Ratcliff Lake Trail is a 2.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Kennard, Texas that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, birding, and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
We stayed at Group Site B on the Loblolly Loop for a few nights with several other families. The campsite itself was great. The loop was quiet and just the right size for kids to safely ride bikes with minimal supervision. The lake comes directly up to the campsite which made for great turtle looking and "fishing." If we had brought the canoe, it would have been perfect for excursions. The hiking trail was lovely, but the map we found on the forest service website was out of date so left us feeling uncertain on our hike. Everything was wonderful EXCEPT the traffic noise from Highway 7 was completely unreasonable. The kids didn't seem to notice much, but the adults had trouble sleeping. I tried lying out in the hammock to watch the stars and the traffic noise was too distracting to relax! The acoustics of the park and lake seem to amplify the sounds, especially of big rigs but even regular cars, and the sound sustains for an outrageous amount of time as the traffic travels past a quite long stretch of road. I timed it and it sounded like jet airplanes taking off for a sustained 75 seconds. That doesn't sound like that would be too bad, but it really was. Highway 7 doesn't seem like it should be such a busy road, but it certainly is. All night and all day. In the daytime, the noise is more constant, so unpleasant but you can tune it out. At night, there often seemed to be 45 seconds or so between vehicles so it was even more aggravating. It was great to get out into a beautiful area and let the kids have so much unstructured play, but I really wish we had known about the traffic. We would have definitely gone elsewhere. Perhaps the Lakeside loop might be a little more quiet, but I am not sure. When we walked the road through that part of the park, it seemed a little better, but on the water it might have been louder. It's very disappointing that such a lovely place is ruined by the proximity of such a ridiculously loud road. Very sad.