This week our day trip was to Fort Richardson State Park and Historic Site. Located in Jacksboro Texas, 60 miles west of Fort Worth, it was an approximate 90 mile drive from our home in Irving, Texas. Fort Richardson, the northernmost post of a line of federal forts established after the Civil War to protect settlers and travelers from raiding Indians was commanded by Civil War hero and famed Indian fighter Col. Ranald Mackenzie from April 1871 to December 1872. The Post was home to more than 5000 United States Army soldiers during it’s 11 years of active military existence.
One of our goals on this day trip was to tour the surviving seven original structures built in 1867, including an authentically restored military hospital and two replica barracks. Ranger guided tours are conducted daily at 10AM and 2PM Be sure to call ahead for any last minute schedule changes. We missed the guided tour but picked up a brochure for the self-guided walking tour of the historic site and stopped in the interpretive center to view the exhibits.
One of our new activities when we visit the parks is tracking geocaches. We found the two that are hidden at Fort Richardson, both easy walks on quiet, pretty nature trails. The geocaches were stuffed with goodies. We signed the logbooks at both caches and chose a keepsake in exchange for the treasures that we left behind. More and more of the Texas State Parks have geocaches and are encouraging folks to go outside and join the geocache challenge. Go to www.tpwd.state.tx.us/geocaching for more information.
There is a lot more to do here at Fort Richardson. You can fish from an 8 acre former quarry holding black bass, perch and catfish. Did you know that fishing is free in all Texas State Parks? Besides the short hiking and nature trails in the park the 9.5 mile multi-use Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway winds along the east side of Lake Jacksboro. Options for camping include screened shelters, primitive sites and full hook-ups. Campsites are spacious and private. Special park events include a Texas Independence Day Celebration held in March as well as a historical re-enactment weekend. Contact the park for exact dates. 940-567-3506