Panhandle Plains
Copper Breaks Texas State Park
Copper Breaks State Park Information:
This 1,898 acre park is located on the seasonal Pease River. Habitat consists of a 60 acre Lake Copper Breaks, 2 fishing ponds, mesquite and grass covered mesas, juniper stands, and rust colored canyons and arroyos; bands of raw copper cause the reddish colors. Most of the parkland lies within the drainage area of Devil’s Creek, a creek that flows southward toward the Pease River. The parkland was once owned by the Gosage family. During the 1940s, the family opened up the land to neighbors and the community so everyone could make use of the small lake, the swimming beach, and the trails. In the early 1970s, the land was purchased by TPWD, and was opened as a park in stages between 1972 and 1974. Due to its remote location, this beautiful park receives fewer visitors than most state parks. A portion of the Official Texas State Longhorn Herd is located just east of the Kiowa Camping area near the headquarters area. Common bird species include great blue herons, roadrunners, meadowlarks, cardinals, owls, flickers, ducks, mockingbirds, quail, dove, bluebirds, bats, hawks, and kites. A bird checklist is available at park headquarters. Other wildlife species include mule Deer, bobcats, an occasional mountain lion, white-tailed deer, raccoon, coyote, fox, armadillo, cottontail and jackrabbit, frogs, turtles, snakes and the Texas horned lizard. Park entrance and camping fees apply. The park is located just west of SH 6, 12 miles south of Quanah, and 9 miles north of Crowell, Texas. For more park information, read the park brochure.   Copper Breaks State Park Facilities Map
Pease River:
The Pease River is a tributary of the Red River. It has 3 main branches, the North Pease, Middle Pease, and Tongue (South Pease). The North Pease River rises 9 miles southeast of Cedar Hill in eastern Floyd County and flows eastward for 60 miles across Motley County, Hall County, and north Cottle County to join the Middle Pease River 5 miles north of Swearingen in Cottle County. The Middle Pease rises 8 miles northwest of Matador at the confluence of Mott and Boggy Creeks in western Motley County; it flows 65 miles in an eastward direction before joining the North Pease in northeastern Cottle County, 20 miles northeast of Paducah, Texas. The Tongue River (South Pease) rises 8 miles south of Matador in southwestern Motley County and flows 40 miles east and northeast to its mouth on the Middle Pease River in western Cottle County within the boundary of the Matador Wildlife Management Area near Paducah, Texas. The main stem of the Pease River begins 20 miles northeast of Paducah and flows to its mouth on the Red River 8 miles northeast of Vernon.
Official Texas State Longhorn Herd:
In 1936, Fort Worth businessman Sid Richardson believed Texas was about to lose the Texas Longhorn. He believed the longhorns were closer to extinction that the buffalo. He discussed this issue with Texas Historian J. Frank Dobie of Austin, Texas. The two reached an arrangement to establish a Texas State Longhorn herd. Richardson would provide the funding and Dobie would find and select the longhorns. Dobie enlisted the help of longtime cattle detector, rancher and longhorn raiser, Graves Peeler. They traveled throughout South Texas selecting 20 head. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department volunteered to protect and preserve the herd. The longhorns were initially placed at Lake Corpus Christi State Park. Richardson then asked Dobie and Peeler to locate another herd. It was difficult to find more quality longhorns. Dobie and Peeler had to drive hundreds of miles on both sides of the Rio Grande River. By the end of 1942, they had located a few more and these were placed at Lake Brownwood State Park. By 1948, the longhorns had been removed from Brownwood and Christi State Parks. Twenty one longhorns had been relocated to Fort Griffin State Park (now Fort Griffin State Historic Site), and the remaining longhorns were sold. The longhorns have been one of Fort Griffin’s greatest assets, attracting visitors from all over the world. Since 1948, Fort Griffin has been the official home and manager of the herd. Fort Griffin places longhorns in other state parks for exhibition, range management, and breeding purposes. Currently, portions of the herd are located at Copper Breaks State Park, Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, and San Angelo State Park. Big Bend Ranch State Park has a longhorn herd that is part of its legacy, but their herd is not a part of the Official Texas State Longhorn Herd.
Copper Breaks State Park Directions:
The park is located just west of SH 6, 12 miles south of Quanah, and 9 miles north of Crowell, Texas.