Things to do in Cleburne State Park, Texas
January 1, 2021
A visit to Cleburne State Park is the perfect way to hike and escape from Dallas or Fort Worth. The park surrounds Cedar Lake and a CCC dam from the 1930’s. Hike or bike on one of the many trails, stay overnight at the campgrounds or go kayaking on the lake for a perfect day.
Please make it a priority to Leave No Trace when exploring the outdoors. This includes leaving nothing behind, respecting wildlife, minimizing campfire impacts, respecting those around you, planning ahead and traveling on durable surfaces. For more details, read about the seven principles at lnt.org.
- 1 hr 10 min from Dallas, 45 minutes from Fort Worth
- $6 entry without parks pass
- Reservations recommended
Cleburne State Park offers campsites with full hookups and with electricity. Prices range from $20 - $30 a night. The park also has a limited number of screened shelters and cabins to rent.
- White Tail Hollow Trail, 1.9 miles round trip
- Spillway Trail, 1.4 miles round trip
- Coyote Run Nature Trail, 2.2 miles round trip
- For something more challenging - Fossil Ridge Trail, 5 miles round trip
- In the summertime, kayak on Cedar Lake
Be sure to visit the limestone quarry spillway, I felt like this was the most unique part of the park! While most of it is manmade, it’s still nice to admire and climb around. You can see it from the White Tail Hollow Trail or the Spillway Trail. On the White Tail Hollow Trail, you’ll also cross the dam and get an excellent view of the lake. After it rains, you might see a waterfall cascading down the spillway. But if it’s dry, you can walk down to the bottom of the spillway and explore.
Check out the Coyote Run Nature Trail for a quick trail that’s great for exploring the forest. It has a little bit of elevation and goes along the edge of the park. The trail leads to a viewpoint of Cedar Lake (but note that you can have pretty much the same view on the opposite side of the lake too). If you continue on the trail, it will connect over to the Spillway Trail. It also connects to the Limestone Ridge Inner Loop Trail, a trail that is better for bikers because it’s a lot of tight switchbacks through the woods.
The Fossil Ridge Trail is 5 miles round trip along the perimeter of the park, meaning that it’s perfect for a longer adventure. It has a lot of elevation change, making it a great work out and a beautiful way to see the area.
In the summertime, you can rent a kayak or bring your own to paddle around the lake. The park has public boat ramps, just note that the entire lake is no-wake. Year round, you can also enjoy one of the park's many campsites.
A visit to the town of Glen Rose and Dinosaur Valley State Park is a great addition to Cleburne. It’s only a 30 minute drive between the two parks!
For more ideas on day trips from the DFW area, check out my list of 35 day trips from Dallas.
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