Praries & Lakes
2010 Census - 594
2000 Census - 592
Murchison, Texas
Murchison Texas History: 
Murchison was originally known as Lindsey. In 1880 it was renamed for Confederate recruiting officer T.F. Murchison. The St. Louis Southwestern Railway established a stop in Murchison that same year. The Murchison post office was established by 1884. The local economy was based on cotton, corn, fruit and truck farming (small vegetables). By 1914, the town had a telephone system and 200 residents. Today, the town’s proximity to Athens and the Cedar Creek Reservoir adds tourism to its economic base. Many small fishing lakes are in the Murchison area. Murchison is located at the intersections of SH 31, FM 773, and FM 1616, 33 miles east of Tool, 54 miles northeast of Fairfield, 46 miles northeast of Corsicana, 23.3 miles northeast of Trinidad, 18 miles northeast of Malakoff, 9 miles northeast of Athens, 30.5 miles southeast of canton, 28.7 miles southeast of Gun Barrel City, 26 miles southeast of Mabank, 19 miles southeast of Eustace, 14.5 miles south of Ben Wheeler, 27.8 miles southwest of Tyler, 16.4 miles southwest of Chandler and Lake Palestine, 13.4 miles southwest of Edom, 44 miles northwest of Jacksonville, 28.5 miles northwest of Frankston, and 42.3 miles northwest of Palestine, Texas.
Murchison Railroad Depot Museum:
The museum features exhibits depicting the history of the town and area including old typewriters, railroad lanterns, the original ticket counter and swinging door, furniture, photos and other artifacts.
Henderson County Regional Fair Park Complex, Athens:
Fair Park hosts horse shows, livestock shows, rodeos, concerts, auto shows, trade shows, feed lot sorting, dog shows, and more; there is something going on every weekend. The main arena features two confession stands, restrooms, offices and seating for 4,500. Amenities at the JD Lewis Arena include a climate-controlled announcer’s booth and seating for 300. The front and back barns have a total of 318 stalls. The 84 RV sites feature full hookups. Additional amenities include a multi-purpose building and parking. (903) 670-3324.The complex is located at 3356 SH 31, three miles east of downtown Athens. Email
Cedar CreekReservoir Bass Tournaments, Sundays:
The town of Log Cabin City Park is headquarters for most of the bass tournaments on Cedar Creek Reservoir. For more information, call Log Cabin City Hall at (903) 489-2195. Log Cabin, Texas is 4.9 miles north of Malakoff, Texas. From Malakoff take SH 198 (Caney City Highway) north 4.9 miles to Log Cabin. Go right on FM 3054 (Payne Road) for 0.5 miles; follow the signs to the park entrance on the right.  Email Log Cabin City Hall  Log Cabin Texas Map  Log Cabin Texas Area Map
Blueberry Hill Farms, Edom:
Open daily, 7am-7pm during blueberry season which begins approximately June 6th. Chuck Arena: (903) 852-6175. The farm is located just south of Edom Texas at 10268 FM 314. Edom is located at the intersection of FM 314 and FM 279, 21.6 miles southeast of Canton, 10 miles southeast of Ben Wheeler, 24 miles southwest of Lindale, 20 miles northwest of Tyler, 13 miles northwest of Chandler, 13.4 miles northeast of Murchison, and 22 miles northeast of Athens, Texas. Edom Texas Map; Click to Enlarge  Edom Texas Area Map
Echo Springs Blueberry Farm, Brownsboro, TX:
Pick your own blueberries. They are open during blueberry season which begins the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. They sell ice cream cones, ice cream Sundays, drinks, snacks, blueberry pastries, frozen blueberries, gift baskets, jams, jellies and coffee. They reopen mid-November for the Christmas holidays. Holiday gift basket orders begin November 19th. (903) 852-5277. (903) 852-3779. The farm is located at 7235 FM 607, Brownsboro, TX 75778. Brownsboro is located at the intersection of SH 31 and FM 314, 16.5 miles northeast of Athens, 8 miles northeast of Murchison, 15 miles southeast of Ben Wheeler, 5 miles south of Edom, 19.7 miles southwest of Tyler, and 8 miles west of Chandler, Texas. Email  Facebook  Brownsboro Map; Click to Enlarge  Brownsboro Area Map
Birding - Texas Prairies and Pineywoods west Birding Wildlife Trail:
Big Woods Loop: Palestine, Tennessee Colony, Cayuga, Kerens, Corsicana, Ennis, Bardwell, Athens, Fairfield, Mexia, Teague, Groesbeck, Marquez, Centerville, Leona
Texas State Railroad Loop: Jacksonville, Rusk, Palestine
Lake Tyler Loop: Troup, Whitehouse, Tyler, Athens, Malakoff, Eustace, Mabank
Texas Birds Checklist
Bird Checklist for Pineywoods of Eastern Texas
Deep East Texas Birding Sites Guide
Northeast Texas Bird Checklist
Easter Texas Pineywoods Woodpeckers Checklist
Gus Engeling WMA Bird Checklist, Tennessee Colony & Palestine
Texas Wildflowers:
Due to budget constraints, TX-DOT no longer maintains a website offering spring wildflower sightings. Information is available at the Texas Highways Magazine.
