When Will Palo Pinto Mountains State Park Open?

For nearly a decade, Fort Worth residents have been waiting for the opening of their new playground, a state park in the hills just over an hour from the city. But where do things stand today? Will Palo Pinto Mountains State Park ever open? There’s good news, but there’s also years of waiting ahead.

Expansive vistas are on the horizon near Strawn, but governmental slowness is continuing to delay this much-anticipated park.

The Plan For Palo Mountains State Park

Aimed specifically at serving Tarrant County’s growing base of residents by providing new outdoor recreational opportunities, a site near Strawn was selected in 2011 to become Palo Pinto Mountains State Park. The 4,400-acre park site features a 1,400-foot ridge, hardwood forest, creeks and more. Planners quickly dubbed it the “Metroplex’s playground”. But nothing much has happened in the years since.

Now, the Texas Legislature has allocated $12.5 million, but $8 million to $10 million in additional private donations will also be needed to get the gates open, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. About $5.3 million has been set aside to start building the roads and camping areas of the park, perhaps as soon as early in 2020.

The process began when the Tarrant Regional Water District sold off the land for Eagle Mountain Park. As part of the deal, the state agreed to build a park within easy driving distance of Fort Worth. A site was selected and purchased, but little else ever happened.

The tiny town of Strawn is waiting patiently for the economic boom that the stagnant city will see from the park. City leaders say that they’ve done their part, Tarrant County has done its part and finally the state is doing what it promised. When guests are allowed in, the plan is for a hiker’s and mountain biker’s paradise with room for horseback riders too. Plus, there will be fishing, boating, swimming, bird watching, camping and more.

There is no official opening date set. You can follow the progress of the park and see photos at https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/palo-pinto-mountains and on the park’s Facebook page.

Parks Enhance Quality Of Life

There’s plenty to see and do around Fort Worth, and these things contribute to the high quality of life that we enjoy in Tarrant County. But with more residents than ever before, a new playground for the whole family would be a welcome addition – and having it just a little more than an hour from the city seems perfect. Governments move slowly, however.

Until Palo Pinto Mountains State Park is open, we still have Lake Mineral Wells State Park, Cedar Hill State Park and many more recreational opportunities nearby. If you think North Texas is flat and uninteresting, you haven’t seen the best parts yet. And you can have a home of your own in this area that gives you easy access to these and other amenities.


Speak Your Mind