STRAWN, Texas – Texas is getting a new state park for the first time in more than a decade.
Palo Pinto Mountains State Park sits on just over 4,871 acres in a scenic area of North Texas, roughly 75 miles west of Forth Worth.
The park, which is expected to open in 2023, has several 1,400-foot peaks, a 90-acre lake, creeks and an abundance of live oak, mesquite, cedar elms and native pecan trees.
“Tucker Lake is probably going to be the centerpiece of the park. It’s a small, very attractive, 90-acre lake. It’s going to be a great place for fishing and swimming,” said former Palo Pinto Mountains State Park Superintendent John Ferguson.
The main buildings and amenities for the park will be located in a 140-acre area in an effort to leave the majority of the park lightly developed, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation officials.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department estimates the park could eventually attract 75,000 visitors annually, helping bring more economic growth to the area.
Roughly 3,300 acres of land for the park was purchased in 2011 by TPWD using proceeds from the sale of some property on Eagle Mountain Lake, according to the park’s website.
This month's #Take:30forNature features the up and coming @PaloPintoMountainsStatePark. TPWF is raising $9 million to bring Palo Pinto Mountains State Park to life and open the first new state park in North Texas in 25 years. Learn more about this amazing new state park and... pic.twitter.com/5HQiqgEtdo— TPWFoundation (@TPWFoundation) August 12, 2021
TPWD officials are planning an extensive network of multiuse trails for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders throughout the park, as well as campsites, RV sites, walk-in tent sites, picnic areas and playgrounds.
The TPWD website states that officials have not set an opening date for the park but Kera News reported that the park is projected to open in 2023.
If Palo Pinto Mountains State Park opens at that time, it will be the first park to open in Texas in more than 10 years after Old Tunnel State Park, which was established in 2012 in Kendall County.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is hoping to raise $9 million to contribute toward the development of the park, in addition to the $21 million of public funds that are being used to help the roads, utilities, buildings, campsites and trails that are necessary for the park to open.