Camp Ben McCul­loch: An Oa­sis on Onion Creek

Guide to Dripping Springs - - Front page -

Look­ing for a nice shady pic­nic spot, or a place to camp, fish or swim? Pay a visit to Camp Ben McCul­loch, the only con­tin­u­ously used Con­fed­er­ate camp­ground in the South. It is only a short drive from Drip­ping Springs, near the small town of Drift­wood.

Con­fed­er­ate vet­er­ans founded the 40-acre camp­ground in 1896. It is main­tained by Hays County res­i­dents de­scended from Con­fed­er­ate vet­er­ans.

De­spite the link to the Old South, the camp and its op­er­a­tors are not po­lit­i­cal. Any­one and ev­ery­one is wel­come to use the fa­cil­ity and at­tend the an­nual Camp Ben McCul­loch Re­union each June.

“Camp Ben is a su­per place to spend an af­ter­noon,” said Steve Smith, who reg­u­larly vis­its the park. “In my opin­ion it’s the most beau­ti­ful stretch of Onion Creek in Hays County. It doesn’t hurt that the best bar­be­cue on the face of the planet — Salt Lick — is right across the road.”

The camp­ground is open to the pub­lic 24 hours a day. There is no charge for day use, but a do­na­tion is re­quested for overnight camp­ing. Most camp­sites are prim­i­tive. Elec­tric­ity and wa­ter are avail­able for RVs and campers, but there are no RV hookups per se.

The fee for prim­i­tive camp­ing is $10 per night. RV camp- ing costs $15 a night.

Camp­sites are oc­cu­pied by mem­bers dur­ing the an­nual re­union in June, but for the rest of the year they are avail­able to the pub­lic.

A care­taker is avail­able to ac­cept camp­ing fees and take reser­va­tions. Call ahead, (512) 858-2084, if you plan to use the pavil­ion, taber­na­cle or dance floor. Th­ese are of­ten re­served on week­ends. Prim­i­tive camp­sites usu­ally are not re­served.

The camp­ground has a half-mile of Onion Creek frontage, and there are sev­eral spots that make good swim­ming holes when rain­fall is suf­fi­cient.

To get to Camp Ben McCul­loch, head south from Drip­ping Springs on Ranch Road 12, turn left on F.M. 150 to­ward Drift­wood, left again on Ranch Road 1826. The camp­ground is on the right, across from the Salt Lick restau­rant.

Camp Ben McCul­loch, the only con­tin­u­ously op­er­ated Con­fed­er­ate Camp­ground, is open to the pub­lic. The grounds, lo­cated on Onion Creek, fea­tures sev­eral great swim­ming holes.

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