Fort Parker State Park

Eclipse viewing

Trails Information

Discover nature and Texas history at Fort Parker State Park.

drawing of a heron's head
Great blue heron

Relax and enjoy the natural beauty of this recreational oasis built by the Civilian Conservation Corps on the Navasota River. Here the oak woodlands begin to blend into the western prairies, creating a rich natural diversity for wildlife watching.

Hike the shady trails along the lake, or enjoy kayaking or canoeing on Fort Parker Lake.


All trails hiking and biking unless otherwise indicated.

This list may not include all trails in the park.

Trail Distance Time Difficulty Description
Bur Oak Trail 0.5 mi. (loop) 20 min. Easy Take this family-friendly nature loop to explore the woodlands along Fort Parker Lake. Stop at the wildlife viewing blind and look across the lake to see a great blue heron rookery. Ask for the Bur Oak Trail guide at park headquarters.
Springfield Trail 1.8 mi. (loop) 45 min. Easy Hike through history on this trail that loops through woodlands and prairie glades and the old Springfield town site. Explore the historic cemetery or stop to fish at Lake Springfield.
Navasota River Trail 1.9 mi. (one-way) 45 min. Easy Level and shady, this trail winds along the northern lakeshore, connecting the main campground area with the tent and scout camping areas and the Navasota River. You can embark on the Limestone Bluffs Paddling Trail from this easily accessible launch area.
River Loop 0.9 mi. (one-way) Easy This trail is an extension of the Navasota River Trail. An easy, pleasant hike that meanders along the river through shady woods.
Baines Creek Trail 2.5 mi. (one-way) 2 hrs. Moderate The first half mile of this trail along Polecat Slough is relatively easy; then the trail climbs over the next mile to a scenic overlook that is worth the effort. No access from the main park; access is from the satellite park, only.
Limestone Bluffs Paddling Trail 10.6 mi. (round trip) 6.0  hrs. Easy Enjoy a leisurely canoe or kayak trip through the lush habitat along the Navasota River between Fort Parker State Park and the Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site. Ask at the park office about renting canoes or kayaks for your trip.
List of trails

Points of Interest

GPS coordinates shown in decimal degrees.

Point Latitude Longitude Description
Limestone Bluffs 31.6107° -96.5534° Paddle to the picturesque limestone bluffs along the Navasota River.
Recreation Hall / Nature Center 31.5966° -96.5362° Learn about history and nature in this historic CCC building.
Springfield Cemetery 31.5941° -96.5310° Learn about the early settlers of Limestone County as you explore this historic cemetery.
Park Headquarters 31.5922° -96.5266° Check in at park headquarters, once the infirmary for the CCC Camp.
Lake Springfield 31.5890° -96.5279° Relax and go fishing in this small, spring-fed lake.
Fort Parker Dam 31.5876° -96.5279° The CCC built this dam on the Navasota River creating Fort Parker Lake.
Heron Rookery 31.5910° -96.5364° Look across the lake to see a great blue heron rookery.
Baines Creek Trail Overlook 31.5925° -96.5425° Stop and enjoy this scenic view of Fort Parker Lake.
List of points of interest

Staying Safe

  • Know your limits. Prepare for sun and heat. Wear sunscreen, insect repellent and appropriate clothing/hiking shoes.
  • Drink plenty of water. Your body quickly loses fluids when you’re on the trail. Bring a quart of water per hour of activity.
  • Tell others where you’ll be. If possible, avoid exploring alone. Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Wear a helmet when biking. Check with park HQ to match the trail to your skill level. Wear a helmet to protect yourself in case of a crash.
  • Potentially harmful plants and animals may live here. You’ll see them more easily if you stay on trails. Do not approach wildlife!
  • You may not be able to connect. It’s a good idea to take along a cell phone and GPS unit, but don’t count on them.

Trail Etiquette

  • Trash your trash. Keep the park natural. Pack out all of your trash and Leave No Trace.
  • Leave feeding to nature. Feeding wild animals will make them sick and more likely to harm people.
  • Take only memories and pictures. Please don’t disturb or remove any of the park’s plants, animals or artifacts.