Where Are the Best Parks in North Texas?

Home to a diversity of ecosystems, Texas overflows with national, state and privately owned parks available for us to explore. With the Go Outside series from First Choice Power, we’ll take you all across this great state to visit both well-known public parks and lesser-known spots that are privately owned, but open to the public.

We head to the northern border of our state in this installment of Go Outside by First Choice Power, to protected parks where birds nest and fly freely, and fisherman find their own paradises.

The Red River borders Texas and Oklahoma, a river that bends and winds it’s way through our landscape like a ribbon in the Earth. To the south of it lie tributaries and lakes, home to endangered wildlife and flora.

Follow along as we show you the best places to take a respite south of the Red River, in our great Lone Star State.

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge

Run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for migratory birds and other wildlife. It lies in northwestern Grayson County, on the Big Mineral Arm of Lake Texoma. Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge is exceptionally great for setting up camp to watch migratory birds.

338 species of birds make their way to live or migrate through this refuge. In addition, 60 species of reptiles and amphibians and 61 species of fish have also been documented in this park so far.

The Interior Least Tern, the Monarch Butterfly, and the Piping Plover are a few endangered species you will find at the Hagerman Refuge. Deers, turkeys, bobcats and hawks are other animals you’ll see here.

So pack your binoculars, a comfy chair and a picnic lunch for the day and head to this refuge where you’ll see wildlife you won’t see anywhere else.

Eisenhower State Park

Just an hour north of Dallas lies Eisenhower State Park, located on the shores of Lake Texoma. The state park has trails that run along high bluffs and sandy swimming coves for those who love a dip in natural waters and fisherman who enjoy a day catching stripped bass, crappie, and catfish.

With more than four miles of trails, folks can come for the day to walk or hike. You can also boulder, geocache, swim, or picnic along the shoreline. Keep an eye out for native Texas wildflowers and fossils left from an ancient ocean.

For those wanting to stay the night you can either camp or stay in one of their screened shelters or “Ike’s Cabin.”

Caddo National Grassland

From fishing and hiking to equestrian activities and camping, Caddo National Grassland, located an hour northeast of Dallas on 8,005 acres, is a respite at the top of our state for those who love the outdoors.

For the avid hunter, white-tailed deer, squirrels, and waterfowl can be hunted with a permit. Trapping predators and furbearers are also permitted with a US Forest Service Permit.

Visitors can also see migratory game birds, quail, rabbit, hare, predators, and frogs.

Pat Mayse Lake

With the closest town being Paris, Texas, the Pat Mayse Lake is a reservoir in the Prairies and Lakes region of Texas; and it is a tributary of the Red River.

Loaded with white bass, largemouth and spotted bass, and crappie and catfish, fisherman can check in with local fishing authorities on what they can and cannot keep on the line.

On the edge of the reservoir, you can find giant bulrush, cutgrass, and American lotus. Contain and hydrilla are also present in small amounts for those seekers of specialized flora.

Camping is available at the lake, but call before to make sure there are sites available.

If you’re looking for more ways to explore the great outdoors Northern Texas has to offer, then what are you waiting for? Pack the car and head over to one of these amazing and beautiful parks!

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Born in Australia, Ebony has been in Texas long enough to consider herself a Texan-Aussie. Ebony has been writing for magazines, newspapers, and blogs, for more than 10 years. When she's not writing she's building quilts, growing her own food, or camping with her family somewhere far from the sounds of the city.