Black Beauty Ranch Animal Sanctuary, Murchison, TX:
This non-profit animal sanctuary is home to more than 1,200 domestic and exotic animals, many of who have been rescued from slaughter houses, biomedical research laboratories and trophy hunting ranches. Others are discards from circuses or roadside zoos or were former victims of the exotic pet trade. Still others have come from public lands where they were threatened with extermination by the federal government. Animals include bison, cattle, horses, burros, antelope, apes, camels and llamas. Amenities include four lakes and a dozen ponds and brooks. This is not a zoo and is not open for regular public visitation. The ranch hosts two open houses each year for the public. You may volunteer on the ranch, donate to the ranch, or adopt an animal (pay for care). The ranch was founded in 1979 by author and animal advocated Cleveland Amory. Donations are accepted. For information about household pet adoption, read The Ultimate Guide to Pet Adoption.  (903) 469-3811. The ranch is located at 12526 CR 3806, Murchison, TX 75778.  Email  Murchison Texas Map; Click to Enlarge  Murchison Texas Area Map
Cedar Creek Reservoir Information, Gun Barrel City, Trinidad, Athens, Malakoff:
This 32,623-surface acre reservoir is the fourth largest lake in Texas. Construction of the dam on Cedar Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River, began in 1961, a half mile south of Kent, Texas. The lake was impounded in 1965. The Cedar Creek Dam is located on the south end of the lake in Malakoff, Texas. The lake is 18 miles long, is 8.5 miles at its widest point, has 320 miles of shoreline, and has a maximum depth of 53 feet. It supplies water to Fort Worth and other cities and is used for recreational purposes. It is one of the few lakes in East Texas that permits private ownership of its shoreline and permits the construction of private boathouses. The lake’s proximity to the Dallas/Fort Worth area makes it a popular weekend destination for residents of those cities. Many Cedar Creek Lake residents commute to the Dallas area for work. The lake is located approximately 70 miles southeast of Dallas, 3 miles northeast of Trinidad, and 10 miles west of Athens in the area between U.S. 175 and SH 274.   
Cedar Creek Reservoir Location Map 
Current Cedar Creek Reservoir Lake Level 
Cedar Creek Reservoir TPWD Public Access Facilities Map
Cedar Creek Islands Wildlife Management Area Information, Gun Barrel City & Malakoff:
The 160-acre Cedar Creek Islands WMA is comprised of three islands totaling 160 acres in the Cedar Creek Reservoir. The WMA is heavily used as rookeries by aquatic birds and should not be disturbed during spring and summer. Wildlife viewing is allowed only by boat or from the banks of the Cedar Creek Reservoir. Public access to the islands is not permitted. Predominant bird species include egrets, herons, and cormorants. Camping is available at Purtis Creek Park near Athens, and Fairfield Lake State Park near Fairfield, Texas.In Mabank, drive 5 miles south on SH 334 to Gun Barrel City and cross the reservoir to Seven Points (4 miles). The Big Island is in the north part of the reservoir off U.S. 175 and Old Highway 40.
Current Cedar Creek Reservoir Lake Level 
Cedar Creek Reservoir TPWD Public Access Facilities Map
Purtis Creek State Park Information, Eustace:
This 1,582-acre park was acquired from private owners in 1977. It opened to the public in 1988. The 355-acre lake was designed specifically as a fishing lake where largemouth bass would be plentiful, and where bass fishing would be on a catch and release basis only. Just east of the park on private property, is a cliff overhang once used by unknown Indians as a temporary shelter. The Petroglyphs carved into the rock walls indicate this area was a good hunting ground. Later, the Wichita and Caddo Indians roamed the area. Due to the great hunting, the area became popular with Anglos in the early to mid-1800s. The road bordering the southern edge of the park was once known as “Tyler to Porter’s Bluff Road,” a well-known stage route from East Texas to the Trinity River. Along this stage route just northeast of Edom near the Neches River, is the site where the famous Cherokee Indian Chief Boles was slain in the 1839 Battle of the Neches. Park entrance and camping fees apply. For more park information, watch the Park VideoFrom Athens take U.S. 175 west for 12 miles to Eustace. Go north on FM 316 for 3.5 miles.  Purtis Creek State Park Facilities Map
Lake Athens Information, Athens:
The lake was impounded on Flat Creek in 1962 and has a maximum depth of 50 feet. It is used for municipal water supply, flood regulation, and recreation. Predominant fish species include largemouth bass, white bass, crappie, and redear sunfish. There are no available lake maps. The lake is owned and operated by the Athens Municipal Water Authority. It is located just east of Athens off FM 2495.
