Camp Ben McCulloch: An Oasis on Onion Creek
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.