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 The dam that impounds Bonham State Park Lake


The dam that impounds Bonham State Park Lake. Photo: Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons.

Located in Bonham Texas, near Dallas, Bonham State Park is filled with natural beauty, making it the ideal place to step out of everyday life. Many choose to escape the city, take in nature, and relax.

The small 261-acre area is filled with hilly trails, a calm 65-acre lake, and an exciting history.

Bonham State Park was acquired by the state of Texas in 1933 and underwent construction by the Civilian Conservation Corps for three years.

The CCC built the dam, bridges, buildings, and picnic tables for the public to enjoy. The park officially opened in 1936.

Activities

Though this Texas state park may be small, there are still many activities for visitors to enjoy, including camping, hiking, biking, fishing, paddling, swimming, nature watching, and geocaching.

Hiking and Biking at Bonham State Park

If you decide to enjoy some hiking or biking within the park, there are 8.75 miles of trails available for visitors to enjoy.

The trails range from easy 1.3-mile loops that offer an ideal view of the park’s plant life. A more challenging trail for visitors to enjoy is the Bois d’Arc Trail.

Fishing at Bonham State Park

Fishing is always fun to do at Bonham State Park’s 65-acre lake. The lake has its own fishing pier and boat ramp. It is necessary to note that the lake has a 5-mph speed limit.

While you will need to bring your own bait, visitors can borrow gear.

Paddling at Bonham State Park

Aside from fishing and boating, there are other activities to enjoy at the lake. Make sure to bring your watercraft. If you do not have one, you can always rent one.

The park offers paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes to rent from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day if the weather allows.

Geocaching at Bonham State Park

Geocaching is like a treasure hunt where people all over the globe search for a hidden geocache while doing outdoor activities. The word geo means earth, and cache means hidden item. Geocaches come in all shapes and sizes. They need to be camouflaged but not buried for others to spot easily.

This game is easily enjoyed by adults and children alike, making it the perfect family-trip activity.

To participate, make sure you log onto the geocaching website through the smartphone app. There you will find a list of geocaches that range in difficulty.

Shopping at Bonham State Park

Stop for a trip souvenir at the park’s gift shop, where you will be able to find anything from snacks, t-shirts and more!

Plants at Bonham State Park

Inside the park, you will find a diverse array of plants, including grasses, trees, wildflowers, and more!

Once inside the park, you will be able to admire its scattered grassland and woodland. The woodland grows heavier closer to the bodies of water. Though the grasslands look a little empty due to the previous farming practices, they are recovering and soon taking over the region.

There are a variety of trees to admire in Bonham State Park, including easter red cedar, oak, bois d’arc, cottonwood, black willow, and more!

Because of its colorful plants, the park changes color all year round. It goes from vibrant flowers in spring and summer to multicolored leaves close to autumn.

Wildlife at Bonham State Park

Because of the size of the park, there is little wildlife. Nevertheless, its lakeside offers an ideal habitat for songbirds, beavers, opossums, and raccoons.

Though you will most likely find birds, and some within the woodlands reside there year-round, the majority of birds at Bonham Park are visitors and only stay for a certain amount of time.

Camping at Bonham State Park

There are a total of twenty campsites to choose from in Bonham State Park. These range from tent sites with water and electricity to full hookups.

Visitors can also book a group camp that comes with six sites that can host up to fifty people.

Groups

The park offers larger groups the opportunity to enjoy the site for day use or overnight. There are up to two options for group overnight stays. The park has barracks with a kitchen and a group hall that can host 94 people.

The pavilion is also available for daytime use and can host groups of up to 75 people.

Area Attractions at Bonham State Park

There are many attractions in the area that are perfect for visiting, like the city of Bonham and two historical sites: the Eisenhower Birthplace and, of course, the Sam Bell Maxey House.

The city of Bonham has many restaurants, shops, and museums for visitors to enjoy. They also have grocery stores to stop by and get some snacks on your way towards or out of the park.

The city of Bonham is also known as the home of Sam Rayburn, the longest-serving Speaker of the House of Representatives. Rayburn was elected a total of ten times and served for seventeen years.

The Eisenhower Birthplace is nearby and located in the heart of Denison, Texas. The site is the home of U.S. President Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States.

The house is filled with beautiful antique furnishings and perfectly illustrates the life of the Eisenhower family. There are also exhibits showcasing President Eisenhower’s accomplishments as president and war hero in the visitor center.

The Sam Bell Maxey House is also the perfect stop for U.S. history enthusiasts in Paris, Texas. A former confederate general, Mexican War veteran, and future U.S. senator, Sam Bell Maxey’s house is a site to behold. The Maxey family moved into this home in the late 19th century.

In this home, the family conducted everyday life during the Texan Reconstruction Era all the way to the beginning of the First World War. Though the house has been restored, it does feature original clothing, furnishing, and letters from the era.

Park Fees and Hours

Park Fees

Adult: $4 Daily
Child 12 Years and Under: Free
School-Sponsored Group: Contact the Park

Park Hours

Open daily: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Office Hours

8:15 a.m. – 4:45 p.m

Park Location

Bonham State Park
1363 State Park 24
Bonham, TX 75418-9285
Phone: 903.583.5022

Website
Reservations

Map

Video

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