Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Campground Review: Ft. Anahuac Park Anahuac, TX

Historical Background:

In November of 1830 on a bluff overlooking the mouth of the Trinity River the Mexican authorities began construction of a fort to control traffic entering the Texas Territory and to enforce the Law of April 6, 1830 which was passed to stop the free flowing Anglo immigration from the US into Texas.  (Irony anyone?)  One of six such forts built along the coast, all named with Mexican names, the one on the Trinity was called Fort Anahuac after the home of the ancient Aztecs.  The Mexican garrison at Fort Anahuac reached a high of 295 officers and men in 1832.  Colonel William Travis was briefly imprisoned at the fort in 1832 for the illegal importation of slaves into Texas, he had brought his man-servant with him from the US.  In June of 1832 Texan insurgents attacked the fort to free Travis and after they successfully captured the fort it caught fire and burned.  This attack is often referred to as the opening of the Texan Revolution.  Colonel Travis was to lead the defense of the Alamo four years later in 1836.

A stone marker is placed on the Fort's site, nothing remains of the Fort.

Fort Anahuac Park is a Chambers County park located in the southwest corner of the Texas town of Anahuac on the Liberty River just as it enters Galveston Bay.  I traveled there in late November to take advantage of the three day free stay policy Chambers County offers at a number of their county parks.

This vista of the park was taken on the only non-rainy day I stayed.
Fort Anahuac Park is pretty large for a county park and offers three boat launch ramps, a lit fishing pier, three lit baseball fields, a restroom with showers, covered picnic gazebos with electricity, playground equipment and a bird watching boardwalk through the marshes complete with observation towers.

Here's the Fort Anahuac Park data sheet:

Hookups:                                 30 amp but use is prohibited
Fire ring:                                  No
Water Access:                         Yes
Fresh Water:                            Yes
Trash Service:                          Yes
Toilets:                                    Yes - flush
Showers:                                 Yes
Dump station:                          No
WiFi:                                       No
Level sites:                              Yes
Laundry:                                  No
Store:                                       No
Pool:                                        No
Shade:                                     Yes
Verizon reception:                   4G, 2 of 4 bars
Internet reception:                   3 of 4 bars
Cost:                                     Free for up to 3 nights

The fishing pier which is brightly lit at night.
Given that Chambers County let me stay free for three nights you'd guess that I wouldn't have anything to complain about regarding my stay and you'd be ALMOST right.  When you email the County Commissioner's secretary to obtain permission to camp at the park (you can't just go there and camp without permission) she emails you a PDF of the park rules.  One of the rules prohibits tying into any of the parks electricity which is fine -- it's their electricity.  But why then are there dozens of RV hookup boxes with live electricity spread around the park if no one is allowed to hookup to them??  The rules warn that you'll be asked to leave if you are found electrically hooked up.

A Kindle getting a surreptitious charge on top of a prohibited hookup box. 
The hookup ban is policed too, a park employee drove his county pickup up to a meter near where I was camped and wrote down the meter reading.....just to be sure!

Note the lack of a hookup cable on the Tank....Yay solar panels!
I wish I had experienced better weather during my stay at Fort Anahuac Park.  Instead I endured two and a half days of fairly constant rain and wind which precluded my even walking down to the bird watching boardwalk through the marshes.  I probably made a bigger deal out of the hookup ban than I needed but something about it just seemed wrong-headed but it's not a big deal for a RV with a solar setup and really, the price of the stay can't be beat.  Overall I was very impressed with the park and will make a point of returning hoping for decent weather this time.

Thanks for reading!

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