Fort Parker State Park, Texas [Official]

Uploaded by TexasParksWildlife on 13.08.2009

Fort Parker State Park lies
in the gently rolling terrain of East-Central Texas,
40 miles east of Waco.
Its wooded facilities line the shore
of the 750-acre Lake Fort Parker.
This small lake was created
when an earth-filled dam was constructed
on the Navasota River by the Civilian Conservation Corps
in the 1930s.
[old music]
The CCC was established during the Depression
to provide jobs for unemployed young men.
They were responsible for much of the construction
at state parks in Texas as well as national parks
and other facilities across the country.
At Fort Parker State Park the CCC surveyed roads,
constructed park buildings and built this dam.
Those guys took pride in their work.
You ever been to Fort Parker?
You're going to cross the Navasota River.
If you look over to your left,
you're going to see a big dam, about 100-150 feet wide.
We built that. We built that dam.
In the midst of Postoak woodland and Blackland Prairie,
the park is surrounded by nature.
Visitors are welcomed by a tall canopy of oaks,
cedar elms, pecans, hickories and a host of other trees.
A short hiking trail provides good wildlife viewing
especially early and late in the day.
Well as rich as Fort Parker is in natural resources,
it's even more rich and more diverse in history.
We go back to a number of prehistoric archeological sites
that surrounded the Navasota River.
It was also the site of the original county seat
for Limestone County from 1840 to 1870.
We have the cemetery from that original town site.
Fort Parker State Park gets its name
from a nearby historic settlement
that was established in 1833.
In an Indian raid in 1836,
5 residents of the settlement were captured
including Cynthia Ann Parker.
She was raised as an Indian. She married Chief Padanacouna,
and their son was Quanah Parker,
the last great Comanche chief.
Just a few miles away lies another part of Texas history,
the Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site.
Confederate veterans gathered here
to remember fallen comrades from the Civil War.
Now the park is a popular site
for picnicking, weddings and reunions.
[Kids jump roping and chanting]
Another popular gathering place
is the Activity Center at Fort Parker State Park.
The group barracks here sleeps 96 people
and includes 9 different buildings.
The waters of Lake Fort Parker
hide some of the parks' most popular wildlife.
Fishing piers, a boat ramp and an extensive shoreline
provide excellent lake access for anglers.
Small boats can travel upstream on the Navasota River,
adding more fishing opportunities.
The wildlife viewing opportunities
are really good here in the park.
We have excellent bird viewing in the spring and fall
during migration season.
A lot of people come to fish at the Navasota River.
It's a well kept local secret
that this is a good place to come.