Atlanta State Park In Texas

If you are looking to go to Northeast Texas, you should stop by Atlanta State Park for a peaceful retreat where you can enjoy fishing, camping, birding, and more.

Atlanta State Park is on the shores of Wright Patman Lake in the far northeast corner of Texas. The towering pines and hardwoods shade the park. There will see beauty year-round with fantastic fall and spring colors.

Things to Do

There are many things to do at the Atlanta State Park, including fish, boat, water-ski, and swim at a designated area. Just so you know, there is no lifeguard on duty. In the park, outdoor enthusiasts can walk, study nature, birdwatch, camp, picnic, geocache, and jog. You can also hike along roads, trails and shorelines. If you are into biking, you can explore many hilly park roads.

Fishermen love this 33,750-surface-acre reservoir. The 75-pound catfish may have something to do with it. The park has two boat ramps for easy access and a fish cleaning station.

The park offers 4.8 miles of hiking trails, including a .8-mile nature trail. Campers can reserve one of the 58 campsites in the park. All campsites have water and electricity; 14 of them have sewer hook-ups, too.

If you have a group you would like to bring, the picnic pavilion and an amphitheater can be reserved for group events.

The park store sells T-shirts and hats and a few other items, including some fishing supplies. Did we mention 75 lbs catfish? Ice is also for sale to keep things cool.

If you plan to swim at the park, read through the swimming safety tips before you come.

Equipment Rentals At The Park

The park rents canoes and kayaks. You can also loan some fishing tackle. Additionally, you can borrow basketballs, volleyballs, and horseshoes while you are visiting the park.

Ranger Programs

The park offers programs on geocaching, bird watching and the Caddo Indians.

Area Attractions Near The Park

Spend time in Jefferson admiring beautiful antebellum homes; riding a narrow-gauge train, steam or riverboat. There are museums and more for you to explore. Linden offers great music history and events. In April, you can enjoy a rodeo or wildflower festival. If you are feeling really adventurous, you can stand in Texas and Arkansas and touch Louisiana all at once when visiting the park.

Caddo Lake, Daingerfield, and Lake Bob Sandlin state parks are nearby.

Make a Reservation

Reserve by phone: (512) 389-8900
Entrance Fees
Adult: $3 Daily
Child 12 Years and Under: Free
Hours
The park is closed until Sept. 9.

Open daily,
6 a.m. – 10 p.m.

It is not uncommon to reach capacity, so reservations are highly recommended for both camping and day use.

Typical Weather

July’s average high is 90 degrees. January average low is 32 degrees. The first freeze occurs in early November. The last freeze occurs in late March. The Wettest months are April and May.

The park’s elevation is 264 feet.

Nearby State Parks, Historic Sites, and State Natural Areas include Caddo Lake State Park, Daingerfield State Park, and Lake Bob Sandlin State Park.

Directions To The Park

To get to the park, which is 11 miles northwest of Atlanta, exit from U.S. Highway 59 onto FM 96, and go west nine miles to FM 1154, then north two miles to Park Road 42 entrance. (FM 1154 dead-ends at the park.)

Park Address:
927 Park Road 42
Atlanta, TX 75551

The Park HQ is located at:
Latitude: 33.230731
Longitude: -94.249693

 

Geology

TreesWright Patman Lake is in the forested portion of the West Gulf Coastal Plains physiographic province. This forested portion of the coastal plains is called the East Texas timber belt. It coincides with the surface sands and sandy clays of the Wilcox outcrop belt. This area features gently rolling hills covered with a mixture of hardwoods and pines.

Animals In The Park

Visitors can see woodland birds around the camping and picnic areas and along the hiking trails on the east side of the park. These include brown-headed nuthatches and pine warblers. In winter, the picnic area offers the best views of ducks (such as buffleheads and ruddy ducks), American white pelicans and double-crested cormorants. Also in winter, birders can see various species of gulls around the dam. Having a good pair of binoculars really brings the bird to life and makes birding very enjoyable.

As for fishing, there are lots of crappies, largemouth bass, white bass, as well as several species of sunfish. There is plenty of good-size fish available. Plentiful catfish (channel, blue, and flathead) can be found also.

Plants In The Park

Trees are the focal point at Atlanta State Park, with 90-foot tall pines and hardwoods surrounding the shores of Wright Patman Lake. Shortleaf pine trees and white oak trees grow in the park as well. Many loblolly pines and other varieties of oak can also be found.

The Fall color is spectacular, while in the spring, dogwoods in bloom brighten the landscape.

 

Park History

Atlanta State Park sits on 1,475 acres along the southern shores of Wright Patman Lake in Cass County. The lake is in northeast Texas, southwest of Texarkana.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversaw the impoundment of the Sulphur River to create the lake. Construction of the lake’s dam began in 1948 and finished in 1953. The lake covers 20,300 acres with an average depth of 7.6 feet. It has 170 miles of shoreline.

The lake was originally known as Lake Texarkana. It was renamed in the 1970s to honor Wright Patman, a longtime congressman from East Texas.

Texas entered into a lease with the Department of the Army in 1954 to establish a public park on the lake’s shore.

Area History Of Atlanta State Park

This area has a rich cultural heritage. The Sulphur River and its abundant resources, has attracted humans for thousands of years.

Archaeologists have found signs of human occupation and settlement here beginning more than 12,000 years ago. Throughout most of this time, the inhabitants were nomadic hunters and gatherers, living off of the bounty of the surrounding river corridor.

Between 1,200 and 2,000 years ago, the ancestors of the Caddo migrated to this part of Texas. Caddo was the dominant culture in the area. They grew crops, crafted fine ceramic vessels, and made stone tools with the abundant local resources.

After the 1830s, Anglo settlers discovered the area. They were farmers, also, producing cotton, corn, and hogs into the early 20th century. Signs of these settlers remain in the park, in the form of traces, or wagon roads. The Bobo Ferry trace once led to a ferry crossing on the Sulphur River. Visitors can see other old, unnamed traces in the park. Wagon and horse traffic wore down some of these roads more than 3 feet deep.

The economy shifted to cattle and timber by the middle of the 20th century. Agriculture and timber sales drive the economy today. Local businesses in nearby communities play a part, too.

Map Of The Park

More Texas State Parks

Go back to the home page for the Texas State Parks to explore additional parks in Texas.