Planned Palo Pinto state park gains additional acreage

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission accepted May 22 a donation of 120 acres that will expand the size of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park near Strawn west of Fort Worth. The donated Palo Pinto County tracts surround much of city-owned Tucker Lake within the boundaries of the more than 4,000-acre park.

Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, which is not expected to open to the general public for at least several years, encompasses former ranch land in southeast Stephens and southwest Palo Pinto counties just north of Interstate 20. The park property was originally purchased in 2011 with money from TPWD’s sale of an undeveloped 400-acre Eagle Mountain Lake site near Fort Worth. A public use plan is being drafted to determine the best use of the Cross Timbers Region property that will provide recreational opportunities, while conserving the site’s natural and culture resources.

Although the donated land does not include Tucker Lake, which serves as a drinking water source for nearby Strawn, the new acquisition will provide future park users access to the lake. The city of Strawn will retain all water rights and control of the dam and spillway structure. –Betty Dillard