Lake Athens Location Map 
Lake Athens TPWD Public Access Facilities Map 
Current Lake Athens Lake Level 
Lake Palestine Information, Jacksonville & Tyler:
This 25,560-surface acre lake was impounded on the Neches River in 1962. Itis 18 miles long, has 135 miles of shoreline, and has a maximum depth of 58 feet. The Blackburn Crossing Dam was completed in 1962. The dam was enlarged between 1969 and 1972. The lake is owned and operated by the Upper Neches River Authority. Lake towns include Chandler, Coffee City, and Berryville. Bullard, Frankston and Moore City are located nearby. The lake is located 15 miles northwest of Jacksonville, 20 miles slightly northeast of Palestine, 25 miles east of Athens, and 12 miles southwest of Tyler, Texas. The dam is located 4 miles east of Frankston, Texas. 
Lake Palestine Location Map
Lake Palestine Current Lake Level
Lake Palestine TPWD Public Access Facilities Map   
Richland Chambers Lake Information, Corsicana:
The 41,356-surface acre Richland Chambers Lake was impounded in 1987. It is located on Richland and Chambers Creeks, southeast of Corsicana on U.S. 287. The lake is 26 miles long, is 3.5 miles wide at its widest point, has 330 miles of shoreline, and a maximum depth is 75 feet. The lake is the third largest inland lake in Texas. The Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area and the 2,000-acre George W. Shannon Wetlands are located between the lake and the Trinity River.  
Richland Chambers Lake Location Map 
Current Richland Chambers Lake Level
Richland Chambers Lake TPWD Public Access Facilities Map
Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area Information, Corsicana, TX:
This 13,952-acre Wildlife Management Area is located between the Richland-Chambers Reservoir and the Trinity River. The WMA was named for Richland Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River, which flowed through the property prior to the construction of the reservoir. The Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area was created to compensate for habitat losses associated with the construction of the reservoir. Most of the land lies in the floodplain of the Trinity River and consists of bottomland hardwood forests. The vast bottomland hardwood forests serve as nesting and brood rearing habitat for many species of Neotropical birds. The Area has numerous marshes and sloughs, which provide habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl, wading birds and shore birds, as well as diverse aquatic life. Bird checklists are available at the WMA headquarters. Activities include hunting, fishing, camping, biking, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, birding and other wildlife viewing, horseback riding, bicycling and hiking. Amenities include roads. The WMA is open year-round, except during Special Permit Hunts. The Richland Creek WMA is located east of the Richland-Chambers Reservoir dam in Freestone and Navarro Counties. The north unit is located north of U.S. 287, and the south unit is accessible from FM 488 at the southeastern end of the lake. From Corsicana, take U.S. 287 south for approximately 30 miles to FM 488. Go south on FM 488 for two miles to the area headquarters in the South Unit.  
Hunting Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area:
Hunting is available on the 5,243-acre North Unit, and on the 9,029-acre South Unit. Public hunting is permitted for white-tailed deer, feral hog, squirrel, mourning dove, waterfowl, woodcock, gallinule, snipe, rabbits, and hares. All deer hunting, including archery hunting, is by special permit only. All APH hunters must register at a designated entry point. Pickups and four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended for traveling in some of the more rugged areas of the WMA.Primitive camping is available. There is no potable water or facilities. Camping is also available at the nearby Fairfield State Park.(903) 389-7080.
