The first new state park in North Texas in 20 years will be Palo Pinto Mountains State Park.
It is located on 4,421 acres of scenic, undeveloped land 75 miles west of Fort Worth and 75 miles east of Abilene, near Strawn in Palo Pinto County.
Plans are underway for campsites to include RV sites, as well as walk-in tent sites and primitive camping areas. Picnic areas and playgrounds will provide gathering places for small and large groups.
The park fronts 4.7 miles on Palo Pinto Creek in the Cross Timbers ecoregion and contains diverse topography with extraordinary conservation and recreational potential.
Several 1,400-foot peaks, the 90-acre Tucker Lake, and two creeks surrounded by stands of live oak, mesquite, cedar elms and native pecan trees will provide a wonderful setting for hiking, mountain biking, camping, horseback riding, fishing, and stargazing.
Palo Pinto Creek meanders near the northern border of the park. A dam on Russel Creek impounds the 90-acre Tucker Lake, the centerpiece of the park.
Currently, as development continues, Tucker Lake is open for fishing until park construction begins. You do not need a fishing license to fish here!
Parking is limited, and the lake does not have a boat ramp. They allow boats with electric motors (no gas motors).
The impact on RVing and camping from the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions has been considerable.
Before 2020, State Parks were beginning to generate almost $900 million in sales activity.
In 2019 there was a $245 million impact on the incomes of Texas residents, and supported an estimated 6,109 jobs throughout the state.
The real power is the impact that state parks have on their local economies. Places like Galveston, Bastrop and Amarillo benefit economically from the thousands of visitors who flock to their communities to visit the state parks.
“State and local parks are important to our state’s economy and help preserve our Texas way of life,” said Dennis Bonnen. “With more than 10 million visitors annually, it’s clear that Texans support and enjoy our parks, and we should do all we can to make sure future generations can continue to do so.”
A decade of public opinion surveys show that Texans overwhelmingly support the parks and conservation of Texas’ natural areas. The latest survey showed 84 percent of all voters agreed with the statement: “Unless we protect Texas’ natural areas, we will lose the very things that make Texas a special place in which to live.”