Planning Underway for Palo Pinto Mountains State Park Development
By: B. McKnight
Planning personnel from Texas Parks and Wildlife department held a public hearing to present preliminary development plans for the new Palo Pinto Mountains State Park in Strawn, Texas on August 7. Chris Beckcom, site planner, showed maps and descriptions of the initial ideas for layout and facilities envisioned for the 4500 acre park purchased in 2011 with proceeds from the sale of Eagle Mountain Lake State Park and a grant from the Land and Water Conservation Funds. Other speakers were John Ferguson, Park Superintendent, and Rodney Franklin, TPWD Region 5 Regional Director of State parks.
The new park, located midway between Fort Worth an Abilene, is four miles north of I-20 west of Strawn on Texas Hwy 16. Centerpiece of the facility will be 90-acreTucker Lake, whose scenic valley will be the primary camping area, with cabins, shelters, tent sites, and the primary full-service RV parking area. Non-motorized craft will be allowed on the lake, with convenient docks and fishing piers for park users.
Amenities for primitive camping and trail users will be located nearby. An equestrian area will accommodate fifty truck/trailer units with water and electricity, pens, located near trailheads accessing more than twenty-five miles of trails revealing the distinct scenic beauty of the Western Cross Timbers area.
Final plans for the park will be presented to the 2015 Legislature with the request for construction funding. Planners intend to preserve the spectacular terrain and natural features of the property by centralizing the construction as much as is reasonable. This historic area is often overlooked by travelers, but Palo Pinto Mountains State Park will showcase the newest concepts of park planning.