Richland Creek WMA Unit #703North Hunting Information & Map
Richland Creek WMA Unit #703South Hunting Information & Map
Texas State Railroad Park Information, Rusk & Palestine:
In the late 1800s, the Texas Prison System established the East Texas Penitentiary in Rusk, Texas. A foundry was constructed on the prison grounds in 1884 to convert the area's rich iron ore to cast iron using prison labor and charcoal made from native timber. By 1886, it became apparent that transporting the timber and iron ore by horse and wagon was impractical, so 5 miles of railroad track was built. The line originated at the prison in Rusk. By 1906, it was extended to the Cotton Belt Railroad track in Rusk, and to the International and Great Northern Railroad track in Palestine. In 1921, the railroad ceased operations, the rolling stock was sold, and the line was offered for lease. Between 1921 and 1960, the Texas & New Orleans Railroad operated the line. When the TPWD took over the line from T.S.E. in 1972, the line was in poor condition. Rusk prison labor was used to clear the overgrowth of brush, replace cross ties, and repair the railroad bridges. TPWD employees traveled around the country in search of vintage cars and steam locomotives. Victorian style depots were built in Rusk and Palestine. The park opened to the public in 1976, transporting passengers the 25 miles between the two stations, and becoming East Texas' most popular tourist attraction. By 2006, the annual costs to maintain and operate the railroad were $1,000,000 above the annual revenue generated by the railroad. In 2007, the legislature passed Senate Bill 1659 allowing for the creation of an operating authority with the power to lease the system to a private operator. The railroad was transferred to the Texas State Railroad Authority and leased for operations by American Heritage Railway. Train depots are in Maydelle, Rusk, and Palestine, Texas.Camping and train ride fees apply. Check out the Texas State Railroad Park Events. The Palestine Depot is located at 789 Park Road 70, Palestine, Texas 75801. The Rusk Depot is located at 535 Park Road 76, Rusk, Texas 75785. 
Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area Information, Palestine:
This 10,958-acre Wildlife Management Area is comprised of 2,000 acres of hardwood bottomland floodplain, almost 500 acres of natural springs and other waters, 350 acres of wetlands, pitcher plant bogs, marshes and swamps, and nearly 300 acres of sphagnum moss bogs. Habitat consists of Post Oak Savannah surrounded by coastal Bermuda grass pastures, harvested timberlands, and fragmented wildlife habitat. Although the land was used for livestock for many years, it was not extensively cleared. Mature bottomland forests still dominate the Catfish Creek area. Five hundred acres of post oak uplands have nearly been returned to its original Post Oak Savannah state through 35 years of prescribed burning. White-tailed deer are available in numbers large enough to permit hunting. Beavers are now abundant and have created many acres of wetlands on the WMA and surrounding lands. Wild turkeys did not prosper; so several more releases were made. The result was a small, unstable population of hybrids between pen-raised Eastern gobblers and Rio Grande hens. More recently, releases were made in 1988, 1995 and 1996. The first Eastern wild turkey hunt was held in 2003. The WMA’s rich variety of wildlife include 37 mammals, 156 birds, 54 reptiles and amphibians, 57 fishes and 900 plant species. From the south, at Palestine, take U.S. 287 northwest 21 miles.
Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area Hunting Brochure & Map
Hunting Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area:
The WMA offers archery and gun hunting for white-tailed deer by compartment, and gun hunting by compartment for feral hogs, furbearers and predators, and waterfowl. Hunting amenities include a game skinning and processing area, cold storage, a first aid station, and coffee. Hunters are randomly selected during the Special Permit draw. Hunting is also available for Eastern wild turkey, squirrels, rabbits, hares, waterfowl, snipe, gallinule and woodcock. Waterfowl and small game hunters need only possess an Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit and valid hunting license to gain access on designated days during the appropriate season. All hunters must sign in daily. Bring your own drinking water. WMA Staff: (903) 928-2251.  Hunter Check Station: (903) 928-2648.
Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area Hunting Brochure & Map  
2017-2018 Hunting Details
Big Lake Bottom Wildlife Management Area Information, Palestine:
In 1990, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department began purchasing land for the Wildlife Management Area in efforts to preserve a relict tract of quality bottomland hardwood habitat which is rapidly disappearing in the Post Oak Savannah Eco-region of Texas.The WMA lies adjacent to the Trinity River and consists of tracts of WMA interspersed with private lands. There are no roads and few trails. Primitive campsites are available. All campers are restricted to designated campgrounds during hunting season. Equestrian use is restricted during hunting season. Hikers must wear orange clothing during hunting season. Deer hunters, both archery and gun, are randomly selected during the Special Permit drawing. Three registration and information stations are available. They are located at the end of CR 2901, at the end of CR 2906/2904; and at the end of CR 2909/2907. All of these country roads are connected to FM 645 North of U.S. 79/84. Access from the Trinity River is prohibited. All visitors must register onsite.Go north on Loop 256 in Palestine to FM 320, and then take FM 320 west for eight miles to the intersection of FM 645. Turn left onto FM 645. The WMA main entrance is accessible from CR 2901 off FM 645. 
