My first two trips this year were just down the road to Brantley Lake State Park. The park is about 10 miles north of Carlsbad. It’s very cheap to camp there with the NM State Parks Pass but the experience is very rich with paved sites spread well apart, covered picnic tables at each site, tent pads at some sites, good utilities, dump site, hiking trails, playground, boating, picnicking, and volleyball. The views of the lake which curves around the campground are lovely! The bathrooms are currently being remodeled while nice trailers are onsite to provide bathroom and shower facilities until finished.
I found the camp hosts and rangers to be very nice and accommodating. The ranger station has displays about the area and brochures.
The hiking trails are easy. I was able to hike from the campground to the day use area and back no problem. I also hiked part of the lake trail. Bring a hiking stick or cane because it is not flat.