North Texans, get out your tents and hiking boots! A new state park will soon be open to the public. For several years now, Palo Pinto Mountain State Park has been in the planning stages and will be the first new state park in a quarter of a century.
Palo Pinto Mountain State Park is located on 4,871 acres of land with multiple 1,400-foot peaks, a 90-acre lake, two creeks, a variety of trees and undeveloped land. North Texans can easily make a day trip to the park: it’s located 75 miles west of Fort Worth and 75 miles east of Abilene. The park has hiking, biking, camping and many other activities for outdoorsmen and families alike.
The state park will also help the economic growth of the state. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation estimates that the park will attract around 75,000 visitors every year. KERA reported that Texas state parks saw record-breaking visitor numbers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"More Texans than ever, almost 10 million people, came to Texas state parks,” Director of State Parks Rodney Franklin told KERA. “We're expecting that number to continue to grow, because it was growing prior to that."
The park has been funded by private donations and public money, but the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is still asking for donations on its website to help the park grow.
The donation site reads, “Philanthropic support raised by TPWF will be leveraged with $21 million in public funds to construct the roads, utilities, buildings, campsites, trails, and other facilities necessary to open the park to the public.” But the park has only reached about half its goal set to get the park ready.
Even though there is still quite a bit of money to raise the park is set to open to the public in late 2023.