park, at 4.5, this location offers considerably more campsites and equally abundant space. however, with the added overnight possibilities come the onslaught of more people, increased camp light and additional vehicular traffic. we typically have only one overnight to take our metrics at this point in time so as such we've only surveyed half of this state park. we hope to get back in the next month or so to assess the rest of the west side of the park.

for those of you unfamiliar with Inks lake, it is a state park with a lake. this means taking into consider humidity as well as the insect population. the light trespass is on par or slightly more than pedernales as you have burnet, marble falls and llano all within less than 25 miles of the park. Visibility from the campsites we surveyed is 10-15 degrees above the horizon. there are sites at lake level as well as slightly higher elevations, the trade off is those that are higher up and farther away from the lake are closer to the park road so there is a bit of vehicle noise with which to contend. Inks lake boasts 125 campsites with water and electric along with another 49 sites that have just water. 

sites are $16-23 per night  with a $6 day use fee and are assigned on a first come first serve basis. of the sites we visited, #212, 213, 261, 269, 272 and 274 were all viable for camping and observing. upon conversation with the ranger on duty we were also informed that Sites #326 & 328 would be the prime spots for our purposes. they are on the opposite side of the park from where we camped, site #261, and were more private and at a higher elevation. while we don't have photos of those sites yet, we did take images from the area near by.  the terrain overlooking the lake would be an ideal spot to set up several scopes for both day time solar observing and night time stargazing.

the park hosts regular star parties at their playground area, however the frequency of such events is low.

we've detailed the suggested sites on the park map below and will update it as we continue our assessment of inks lake.

Site #269 boasts limited all around visibility with sparse but tall trees.  However, the area is exceptionally level and out of the optional sites, this one is still feesible for observations.

Located at the south end of the lake, and west side of the park, this elevated area is spotted with level areas where strategically placed scopes could get sights on both solar &night sky observing.

Airstream not included, site #213 is a spectacular space that backs up to an even larger open field area. This is a optimum spot for multiple astronomers and those close to the road it is the furthest site, in the section of sites we've assessed, from the lake.

Site #212 is close to the lake but affords great sky views along with level space by which to set up equipment. Similar to campsite #35 at Pedernales State Park, this area could be well occupied by multiple scopes and astronomers.

#274 is situated close to the lake but has optional level area situated farther back than other options at this camping site. There is a mild slope to the area but it also offers a cement pad, separate from the designated parking area.

While it would not have been our first choice, our site for the night served our purposes well. We managed to fit two scopes and all of our equipment at the back end of the parking area with still more than plenty of room for the truck. The grassy area to the South end of the site would have just as easily served our needs should there not have been space in the parking spot.