Fairfield Lake State Park - Fairfield, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 31° 45.912 W 096° 04.391
14R E 777209 N 3518138
Quick Description: Fairfield Lake State Park is a beautiful 1460 acre park located at the end of FM 3285, about seven miles northeast of Fairfield, TX.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 7/2/2022 12:10:22 AM
Waymark Code: WM16CP1
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin
Views: 2

Long Description:
Be on the lookout throughout the park, especially at the restrooms, for information about what used to be here before the lake replaced Big Brown Creek and the Trinity River. The Cook's Ferry camping area, for example, is named for the ferry that once operated on the Trinity River, and the water well from the Hill family homestead is at the amphitheater in the Springfield camping area. Some of the "Old Springfield Road", which took stagecoaches and wagons as far as Groesbeck and Navasota, can still be seen there as well.

There's also some good reading (including photos of seized equipment) about the bootlegging industry that thrived nearby, thanks to numerous springs, and "Freestone County Bourbon Deluxe" was so popular that it gained a national reputation during Prohibition. Today, most folks should just remain content with Freestone peaches.
Park Type: Day Use, Camping

There are multiple hiking trails in the park:

The Bird Watching Trail is a .7 mile loop that takes hikers to the lake, and requires good eyesight, good hearing, and a bit of patience, but even without the birds, it is a beautiful walk.

The Nature Trail is a two mile loop with scenic views of the lake, and occasional signs about the fauna and flora that you may see as you walk. Be on the lookout for beavers, otters, and bald eagles by the water, and be especially careful where you walk/sit, as timber rattlesnake sightings are uncommon.

The Scenic Loop is a .4 mile trail that takes the hiker to the lake and past beautiful scenery for the return to the trailhead.

The Dockery Trail is a 5.3 mile trail whose southern trailhead is just outside the park entrance, accessible from the north at various points near where it converges with the Scenic Loop and the Nature Trail. Word from the ranger station is that starting from the north is the way to go. This is a fairly strenuous walk in some areas, but there are multiple scenic views, and a small picnic area at the loop at the end of the trail. Note that the walk is 5.3 miles one way, so be prepared!

The Big Brown Creek Trail, while referenced on maps and signs, appears to be closed indefinitely. This three mile, one-way trail, with a loop at one end, leads to primitive camping sites.

The park's trails are open to hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians except where noted. There are two boat ramps, two fishing piers (and fish cleaning stations), a swimming area with a small beach and playground, picnic areas (with grills and picnic tables), kayak rentals, and three camping areas with over 130 sites. Some of the campsites accommodate RVs with hookups, while others are a bit more primitive, and there are plenty of restrooms. The park can handle groups with a large dining hall near the South Boat Ramp.

The Chancellor Union Cemetery, dating to the 1850s, is reachable on the park's original access road. Approaching 100 burials, this Historic Texas Cemetery is part of a tract of land donated by early pioneers, Reuben and Mary Chancellor, and they are buried here with many of their descendants.

Park Fees:
Age 12 and up: $5/day

For best results, $70 will get you a Texas State Parks Pass, which allows unlimited access to the state's parks for a year, and also provides discounts on camping, store merchandise, and other park-specific products/services. Guests traveling with you can also be covered under most circumstances.

The Big Brown Power Plant constructed a dam to create Fairfield Lake in 1969, and the park itself was opened on March 1, 1972, initially just for day use. The original entrance followed the old Cook's Ferry Road, and can still be traveled to access the Chancellor Union Cemetery. Development followed, and the park finally permitted camping in 1976. Be on the lookout as you travel the park for interesting reading and old photos of where the park was originally and how some things have changed, while others have remained the same.

Date Established?: 1972

Link to Park: [Web Link]

Additional Entrance Points: Not Listed

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