Palo Pinto Moutains State Park Trails Begun
Palo Pinto Mountains State Park
Palo Pinto Mountains State Park is in planning stages and, will ultimately be a jewel in the Texas State Parks System. Even though this new park will not be open to the public for more than a year, a few events have been scheduled in 2013.
This 4500 acre property located near Strawn, just north Interstate 20, halfway between Abilene and Fort Worth, offers an interesting historical and geological perspective of an area not well known to most Texans. This ranch property boasts significant history and varied geology consisting of rugged mountains, meadows, and lush stands of native grasses and trees. The uncluttered night sky has already attracted an astronomy group from Dallas and the Audubon Society from Fort Worth is enjoying the wide variety of bird life. Development plans for the park are underway and formal construction may be able to start in two years or so.
Dedicated trail users have come together this summer at Palo Pinto Mountains State Park to begin work clearing a system of trails. The ranch roads provide an extensive beginning for developing a trails system which may eventually consist of twenty-five or more miles of hills, meadows, woods, and small bodies of water. An invitational trail ride to scout the prospects was held on June 1, 2013 to coincide with National Trails Day, and work days were held in June, July, and August. At this writing, a total of 30 volunteers under leadership by John Ferguson, park superintendent, and his summer hires Tarleton State University students James Miller and Jack Wilkes, have contributed 236 very hot summer morning hours and have completed initial clearing of almost 10 miles of trails. Equestrian groups involved along with local riders include Texas Equestrian Trail Riders Assn., Inc., North Texas Range Riders, Brazos Valley Hounds and Brown County Riders.
Barbara S McKnight
PPMSP Trails Volunteers