Abilene state park, southwest of abilene, in taylor county, is among a low range of hills called the callahan divide, in the extreme western portion of north central texas. acquired in 1933 by deed from the city of abilene, the park's total acreage is 529.4.
Balmorhea state park is located on 45.9 acres in the foothills of the davis mountains southwest of balmorhea in reeves county. built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (ccc) in the early 1930s, the park was deeded in 1934 by private owners and reeves county water improvement district no. 1. the park was opened in 1968.
Bastrop state park is 5,926 total acres; approximately 30 miles southeast of austin in bastrop county. it is the site of the famous "lost pines," an isolated timbered region of loblolly pine and hardwoods. the park was acquired by deeds from the city of bastrop and private owners from 1933 to 1935; the park opened in 1937. additional acreage was acquired in 1979. original improvements at the park were made by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
In 1948, the battleship texas became the first battleship memorial museum in the u.s. that same year, on the anniversary of texas independence, the texas was presented to the state of texas and commissioned as the flagship of the texas navy. in 1983, the texas was placed under the stewardship of the texas parks and wildlife department and is permanently anchored on the buffalo bayou and the busy houston ship channel. the texas parks and wildlife department's 1,200-acre san jacinto battleground state historic site consists of the Battleground, Monument and battleship texas. these sites are located within minutes of downtown houston and a short distance to the beaches of galveston island. millions of visitors come to this area each year to enjoy the mild coastal climate and cultural and sports activities. students and visitors alike are most fortunate to be able to experience history first hand through living history at the san jacinto battleground and battleship texas.
St. bernard state park is the ideal spot for visitors who are seeking a family atmosphere and natural experience, as well as for campers who don't want to or cannot stray far from civilization. many campers consider combining a camping vacation with a touring vacation of the new orleans area. the chalmette national historic park, jackson barracks, and other historic sites and plantation homes are also nearby.
Big bend ranch state park, the largest state park in texas, over 300,000 acres of chihuahuan desert wilderness in a remarkably rugged, remote and unpopulated setting. the park extends along the rio grande from southeast of presidio to near lajitas in both brewster and presidio counties. embracing some of the most remote and rugged terrain in the southwest, it encompasses two mountain ranges containing ancient extinct volcanoes, precipitous canyons, and waterfalls. the area has been a crossroads of human activities for over 11,000 years, as diverse people and cultures have been drawn by the abundant resources of the rio grande/rio bravo corridor.
Big spring state park is 381.99 acres located within the city limits of big spring in howard county. both city and park were named for a natural spring that was replaced by an artificial one. the park was deeded by the city of big spring in 1934 and 1935, and was opened in 1936.
Brazos bend state park, approximately 28 miles southwest of houston, covers roughly 5000 acres, with an eastern boundary of 3.2 miles fronting on the brazos river on the southeast border of fort bend county. this was the area of texas' first anglo colonization. it was purchased by the state in 1976-77 and was opened to the public in 1984.
Buescher state park, a scenic area, is 1016.7 acres just north of smithville in bastrop county. between the years 1933 and 1936, mr. emil and mrs. elizabeth buescher originally deeded 318 acres of land to the state. after emil buescher's death, his heirs donated 318 more acres. the rest of the parkland was acquired from the city of smithville. the original park totaled 1738 acres and opened in 1940. approximately 700 of the acres were later deeded to md anderson and ut cancer center.
Thick bald cypress and a tangle of aquatic plants thrive in the waters at caddo lake state park. because the vegetation is so lush, much of the lake is really a maze of sloughs, bayous, and ponds. the park affords excellent access to the diverse fishing in texas. also popular are the park's quaint cabins, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's
Caprock canyons state park, 100 miles southeast of amarillo in briscoe county, was opened in 1982. it consists of 15,313.6 acres (including the trailway, a 64.25 mile rail-to-trail conversion, acquired by donation in 1992 from a railroad entrepreneur). this acquisition added recreational adventure, stretching from the western terminus at south plains up on top of the caprock escarpment to the eastern terminus of estelline in the red river valley. this multi-use trail (hike, bike, and equestrian), opened in 1993, stretches the park through floyd, briscoe, and hall counties crossing 46 bridges and running through clarity tunnel, one of the last active railroad tunnels in texas. the 64.25 miles of the trailway are open to the public from estelline to south plains.
In 1854, john anderson penn settled in the rugged cedar-covered hills of southwest dallas county - an area known as the cedar mountains. today, remnants of the original penn farm survive intact in the confines of cedar hill state park. cedar hill state park is a 1,826 acre urban nature preserve located on the 7500 acre joe pool reservoir. the park's proximity to major metropolitan cities makes it an ideal destination for families who want to enjoy the great outdoors without spending precious time driving. the ruggedness and scenic beauty of the area combined with over 100 miles of shoreline and the water based recreation on joe pool is a major attraction. the metroplex skyline reflects on joe pool at night adding to our relaxing atmosphere. the park was acquired in 1982 and was opened in 1991.
Choke canyon state park, consisting of two units, south shore and calliham, is located on 26,000-acre choke canyon reservoir, a water supply for corpus christi. the park was acquired in 1981 in a 50 year cooperative agreement among the bureau of reclamation, the city of corpus christi and the nueces river authority.
Cleburne state park is a 528-acre park that encompasses a lively 116-acre, spring-fed lake. located southwest of fort worth in johnson county, the park was acquired from the city of cleburne and private owners in 1935-36 and was opened in 1938.
Cooper lake state park, 3,026 acres, is situated in northeast texas. the park consists of two units, doctors creek unit, 715.5 acres, located in delta county, and south sulphur unit, 2,310.5 acres, located in northern hopkins county. cooper lake, 19,300 acres, is a young lake; embankment construction on the south sulphur river began in 1986. lake construction was completed in the fall of 1991 and impoundment began on september 28, 1991. the park property was acquired in january 1991 and opened for boat access in november 1992. doctors creek unit opened january 3, 1996; south sulphur unit opened april 27, 1996. both park units are leased from the u.s. army corps of engineers for 25 years.
Davis mountains state park, 2708.9 acres in size, is located in jeff davis county, four miles northwest of fort davis, approximately halfway between guadalupe mountains national park, carlsbad caverns, and big bend national park. the original portion of the park was deeded to texas parks and wildlife department by a local family. original improvements were accomplished by the Civilian Conservation Corps (ccc) in 1933; the park has been open to the public in since the late 1930s; formal campground facilities were added in 1967.
Devil's sinkhole state natural area, formerly part of the whitworth ranch, is a 1859.7-acre area located approximately six miles northeast of rocksprings in edwards county. it was acquired in 1985 and was opened to limited access in 1992. the sinkhole property does not front a public roadway.