Big Lake Bottom WMA Location Map 
Big Lake Bottom WMA Hunting Map
Hunting Big Lake Bottom Wildlife Management Area:
Public archery hunting by permit is available for white-tailed deer and an unlimited number of feral hogs. Youth hunts are available. Baiting is permitted. Use of ATVs or ORVs is allowed and strongly suggested. Camping is permitted, but there are no facilities. 
2017-2018 Hunting Details
Big Lake Bottom Wildlife Management Area Hunting Map & Regulations 
Big Lake Bottom Wildlife Management Area Hunting Map
Keechi Creek Wildlife Management Area Information, Palestine and Oakwood:
This 1,500-acre Wildlife Management Area consists mostly of bottomland hardwood with sloughs. Wildlife includes white-tailed deer, squirrel, feral hog, and waterfowl and Eastern turkey. There are no restrooms or potable water. Public hunting is permitted for white-tailed deer, feral hog, waterfowl, woodcock, gallinules, snipe, squirrel, rabbit and hare. Access is limited; call for details. The WMA is located 10 miles south of Oakwood, and 18 miles southwest of Palestine, Texas. From Oakwood take FM 542 south 0.4 miles to FM 831. Take FM 831 west 4.3 miles to CR 236. Take CR 236 south 4.8 miles to WMA sign and gate. Take the easement another 2.3 miles to the WMA entrance.
Hunting Keechi Creek Wildlife Management Area:
Public hunting is permitted for white-tailed deer, unlimited feral hogs, waterfowl, woodcock, gallinules, snipe, squirrel, rabbit and hare. Deer hunts, both archery and gun, and waterfowl hunts are randomly selected during the Special Permit or Postcard drawing to avoid over harvesting of game. Special permits are available for public youth gun hunting for deer and feral hogs. Hunting is by compartment. Baiting, and ATV and ORV use are permitted. Scheduled hunts are periodically cancelled due to high water. Primitive camping is permitted.  
Keechi Creek WMA 2017-2018 Hunting Details
Keechi Creek WMA E-Postcard Brochure Waterfowl, Squirrel, Rabbit & Hare
I.D. Fairchild State Forest Information, Palestine, Rusk & Jacksonville:
The 2,740-acre Fairchild State Forest was acquired in 1925 from the Texas Prison System. It was named after Senator Fairchild of Lufkin. The small day use area in the main tract has a fishing pond and picnic tables. There are no restrooms. There are eleven miles of trails. Activities in this area include biking, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, and birding and picnicking. All horses must have proof of a recent negative Coggins test. This area is located 0.25 miles south of U.S. 84. Special forest attractions include a historical fire tower, and the Red Cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) Management Area. Forest management demonstration areas and sites exist throughout the forest. The forest service hosts group resource education tours by appointment. Visitor resources include the facilities & trails map and trails topography map. The forestis open year-round during daylight hours. (903) 586-7545. Information and maps are available at the Jacksonville District Office at 1015 Southeast Loop 456, Jacksonville, Texas. The forest is located 15 miles east of Palestine, 13 miles west of Rusk, 15 miles south of Jacksonville, and 13 miles west of Maydelle, Texas at the intersection of FM 747 and U.S. 84.
Neches River National Wildlife Refuge Information, Jacksonville:
This new refuge is located along both sides of a 38-mile reach of the upper portion of the Neches River. This section of the river forms the border between Anderson and Cherokee Counties. Habitat consists of overflow bottomlands and adjacent pine and pine/hardwood forests. Plans include acquiring up to an additional 25,281 acres. The purpose of this refuge is to protect the bottomland hardwood forests in riparian and wetland areas. This habitat provides nesting, wintering and migratory habitat for migratory birds of the Central Flyway. The refuge is currently closed to the public but will eventually open for wildlife dependent activities. Special use permits are required for those conducting research or other activities. The refuge is located 35 miles south of Tyler, and approximately 9 miles south of Jacksonville, Texas in the East Texas Pineywoods Region. It is managed jointly with the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge. To reach the Caddo Lake NWR headquarters from Marshall, go north on SH 43 to Spur 449 at the refuge sign and a post office sign. Drive one mile to the intersection of Spur 449 and FM 134. Look for the Karnack Post Office on the right corner and the Karnack Community Center on the opposite left corner. Go straight through the intersection, cross the train tracks, and enter the Caddo Lake Refuge Headquarters.(903) 679-9144.  Neches River National Wildlife Refuge Map
Lake Jacksonville Information, Jacksonville:
Buckner Dam, which impounds Lake Jacksonville on Gum Creek, was completed in 1957. Gum Creek is a tributary of Tails Creek, which is a tributary of the Neches River. The 1,320-surface acre lake has 25 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 62 feet. Approximately 500 weekend and full time residences are located on the city owned lake. Most lots are leased from the city for terms of 10 to 99 years. Very few vacant lots are available. The lake is used for public recreation, private residential living, and as a water supply source for the City of Jacksonville. The lake is owned and operated by the City of Jacksonville which operates three boat ramps, a gas dock, two public swimming areas, and a park featuring campsites and RV sites. The Lake Jacksonville Association hosts an annual 4th of July fireworks display. The lake is located off U.S. 79, approximately three miles southwest of downtown Jacksonville, Texas.
