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Plan Your Visit

Wondering what to do at Cooper Lake State Park? We have a few ideas for you. Both parks have plenty of fun activities!

How long can you stay?

One hour

Playground equipment under trees with a lake in the backgroundCool off on a hot summer day at the swim area in either of the parks. The swim area at South Sulphur includes a sandy beach if you want to build a sandcastle.

Catch a fish. We loan fishing equipment for you to use in the park, and you don’t need a fishing license if you fish from the shore.

Bring a picnic for your family and enjoy a meal overlooking the lake. Some of the picnic tables are covered and all have grills. Bringing more than just family? Reserve one of our group picnic pavilions.

Looking to take a break from the road? Visit our day-use areas with picnic tables, playgrounds, and volleyball courts. South Sulphur also has a basketball court.

Explore either park on a short hike.

Want an activity while you hike? Stop at headquarters and grab a photo scavenger hunt, Junior Ranger book, and Junior Ranger backpack. Both parks also have numerous geocaches; use your phone or borrow a GPS unit from South Sulphur.

Explore the parks on bike. Ride on the road or go off road. South Sulphur has a 4.6-mile Coyote Run Trail for bikes; you can bike on any of the 3 miles of trails at Doctors Creek.

What to spend some time on the water? Bring your own boat or rent a kayak at South Sulphur or Doctor's Creek.

Half day

Look for birds. Print your own bird checklist or pick one up from headquarters.

Ride your horse through the East Texas woods on 10 miles of equestrian trails at the South Sulphur Unit.

Weekend

Sunset view of the lake from the desk of a cabin. Bask in the East Texas woods experience and fully explore the park. Camp or stay in a cabin or screened shelter. South Sulphur even has campsites for you and your horse.

By day, relax by the lake; hike, swim and fish; and spend time outdoors with family and friends. By night, listen for owls and enjoy stargazing away from the city.

Check with park staff for more ideas and information.

Fishing

Both parks have boat docks, fishing piers, and fish cleaning stations.

A fishing license is not required if you fish from the bank. One is required if you fish from a boat; you can purchase one at park headquarters.

Hiking

Sign showing a trail map of the Cedar Creek TrailBefore you hike, read through our Trail Safety tips and stop at either headquarters to pick up a trails map for South Sulphur or Doctors Creek.

One Hour

Doctors Creek

  • Begin at: Cedar Creek South Loop at the trailhead parking lot.
  • Ending: All three options will end at the trailhead parking lot where you started.
    • Can turn around and retrace steps once you get to the road to return in around one hour.
      • Distance: 1 mile.
      • Time: About 60 minutes
    • Continue across the road on the Cedar Creek North Loop and take a left on the Cedar Creek East Loop when they intersect about .07 miles after the road.
      • Distance: 1 mile.
      • Time: About 60 minutes.
    • Continue across the road on the Cedar Creek North Loop and complete the circle in about 70 minutes.
      • Distance: 1.1 miles.
      • Time: About 70 minutes

South Sulphur

  • Honey Creek Interpretive Trail – Start and end in the Honey Creek day-use area parking lot.
    • Distance: .3 Miles.
    • Time: About 30 minutes.
  • Coyote Run Trail – Start at the trailhead in the Heron Harbor day-use area parking lot. Hike for 30 minutes and then turn around to return to trailhead.

One to Four Hours

Doctors Creek

  • Park at the trailhead and begin with either the Cedar Creek West Loop or the Cedar Creek North Loop and continue onto the other trail before returning to the parking lot.
    • Distance: 1.9 miles.
    • Time: About 2 hours.

South Sulphur

  • Coyote Run Trail – Park at the Heron Harbor day-use area and hike the trail to the ending loop and return.
    • Distance: 4.6 miles.
    • Time: About 3 hours.