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Old 03-21-2010, 07:11 PM   #1
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mddsmith's Avatar
2002 27' Safari
Arlington , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 56
Texas State Railroad Campgrounds - Rusk, Texas

We just got back from our second-ever Airstream trip, and the first-ever Airstream trip for our son, who was home from college on spring break. We wanted to go somewhere outside the local Dallas - Fort Worth area, but not TOO far away. We chose the Texas State Railroad Campgrounds in Rusk, Texas because it fit those requirements, and because I've always had a thing for trains. We had a great time. The railroad runs about 30 miles between Rusk and Palestine (pronounced PAL-uh-steen) and was formerly part of the Texas state parks system, but it is now operated by a private company (the same one that operates the Durango & Silverton Railroad and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, both of which we had previously ridden). The ride was pleasant and lasted about an hour and a half each way, and anyone who likes steam locomotives or trees will be enchanted. At this time of year, the train is called the Dogwood Express, because the dogwoods are in bloom and make for a spectacular sight along the rail line. Unfortunately, the dogwoods must have missed their wakeup call, as they were not yet blooming this past weekend. The next two or three weeks should be great.

There is a campground at each end of the line. We chose the one at the Rusk end because it has full hookups, which the Palestine campground does not have. At the Rusk end, the train depot is right next to the campground, and at the end of the run, the locomotive turns around to face the opposite direction by using a "wye" track that actually brings it directly into the campground.

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The campground was wooded and quite nice. The pull-through spaces were adequate, although I thought the curve in ours was a bit sharp and tight. But then I don't yet have much experience and tend to break into a sweat any time I have to do any maneuvering. There was some traffic noise from the adjacent highway, but it faded to almost nothing by about 10 p.m., so we slept like logs under the pine trees.

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Bonus picture - This last photo shows either a gigantic Labrador Retriever or two very small horses. They were all sharing a field right by the entrance to the park. Sorry for the obstructed picture - it was taken during a driving, ice-cold rain as we left, and there was no way to get out of the truck to improve it.

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Mike & Diane

"The written word will soon disappear, and we'll no longer be able to read good prose like we used to could." - James Thurber
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:38 PM   #2
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
1972 25' Tradewind
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Thanks for the posting. Was just asking about the train as we were near Jasper Tx at Sandy Creek State Park. Got a wee bit cold for us South Texans. Will take your advice on the campground.

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Old 03-28-2010, 05:58 AM   #3
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2004 30' Classic Slideout
College Town USA , Virginia
Join Date: May 2005
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This was our very first destination with our new, at the time, Classic. We found it to be delightful and we learned just how much we didn't know. What fun we had on the train and in the park. Great memories for our very first outing in a trailer we love to venture out with even more as time goes by.
In dog years, I'm dead!
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