Lake Jackson Location Map 
Current Lake Jacksonville Lake Level   
Lake Jacksonville Facilities Map
Lake Jacksonville Campgrounds Facilities Map
Lake Striker Information, Jacksonville, Rusk, Reklaw and Henderson:
Construction on the 2,400-surface acre Lake Striker dam began on Striker Creek in 1954. The lake was impounded in 1957. Maximum lake depth is 25 feet. The lake level stays fairly constant, fluctuating one to two feet annually. Lake water is used for recreational purposes, and to cool the Luminant Energy Power Plant and Southern Company’s new (2012) biomass fired power plant in Sacul, Texas. The City of Henderson has an option on water from Lake Striker for future municipal uses. Subdivisions are located on the shoreline. Homeowners lease the lots are leased. Approximately 2,000 acres of timberland is professionally managed by Farmer’s National Company. The east shore of the lake is located on CR 4255 between FM 839 and U.S. 79. The west shore is located on FM 3288 and local roads. Lake Striker is located just west of New Salem, 6 miles north of Reklaw, 20 miles east of Jacksonville, 19 miles northeast of Rusk, and 18 miles southwest of Henderson, Texas. From Reklaw, go north on FM 839.
Lake Striker Location Map 
Lake Striker Lake Level 
Fairfield Lake Information, Fairfield: 
The 2,150-surface acre Fairfield Lake is in a sparsely populated area of East Texas. The lake was impounded on Big Brown Creek in 1969 and has a maximum depth of 49 feet. Texas Utilities constructed the dam and created Fairfield Lake as a cooling system for its power plant. The warm water draws people from all over the state for the fantastic winter fishing. Tournaments are held every weekend from November through February with teams from Dallas, Houston, Austin, Tyler and other cities hosting tournaments. The warm water also permits the lake to be stocked with Red Drum (Red Fish). The Texas state record of 44 inches and 36.83 pounds was taken on this lake. Lilly pads are abundant in the lake. Fairfield Lake State Park is located on the lake. The lake is located 5 miles northeast of Fairfield, Texas off FM 488.
Fairfield Lake Location Map
Fairfield Lake TPWD Public Access Facilities Map
Fairfield Lake State Park Facilities Map
Fairfield Lake State Park Information, Fairfield:
This 1,460-acre park is located on the 2,400-surface acre Fairfield Lake in a sparsely populated area of East Texas, 5 miles northeast of Fairfield. Because the lake is warmed by the TXU Big Brown power plant, during the winter months people come from all over Texas to enjoy fantastic fishing. The parkland was acquired in 1971-1972 by lease from Texas Utilities and opened to the public in 1976. The endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker is found in the park. Park entrance and camping fees apply.For more park information, watch the Park Video.  The park is located 6 miles northeast of Fairfield on Lake Fairfield. From Fairfield, take FM 2570 to FM 3285. Fairfield Lake State Park Facilities Map
Hunting Fairfield Lake State Park, Fairfield:
Public hunting by gun and special youth hunts for white-tailed deer and unlimited feral hog are offered by drawn permits. Standby hunters are permitted if space is available. Hunters are assigned blinds. Baiting is allowed at the Fairfield Lake State Park. Hunting with dogs is not permitted. The park is closed during drawn permitted hunting. Hunters may camp in the park without reservations. They park received 917 adult hunting applications and 354 youth hunting applications for the 2016-2017 hunting season.   2017-2018 Hunting Details
Navarro Mills Lake Information, Dawson& Corsicana:
The 5,060-surface lake was impounded on Richland Creek in 1963 and has a maximum depth of 49 feet.  It is used for flood control, water supply, and recreational purposes. All swimming beaches, Pecan Point Park, and Wolf Creek Park are closed during the winter.  Volunteer positions are available. The lake is located on FM 667 and CR 3360, approximately 4 miles northwest of Dawson, 16 miles southwest of Corsicana, and 35 miles northeast of Waco, Texas.   
