Day Trips: Fairfield Lake State Park, Fairfield: Want to Buy a State Park? – Columns

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

Fairfield Lake State Park it is for sale. In fact, the entire 2,400-acre former powerhouse reservoir with 21 miles of undeveloped shoreline outside of Fairfield and about 75 miles east of waco is on the market. It’s the largest private lake in the state and it can be yours for $110.55 million.

The 1,460-acre state park encompasses the South Rim where three streams flow into the lake. An ancient forest of deciduous and evergreen trees covers the hills. The thick woods create a windbreak in the winter and a shady canopy in the summer.

A favorite year-round fishing spot, the park is also a popular campground. All 135 campsites have paved parking spots, picnic tables and fire pits. Each of the three lakeside campgrounds has showers and toilets.

Most of the nearly 10 miles of trails are open to hiking and biking, and a horse trail follows the eastern perimeter of the park.

One of the most scenic areas of the park is the day-use area which includes a swimming beach and fishing pier. It’s a good place to see the resident of the park otters Where bald eagles visit in winter. Up to 25 bald eagles have been seen at the lake in recent years.

The lake was built in 1969 for coal Big Brown Power Stationwho retired in 2018.

The national park opened in 1976. Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife leases the property in 10-year increments. The current lease expires in December 2022 and the future of the park is uncertain.

Asked about the future of Fairfield Lake State Park, the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife released the following statement:

“The Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife continues to work with Luminant [the electrical utility and current landowner] and entered into an agreement extending operation of the park through the fall of 2022. The agreement is conditional upon the sale of the property. We are aware that Luminant has begun seeking a new landowner for the property and TPWD looks forward to working with any new potential partners for the continued operations of Fairfield Lake State Park. »

Since 1991, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (tpwf.org) has raised more than $215 million in donations large and small to support TPWD and secure the future of Texas wild things and places. He was instrumental in acquiring the 17,351-acre Powderhorn Ranch along the Texas coast for the state. The nonprofit has helped save a pristine stretch of the Devils River in addition to securing public ownership of large and small plots of land around the state. Among the group’s ongoing conservation projects is fundraising for the new Palo Pinto Mountains State Park west of Fort Worth. When contacted about Fairfield Lake State Park, they replied:

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has not had a discussion with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department regarding this. We are currently focused on the $9 million fundraising effort currently underway for the park. Palo Pinto Mountains State.”

Lake Fairfield State Park is 13 minutes north of Fairfield. No fishing license is required to fish in the park. Reservations can be obtained at tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/fairfield-lake.


1,586th in a series. Follow “Day Trips & Beyond,” a travel blog, at austinchronicle.com/daily/travel.

Comments are closed.