What to do in Cleburne State Park

Cleburne State Park is a 528-acre park that encompasses a lively 116-acre, spring-fed lake located southwest of Fort Worth, in Johnson Co. The park was acquired from the city of Cleburne and private owners in 1935-36 and was opened in 1938.

The region surrounding Cleburne State Park was a favorite hunting ground for many Indian tribesmen, since it comprised densely wooded country amidst plains and included several clear water springs. The Comanches used this area as a trail from the northwest to raid the homesteads in the south. The Indians would lead two fresh horses as they rode a third one, switching to a fresh horse as each one was winded. In this manner they would escape their pursuers.

Their concealed trail was last used for a raid on Kimbell (now known as Kimbell Bend) which, built in 1851, was the first town in Johnson County. Kimbell was established on the Chisholm Trail at its crossing on the Brazos River. Vast herds of cattle from the southern ranches in Texas crossed at Kimbell Bend going north to the markets. The park, located eight miles north of Kimbell Bend, was also a good camp site for the cowboys who drove cattle on the Chisholm Trail.

In 1934, this beautiful valley of springs was recognized as a picturesque locality for a park. A group of local businessmen, interested in its development, secured it for the State Park Board to establish a state park. In 1935, Civilian Conservation Corps Company 3804 (CCC) of the federal government moved into the park site to start developing a park.

The enrollees built a small earthen dam to impound the park's 116-acre lake, with a beautiful masonry, three-level spillway, then cleared a three-mile-long scenic roadway around the lake. A concession building, boathouse, and bathhouse were built in 1936, with additions in 1940.

The park residence, water tower, and interior furnishings display a variety of handcrafted wood and metal ornaments.

The park is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week year-round. The busy Season is spring to summer.

Visitors to the Cleburne State Park with have the opportunities to participate in a variety of recreational activities, all of these are done within a beautiful and peaceful surrounding. Visitors get the opportunity to admire the juniper (cedar), oak, elm, mesquite, redbud, cottonwood, sycamore, ash and sumac trees that cover white rocky hills. In early spring, there is a carpet of bluebonnets in the open fields and many other varieties of wild flowers throughout the park. Wildlife Observation and Photography: white-tailed deer, turkey, duck, armadillo, squirrel, skunk, bobcat, swamp rabbit, cottontail rabbit, raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, and many species of birds. Popular fish include crappie, bass, catfish, blue gill, and red ear sunfish.

The park has a privately operated store for the convenience of visitors. The store offers groceries, ice, deli, firewood, souvenirs and T-shirts, fishing and camping supplies and a variety of bait. Boat rentals include pedal boats, rowboats with or without an electric motor, canoes, and kayaks. While enjoying your visit, why not take a leisurely ride through the park on a bicycle built for two. The store is conveniently located next to the swimming area, playground, and the day use picnic area.

Nearby attractions include Dinosaur Valley, Meridian, and Lake Whitney State Parks; Acton State Historical Park; Fossil Rim Wildlife; Texas Amphitheater featuring "The Promise;" Six Flags over Texas theme park and water park; Texas Ranger baseball in Arlington; three golf courses (Squaw Valley Golf Course, Nolan River Country Club, and Cleburne Municipal); and Lake Pat Cleburne.

Camping and entrance fees vary. For reservations call 512/389-8900. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112. For more details, contact the Cleburne State Park office.

Recreational opportunities at the park include, fishing, boating, camping, hiking along several trails, mountain biking, nature study and guided tours.

Cleburne State Park is located southwest of the Fort Worth metropolitan area, off U.S. Highway 67, near the town of Cleburne.

Cleburne State Park is located at an elevation of 764 feet. Temperatures within the park range from an average January minimum of 34 degrees and a July average maximum of 97.4 degrees. The wettest month is usually May and the driest month is July. Current weather conditions can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

5800 Park Road 21
Cleburne, TX 76031

Phone: 817/645-4215

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