Navarro Mills Lake Location Map 
Current Navarro Mills Lake Level 
Navarro Mills TPWD Public Access Facilities Map 
Navarro Mills Lake Facilities Map
Navarro Mills Lake Hunting Map   
Navarro Mills Lake Parks & Boat Ramps Open/Closure Status
Navarro Mills Lake Hunting:
Special hunting permits are only required for the archery deer hunting. Other game species include waterfowl, feral hogs, dove, squirrel, rabbits, and raccoons.  Navarro Mills Lake Hunting Map
Bardwell Lake Information, Ennis:
The lake was built to provide 178 square miles of flood control and water conservation in the Trinity River Basin. Construction of the 82-foot-high dam on Waxahachie Creek began in September 1963. Impoundment began in September 1963 and was completed in November 1965. The total construction cost was $12,630,000. Bardwell Lake is 5.4 miles long, 1.2 miles at its widest point, has 25 miles of shoreline, and has a maximum depth of 43 feet. Lakeside habitat is grassy and partially forested. The Ennis Texas area is famous for its spring Bluebonnets. Boats are subject to inspection for Zebra mussels, an invasive aquatic species. Lake Bardwell is located less than an hour south of the Dallas-Fort Worth area entirely within Ellis County. The dam is approximately 5 miles southwest of Ennis, Texas. The City of Bardwell is located on the west shore of the lake. 
Bardwell Lake Location Map 
Bardwell Lake Facilities Map   
Current Bardwell Lake Level     
Lake Fork Information, Sulphur Springs, Alba, Emory, Quitman, Yantis +:
Lake Fork is located on Lake Fork Creek, a tributary of the Sabine River. It was impounded in 1980. This 27,690-surface acre lake has a maximum depth of 70 feet, and 315 miles of shoreline. The lake is the premier bass fishing lake in the nation. It has produced 35 of the top 50 largemouth bass in Texas, and 15 of the top 20. TPWD stocks the lake with Florida strain black bass. Fishing for white or black crappie is as popular as bass fishing. There is also a large supply of channel catfish, white bass and bluegill. Largemouth bass and crappie at Lake Fork are subject to special regulations. The land under the lake is heavily timbered so beware of hazards and follow the approximately 5,000 acres of cleared boat lanes. There is also an open area near the dam. The major creek tributaries are Lake Fork Creek, Caney Creek, Birch Creek, and Little Caney Creek. The Sabine River Authority owns and operates the lake and manages one public lake park. There are approximately 25 commercial marinas located on the lake, though most do not have fuel docks. Lake Fork is located 80 miles east of the Dallas and Fort Worth area, 90 miles west of Shreveport, Louisiana, a few miles from Alba, Emory and Yantis, 5 miles west of Quitman, and 15 miles south of Sulphur Springs, Texas. Lake Tawakoni is located west of Lake Fork, with the town of Emory the midpoint between the two lakes.  
Lake Fork Area Map
Current Lake Fork Lake Level
Lake Fork TPWD Public Access Facilities Map
Lake Fork Recreational Facilities Chart
Lake Fork Facilities Map
Lake Fork Duck Hunting:
The Sabine River Authority permits duck hunting on Lake Fork. Floating portable duck blinds are permitted. The lake’s location on the Central Flyway makes the lake a prime duck hunting site. (903)  878-2262. 
Lake Tawakoni Information, Wills Point, East & West Tawakoni, Quinlan, Emory:
The 36,700-surface acre Lake Tawakoni was formed by constructing the Iron Bridge Dam on the Sabine River, approximately 10 miles northeast of Wills Point, Texas. The lake was impounded in 1960 and has an average depth of 70 feet, and 200 miles of shoreline. It lies immediately above the old Iron Bridge Crossing on FM 47, and is in parts of Hunt, Rains and Van Zandt Counties. Three branches of water join to form the Sabine River proper; a fourth branch (Lake Fork Creek) joins the other three branches at Lake Tawakoni. Lake Tawakoni is named after the Tawakoni Indians that lived in the area. Lake Tawakoni is used for water conservation and supply, and recreational purposes. Dallas, Texas has contracted for 80% use of the lake waters. The remaining 20% is used by area municipalities. Lake amenities and facilities include Sabine River Authority public areas, and commercial establishments. The lake is owned and operated by the Sabine River Authority of Texas. Lake towns or nearby towns include Point, Wills Point, Lone Oak, East Tawakoni, West Tawakoni, Quinlan, and Emory, Texas. The lake is west of Lake Fork, with the City of Emory the midpoint between the two lakes. Lake Tawakoni is located 35 miles east of Dallas, 10 miles northwest of Wills Point, 15 miles southeast of Greenville, and approximately 8 miles west of Emory, Texas.   
