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County
Taylor
Region
Panhandle Plains
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Parks
Abilene Texas State Park
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Abilene State Park Information:
This 529.4 acre park is located on the banks of Elm Creek in a low range of hills called the Callahan Divide. The park was acquired by deed from the City of Abilene in 1933. The initial stone buildings and stone work in the park were completed by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in the early 1930s. Habitat in this semi-arid location consists of short prairie grass, brushland, wooded stream valleys, mesquite, juniper, cedar, hackberry, red bud, native pecan, red oak, willow and elm trees, creek land and lakeshore, and Buffalo Wallow Pond. The one acre Buffalo Wallow Pond was developed to provide a great fishing site for children. It is stocked with sunfish, bass, and channel catfish. Local Boy Scouts constructed Eagle Trail which leads to the pond. The adjacent Lake Abilene is part of the state park. Park wildlife includes white-tailed deer, raccoon, armadillo, fox, squirrel, and cottontail rabbits. A portion of the Official Texas State Longhorn Herd and one buffalo reside within the park. Park entrance and camping fees apply. The park is open year round. For more complete park information, read thePark Brochure, the Park Rack Brochure and watch the Park Video. From Abilene, take FM 89 16 miles west of Abilene through Buffalo Gap, then take Park Road 32 to the park.  Abilene State Park Facilities Map 
 
Lake Abilene, 595 Surface Acres:
The lake was impounded on Elm Creek in 1921. Elm Creek rises in southeastern Taylor County and flows south for 27 miles to its mouth on the Colorado River at Ballinger, Texas. The lake has a maximum depth of 25 feet and is located totally within the boundaries of Abilene State Park. Lake boating access is provided by Abilene State Park. To access the lake you must check-in at the Park to obtain the code to the gate. The fee is $4.00 each for ages 13 and above. The lake is open from sunrise to sunset.It is regulated as a community fishing lake. Predominant fish species include largemouth bass, channel catfish and white crappie. The daily bag limit for channel and blue catfish is 5 fish, with no minimum length limit. The only legal fishing method is pole-and-line. Lake activities and amenities include fishing, boating, a one mile nature trail, and a 0.5 mile ADA compliant trail, tent camping and picnicking. A lake contour map is available online. Community fishing lake regulations apply. The lake is managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. From Abilene, take FM 89 16 miles southwest of Abilene through Buffalo Gap, then take Park Road 32 to the park. Current Lake Level  Current Survey Report  Lake Records  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. 
 
Historic Civilian Conservation Corps Texas Historical Marker Text:
“President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the U.S. Congress created the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in 1933 to provide jobs on public lands for unemployed workers, specifically young men and World War I veterans. Quick to recognize the benefits of this program, the city of Abilene donated land in 1933 for the CCC's use in building a state park near Lake Abilene. Company No. 1823, one of the companies comprised entirely of World War I veterans, was assigned to the Taylor County site. Using the design of Abilene architect David Castle, the men constructed a refectory in addition to roads, picnic areas and a swimming pool with native sandstone as the primary building material. Abilene mayor C. L. Johnson declared it "a beautiful spot of great recreational benefit" at the opening ceremony on May 10, 1934, during which state parks board chairman D. E. Colp formally dedicated the new state park. In 1935 a reactivated CCC Company No. 1823, comprised of African American veterans, returned to Abilene State Park for additional work. They built culverts, a water tower and latrines, and undertook some road and stonework repairs before moving on to Kerrville. The work of the Civilian Conservation Corps is still visible at Abilene State Park, one of more than 50 public parks in Texas that benefited from labor and craftsmanship of the men of the CCC.” The marker is located at 150 Park Road 32.
 
Abilene State Park Directions:
From Abilene, take FM 89 16 miles west of Abilene through Buffalo Gap, then take Park Road 32 to the park.