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County
Gillespie
Region
Hill Country
Nearby
Parks
Lyndon B. Johnson Texas State Park
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Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site Information:  
To create the day use only LBJ State Park & Historic Site, friends of then President Johnson purchased 269 acres of land located across the Pedernales River from the LBJ Ranch (now the LBJ National Historical Park). In 1965, the land was deeded to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the park opened to the public in 1970. Sites of interest include the Pedernales River, the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm, and a portion of the Official Texas State Longhorn Herd. During the spring the park is a riot of wildflower colors. Park entrance fees apply. The park is located in Stonewall Texas. For more information read the Park Brochureand watch the Park Video.    
 
Pedernales River:
The river rises from springs in the southeastern corner of Kimble County and flows northeast for 106 miles, crossing Gillespie, Blanco, and Hays Counties, to its mouth on Lake Travis near Briarcliff in western Travis County, a short distance southwest of Pace Bend Park. The terrain near the river is flat to rolling with local escarpments, and its fine sandy loams support the juniper, bald cypress, mesquite, and grasses characteristic of the Texas Hill Country. Pedernales is the Spanish term for the flint rocks that characterize the riverbed. The upper reaches of the Pedernales River are generally too shallow for recreational use, but the middle and lower reaches of the river provide good white water, especially during periods of high runoff. The three parks located on the river include Pedernales Falls State Park, LBJ National Historic Park, and Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site. The Pedernales has been dammed near Johnson City to form Johnson City Lake.  Fish Stocking History    
 
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.
 
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park Information:
The LBJ National Historical Park includes the LBJ Ranch in Stonewall (called the LBJ Ranch District) and the Johnson City, Texas Historical District. The LBJ Ranch District and the Johnson City District total 674 acres. The LBJ Ranch is located on the Pedernales River. The ranch originally belonged to Lyndon Johnson’s Uncle, Clarence Martin. Johnson spent summers working on the ranch and was extremely attached to it. In 1951, Martin’s widow gave her dilapidated 250 acre ranch to Senator Johnson in exchange for lifetime rights to Lyndon Johnson’s mother’s house in Johnson City. He soon began making improvements to the newly christened “LBJ Ranch.” The LBJ Ranch and the Johnson family ranch home (Texas White House)were donated by the Johnsons to the National Park Service but the Johnsons’ retained lifetime rights to the house. Following the death of Mrs. Johnson (Lady Bird Johnson) in 1907, preparations were begun to restore the rooms to their 1963-1968 appearance so they could be opened for public tours. President Johnson’s office was opened to the public on the 100th anniversary of his birth, August 27, 2008; the living room and dining room were opened in June 2009. The bedrooms and kitchen opened in December, 2011. The ranch is managed as a working ranch; the Hereford cattle are descendants of Johnson’s herd. Visitors may take the self-guided driving tour after obtaining a free permit from the LBJ State Park Visitor Center which is located across the river from the Ranch at the LBJ State Park; the Visitor Center opens at 9am. When picking up your national park pass you will be given a map and a CD containing an audio narrative of the tour; drop the CD into the drop box as you exit the ranch. Tour tickets to the Johnson home are available from the Visitor Center located near the airplane hangar at the ranch. Group tours for 16 people or more are available by special appointment. A reservable Event Centeris located at the Johnson Historic District (Johnson Settlement) in Johnson City. Each year on the anniversary of the President’s birth a wreath laying ceremony takes place on the ranch at the Johnson family cemetery at approximately 10am; the public is invited to attend. Volunteer positions are available by calling 830) 868-7128, Ext. 222. Access to this national park is through the LBJ State Park and Historic Site.
 
Lyndon B. Johnson State Park Directions:  
The park is located off of U.S. 290 West, 2 miles east of Stonewall.