Lake Tawakoni Location Map   
Current Lake Tawakoni Lake Level 
Lake Tawakoni Facilities Map
Lake Tawakoni TPWD Public Access Facilities Map 
Lake Tawakoni State Park Information, Wills Point:
This 376.3-acre park opened to the public in 2002 on the 36,700 surface-acre Lake Tawakoni. The parkland was acquired in 1984 through a 50-year lease and is managed by TPWD. The lake and the Iron Bridge Dam are managed by the Sabine River Authority. The lake and park are named after the Tawakoni Ranchers and farmers many years ago. The park offers 5.2 miles of shoreline along the south-central shore of the main body of the lake. Habitat consists mostly of upland re-growth and creek bottom, post oak woodlands, and approximately 40 acres of native tall grass prairie. Wildlife includes bobcat, coyote, possum, raccoons, beaver, red and gray fox, squirrels, armadillos, mink, white-tailed deer, turtles and frogs. Over 200 species of birds have been sighted in the park. The park is considered a fisherman’s paradise and is well-known for its high-fin blue catfish. The park gained fame in 2007 when a giant community spider web was discovered in the park. In January 2009, a fire burned approximately 125 acres. Park entrance and camping fees apply. For more park information, view the Park Video. The park is located 11.2 miles northwest of Edgewood, and 10 miles north of Wills Point, Texas. From Wills Point, take SH 47 north to FM 1475 and continue 4 miles to the park.
Tawakoni Wildlife Management Area Information:
The Pawnee Inlet, Duck Cove and Caddo Creek Units of this wildlife management area total 2,335 acres of land. 1,561 acres are owned by the Sabine River Authority of Texas and are leased the TPWD for a public hunting program. This WMA area provides habitat for duck, white-tailed deer, feral hog, dove, waterfowl, non-game birds, other migratory birds, rabbit, quail, squirrel and fish. Bring your own drinking water and insect repellant. There are no restrooms. Primitive camping is available in the Pawnee Inlet Unit at designated campsites. These campsites are cleared before hunting begins in the fall but be prepared to clear them at other times during the year. Horseback riding permitted and must have proof of a negative Coggins test. Fishing is available on the southeast corner of the Caddo Creek Unit at the SH 34 Caddo Creek Bridge. Wildflower viewing and birding is available on two primitive trails. (903) 881-8233.
Hunting Tawakoni Wildlife Management Area: 
The WMA offers shotgun and archery hunting white-tailed deer, feral hog, dove, quail, waterfowl, woodcock, rails, gallinules snipe, squirrel, rabbits and hares. Waterfowl hunting is restricted to the surface of Lake Tawakoni and within 100 feet of the existing water’s edge.  All hunting is by Annual Public Hunting Permit except for youth only waterfowl hunts.  Hunting Details and Map
Hunt Texas Online Connection:
More than 95% of Texas land is privately owned, making it hard for hunters to find affordable hunting opportunities. The Texas Parks and Wildlife has a huge public hunting program and has developed a new service to help hunters find hunting places. This new service is provided free by the TPWD. It allows landowners to list available hunting leases or spots that have opened and allows hunters to find private hunting leases according to their preferences. 
Hunting, Texas Parks and Wildlife, General Hunting Information
Hunting, Public Hunting on State Lands, TPWD
Hunter Education
Hunting Season by Animal
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Donations
Learn to Camp at Texas Parks & Wildlife State Parks' Outdoor Family Camping Workshops:
Theseworkshops are family camping sessions designed to teach camping skills to those who do not know how to camp; everything is provided from tent to broom. Gear includes a coffee pot, dishes, cooking pots, a camp stove, a battery-operated fan and lantern, air mattresses, and a tent. Basic skills taught include pitching a tent, making a campfire, cooking on a propane camp stove, geocaching and using a GPS. Wildlife viewing, fishing and kayaking are available depending on the park and its facilities. After making reservations, families will be sent a packet of information which includes a grocery list. Those interested in this program may sign up for E-Mail Updates on Currently Scheduled Workshops. (512) 389-8903. Calendar