Fort Parker State Park, Mexia Texas

Fort Parker State Park is named for Fort Parker, a nearby historic settlement established in 1833 and site of the well known Comanche Indian raid of May 1836 during which Cynthia Ann Parker was captured.  One of the largest remaining tall grass prairies in Limestone County mingles into dense woodlands providing a pleasant, shady respite from Dallas 80 miles to the north or Waco 47 miles to the west.   In 1939 the CCC built a 729 ft dam across the Navasota River creating the 7oo acre Fort Parker Lake.  Canoe rentals are available seasonally at $25 for 8 hours or $15 for a 3 hour minimum.  Swimming is unsupervised from a small beach or you may fish from the banks of the lake, the dam or from one of the two fishing piers.  Common catches include crappie, bass, catfish or trout in season.  The Springfield 1.5 mile multi-use loop trail is for hiking or biking.  The .5 mile one way Bur Oak nature trail through the woods rewards the bird watcher as many different species swoop through the trees.  We observed bluebirds, cardinals, an indigo bunting and a red-tailed hawk.  The 1.5 mile each way Bainscreek Trail brings you up close to the herons and other shorebirds and wading birds frequenting the park.  The trailer camping loop (sites #1-25 water & electric) is well situated along the lake shore however most of the sites are close together and smaller suited for small trailers or pop-ups.  If your trailer is 25 ft or longer call ahead to see if one of the few larger spaces is vacant.  10 inviting shelters are set into a hillside overlooking the lake.  Primitive car camping sites #40-49 are a short drive down River Rd.  A vault toilet is in the area.  Tip:  You may paddle 3 miles on the Navasota River to the Confederate Reunion Grounds.  Allow 3-4 hours.  Call the park 254-562-5751 to inquire about the availability of shuttles.

This entry was posted in State Parks, Texas and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *