Mother Neff State Park

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Mother Neff State Park

  • couple hiking in cave at Mother Neff SP
  • Mother_Neff-SP_MG_8392-opti.jpg
  • wash pond
  • Mother Neff 1st Day Hike
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  • Video of the Grand Reopening of Mother Neff State Park on January 23, 2015

A Legacy for Texans

Along a scenic stretch of the Leon River southwest of Waco lies Mother Neff State Park, one of Texas’ earliest state parks. Isabella Neff donated the original six acres for the park in 1921. Since then, many folks have discovered what Mother Neff knew:  This is a very special place.

Things to Do

Come to the park to unwind! You can hike, picnic, camp, geocache and observe nature. Enjoy the wildflowers in the prairie and explore the canyon trails. (Due to river conditions, swimming and fishing are not allowed.)

Explore the interactive displays at our visitor center to learn more about this Central Texas treasure and its rich history.  

The Leon River has flooded the lower end of the park multiple times in recent years. A new camping loop and visitor center opened in 2015 - both above the floodplain. Now the park can remain open, even when the riverfront area floods.


Our new camping loop has 20 full hookup sites (water, sewer and 50/30-amp electricity), level cement pads, and a large gathering area with a fire pit and picnic table. Or choose one of 15 tent sites near the Leon River (currently closed due to flood damage).

You can also stay in our lodge with campsite


Explore nearly 3.5 miles of trails for beginners to more experienced trekkers. Trails take you to the Wash Pond, to the CCC Rock Tower, and to a cave used by the Tonkawa Indian tribe in the 1800s.


Stop by our park store at headquarters for souvenirs and supplies. 

Get involved

We need your help! As floodwater recedes, we need volunteers to help with cleanup and restoration. Learn more at headquarters or visit our Volunteer page.

Support state parks by donating to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation.

Ranger Programs

Park rangers offer nature and history programs. Check the Events page to see the schedule, or contact the park to arrange special tours.

Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.

Junior Ranger program

Kids aged four to 12 can become a junior ranger! Complete a set of activities to earn a badge and certificate. Download the activity sheets or pick up at headquarters.

Civilian Conservation Corps

The CCC built many of the facilities at Mother Neff State Park, including park roads, the concession building and the lookout/water tower. To learn more about the CCC’s work here, stop by the Visitor Center. You can also learn more on these pages:

Prairie Restoration Project

Why isn’t the grass mowed? Native prairies and grasslands play a vital role in the overall health of an ecoregion. Learn more about our prairie restoration project on our Nature page.

Area Attractions

Waco (32 miles) offers shopping, dining, museums and more. Be sure to visit the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and the Cameron Park Zoo.

Temple (25 miles) has museums as well, including the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum.

In Gatesville (23 miles), the “Spur Capital of Texas,” explore the Coryell County Museum & Historical Center.

Lone Star Legacy Parks logo

1921 Park Road 14
Moody, TX 76557

Latitude: 31.334236

Longitude: -97.467917

(254) 853-2389

Entrance Fees
  • Adult: $2 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under: Free

Open daily.

Gate: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Visitor Center: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
(closed from noon – 1 p.m. on weekdays)

Note: The gate at the south end of park is closed indefinitely.

We often reach capacity, and highly recommend reservations for both camping and day use. To guarantee entry, 
reserve passes online or by calling the customer service center before you visit.

Busy Season

Spring, early summer and fall


January average low is 36 degrees. July average high is 97 degrees. Wettest seasons are spring and fall. First freeze occurs late November. Last freeze occurs mid-March.

National Weather Service forecast for this area

Ranges from 610 feet along the bottomlands to 790 feet on the uplands.