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pavilion at big spring state park in texas

Pavilion at Big Spring State Park. Photo: Leaflet, Wikimedia

Big Spring State Park is within the city limits of Big Spring in Howard County.

The park opened in 1936 and offers 382 acres of dry plains landscape carefully constructed into a national park by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The park and the city of Big Spring are named after a natural spring in the area.

Some early settlers attracted to the freshwater spring in the area included cattle drovers, immigrants while moving to new territories, and Native Americans. Amongst them were the Comanches.

It is thought that other visitors like the Spaniards may have visited the area as early as 1768, even though the earliest recording of the park is from 1849.

Plants & Wildlife at Big Spring State Park

You will find three ecological regions that blend Big Spring State Park. This means that each region has different plants and animals. These will only overlap in a small part of the park and county.

The western Rolling Plains are to the north and east. The Edwards Plateau is to the south, and the Southern High Plains or the Staked Plains are to the west.

There has been no livestock grazing in the park since the early 1900s, which is why the park is covered with plants from a semiarid area. Prickly pears and cacti can be found on rocky hills. Other plants are skunk bush sumac, mesquite, shin oak, and redberry juniper.

You will find lots of wildlife in the park early in the day and close to sunsets like jackrabbits, squirrels, roadrunners, and cottontail rabbits. Make sure to also keep an eye out for various birds.

Texas is known for being geographically flat. One of the most well-known regions of the park is Edward’s plateau. The plateau is made up of limestone and reaches both Austin and San Antonio.

If you look close enough, you will find deposits of the sea that used to cover most of Texas long ago. Throughout the years, erosion created a hilly terrain of what once was the eastern and southern parts of the plateau, which is what we now know as Hill Country.

Hike and Bike at Big Spring State Park

Inside this Texas state park, you will find a three-mile loop paved for walkers, joggers, and bikers to enjoy. The route travels up and around the mountain up to its peak and back around to the park’s entrance.

There is also a 2/3-mile trail called “Nature Trail” that travels up the park’s hillside, through the cacti and desert plants, all the way to beautiful views well worth the trek.

Gather at Big Spring State Park

The pavilion has got you covered if you are planning an outdoor event at the park. The site hosts up to two hundred people and comes equipped with four inside picnic tables, two outside picnic tables, outdoor grills, and a playground.

Dogs are allowed in this area but only when leashed. Restrooms are located nearby.

Area Attractions close to Big Spring State Park

Make sure to explore the surrounding area when visiting Big Spring State Park. There are several parks, lakes, and museums to make the most out of your outing.

Comanche Trail Park and Historical Spring

Comanche Trail Park is home to the spring that inspired the name of Big Spring State Park. The park itself is 400 acres long and has many attractions like a limestone amphitheater that seats almost seven thousand people, an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, baseball fields, playgrounds, and pavilions.

It also featured beautiful nature trails for its visitors to hike and bike. You will also find excellent fishing opportunities inside the park at the Comanche Trail Lake.

If you are looking to host an event at the Comanche Trail Park and Historical Spring, The Dora Roberts Community has amenities available for weddings, conferences, dances, receptions, and more!

Moss Creek Lake

Wonder over to Moss Creek Lake, a recreational facility and the water source for counties like Howard County. The lake was constructed back in 1938 by Big Spring City and the Army Corp of Engineers as a water source. Water in the lake is pumped from an EV. The lake’s surface is an asset of the Colorado River Municipal Water District.

Heritage Museum / Potton House

Visit The Heritage Museum or Potton House, a stop solely dedicated to the preservation of the area’s cultural heritage, history, and people. The Museum and House were chartered in 1971.

Fifty years later, it has cared for archives and permanent collections while educating visitors through programs, book signings, and lecture series. There are around six thousand visitors that stop by the museum every year.

The permanent collections and exhibit space make sure to showcase West Texas history in an engaging manner and unique experience. These areas include the Texas Longhorn exhibit, the West Texas Oil and Refinery Industry exhibit, Vintage Toy and Doll exhibit, the T&P Railroad exhibit, and the Pioneer Medical exhibit, to name a few.

The temporary gallery features local and distinguished artists from diverse cultural subject matters, important historical events, anniversaries, and fundraising projects or community events.

Hangar 25 Air Museum

If you or someone in your group likes planes, do not miss the opportunity to stop by the Hangar 25 Air Museum. Since it opened in 1999, the museum has had visitors from more than 30 countries and 50 states, totaling over fifty thousand visitors and counting!

The museum’s purpose is to educate its visitors on the Big Spring Army Air Force Bombardier School and Webb Air Force Base. They do this by preserving and exhibiting a fully restored WWII-era hangar and the history that surrounded it.

The museum is proud to honor all veterans, past, and present, and is staffed by retired civil service employees and veterans. The men and women often share their memories of the time when Hangar was a busy hub. Big Spring Army Air Force Bombardier School and Webb Air Force Base trained over ten thousand pilots from 1952 to 1977.

Park Location

Big Spring State Park
No. 1 Scenic Drive
Big Spring, TX 79720
Phone: 432.263.4931




Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Big Spring State Park: