Fort Parker State Park – Texas Parks & Wildlife [Official]

Fort Parker State Park – Texas Parks & Wildlife [Official]


[upbeat music] – SHERRIE PRICE: We are
at Fort Parker State Park. We are located between the
cities of Mexia and Groesbeck in Limestone County. It’s so open, but yet there’s
so many trees and shade and it’s so quiet. – MIKE LOFTICE: Everything
is just so close and handy. Campsites are real close
to the hiking trails and they’re also real close
to the swim area… – Ta da! – MIKE: …to places to fish,
to ride their bikes. – GIRL: Momma look at this one. – Oh wow. Is it soft? I think that’s a rabbit. – Once a family arrives,
they can enjoy all the amenities that
the park has to offer without ever getting
back in their vehicle.– NARRATOR: Native Americans
were drawn to this site by the
natural springs that still
flow into the Navasota River.
Anglo settlers,
also drawn by the water,
established the town of
Springfield here in 1838.
– The population at that
time period was more than Dallas and Houston’s
population put together. [bell ringing]– NARRATOR: When the railroad
bypassed Springfield
in the 1870s, the town
began to fade away.
Today, the only thing that
remains of this once
bustling community is the
historic Springfield Cemetery,
located within the park.– MIKE: The first and largest
slave owner of Limestone County is buried there. But there are also freed slaves
buried in that same cemetery. This was a very unique
thing to happen here. – My dad is buried over there. That was the only cemetery
that was integrated from the beginning. [CCC film music]– NARRATOR: During the Great
Depression of the 1930s,
the Civilian Conservation Corps
was established to provide jobs
for unemployed young men.– MIKE: The people of the
surrounding communities actually petitioned the
government to get a CCC camp out here to make a
recreational park. The number of the
CCC camp was 3807-C and the C stood for “colored.” – Life in the camp, I would
say it was beautiful. When you was out there
working on that farm, you didn’t know where your
next meal was coming from. But when you was in the CC camp,
you know where you were going to get the three hots a day. – MIKE: The CCC not only built
the dam that backed up the Navasota River to form
Fort Parker Lake, they also built the
recreation hall. They constructed the roads. They built picnic tables. The CCC just did a
fantastic job here. They were proud of what
they had done, and rightfully so. – WILLIAM HARWOOD: Well,
I found a mushroom. Does that count? – MIKE: The Burr Oak Nature
Trail is just an ideal length trail for families
with young children. – ANN: Turk’s Cap. – MIKE: It’s also marked with
plant identification markers. – The bright red flowers attract
butterflies and hummingbirds. – ANN: It’s a fairly hot day
but the trail is completely shaded
so it’s easy to do. That’s got to be the
big burr oak. The kids enjoyed it and we’re
going to go swimming now because the swimming hole is
right next to the trail head. [kids laughing and splashing] [playful music] – REBECCA LIGHT: The trails
here offer a lot of variety for different styles of riding, whether you are a seasoned rider or you’re here with
your family. It just kind of
offers a nice flow. You’re going to have
some descent and ascent. And along with that, you do
have some twists and turns, some rocks and roots which makes
it a little bit more exciting for those that are a
little more seasoned. Wahoo! This is where we
come to ride a lot. This is home away from home,
for sure. [small boat motor running] – HOWARD GREGORY: We’re on
the Navasota River at Fort Parker State Park. In this river, the crappie
is probably the most sought-after game fish. I go for these bass. There’s some good-sized
fish in here. He’s about wore out. The biggest one I’ve caught out
here is 9 pounds and 13 ounces. That’s a keeper. But the biggest one
that’s been caught is 12 pounds and 2 ounces. There’s another one. It’s good enough to where
I keep coming back three times a week. That’s a typical
Fort Parker black bass. Didn’t get skunked. – SHERRIE: Canoeing and
kayaking is very popular because not only can they canoe
and kayak the lake, they also have the Navasota
River that they can kayak. And that hosts a whole other
world of wildlife that they get to see when they’re going
up and down the river. – REBECCA: Like that
little slide there! – MIKE: You can come out here
and just have a really fun time relaxing and spending time
with your family, making memories that
will last a lifetime in a very relaxed atmosphere. – SHERRIE: The one thing
that I love about Fort Parker State
Park is the serenity. being able to look
across the water, watch the sunset, watch the birds fly across, it does something
good for the soul.

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