Choke Canyon State Park: South Shore Unit - Choke Canyon Reservoir
Three Rivers, Texas (McMullen County)

Download a Park Map from TPWD

About the State Park

Choke Canyon State Park is comprised of two units, Calliham and South Shore, surrounding 26,000-acre Choke Canyon Reservoir. Located at Choke Canyon Dam and providing access to the Frio River, the South Shore Unit is a day use only park offering boating, fishing, hiking, backpacking, equestrian use (horseback riding), birding, picnicking, and wildlife observation opportunities. Two boat ramps, a fish cleaning station and picnic areas are available.

The 1,200-acre North Shore area of the South Shore Unit is accessible to equestrians, hikers and backpackers who have obtained reservations and permits from the Calliham park headquarters. Known as the North Shore Equestrian Area, there are 18 miles of trails ranging from gently rolling brushland to rugged and rocky areas that provide habitat for a variety of wildlife. No horse rentals or corrals available. The area is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 AM to 5 PM; the area is closed during hunting season.

Established as a water supply for Corpus Christi, the reservoir is now home to roughly 200 bird species and abundant wildlife, such as white-tail deer, javelina (collared peccary), wild turkey, greater roadrunner, and golden-fronted woodpecker. American alligators are occasionally observed in the Calliham Unit's 90-acre lake, adjacent to the tent camping area.

Park Ratings

Explanation of Symbols
Campsites/Overnight Facilities 0 star
Leashed Pets Permitted?Animated Running Dog YES
Picnic Areas/Playgrounds* 1 star
Solitude*** 3 star
Trail System**** 4 star
Water Recreation*** 3 star
Wildlife**** 4 star
Ratings are based on a scale of 0 (low) to 4 (high).

Wild Texas Notebook

Justin and I made our first visit to Choke Canyon on a typical hot, humid South Texas summer day. We explored both the Calliham and South Shore units, finding the former offered better birding and wildlife viewing opportunities. During our visit, we observed white-tail deer (extremely tame, due to years of being fed by "generous" visitors), wild turkey, golden-fronted woodpecker, red-winged blackbird, and numerous shorebirds. Fishing in the reservoir appeared to be quite good. Fish species include: catfish, carp, freshwater drum, and several species of bass.

For more information, read our trip reports:

  • Choke Canyon Camping
  • Location

    The South Shore Unit is located 3.5 miles west of Three Rivers on State Highway 72.

    The nearest major Texas cities are: Austin, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Del Rio, Laredo, San Antonio

    Maps for Choke Canyon State Park: South Shore Unit - Choke Canyon Reservoir

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    Coordinates for GPS Users:

    28.4673049° Latitude    -98.2464677° Longitude (WGS84/NAD83; decimal degrees)
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    Open 7 days a week year-round from 6 AM to 10 PM for day use activities.

    Check for restricted park access before any trip.


    A park entrance fee is charged per day -- $3 per person for adults 13 years of age and older. (Texas residents age 65 or older pay only $2 per person.) NOTE: Listed fees may be inaccurate at certain times of year due to seasonal changes. Contact the park directly to confirm fees.

    Campsite and other facility fees are in addition to the park entrance fee.

    Visit parks often? Learn about the $70 Texas State Parks Pass which exempts the passholder, and the passengers in their vehicle, from the entrance fees at all Texas State Parks.

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    Volunteer Opportunities

    Contact the Friends of Choke Canyon, the officially recognized non-profit support group of Choke Canyon State Park, at P.O. Box 69, Calliham, TX 78007.

    Official Contact Information

    The State Park is managed by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

    Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Choke Canyon State Park: South Shore Unit - Choke Canyon Reservoir
    Three Rivers, TX 78071

    Telephone: (361)786-3538
    TPWD Park Info: 1-800-792-1112