(Last Updated On: October 27, 2022)
walking bridge through reeds at Cedar Hill State Park

The perch pond in Cedar Hill State Park in Cedar Hill, Texas. Photo: Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons.

Whether you are chilling by the lake, exploring its landscape of scenic prairies and craggy limestone bluffs, or checking out its historic structures, there is something for everyone to do at Cedar Hill State Park.

Located just a 25 minute drive from Dallas, this fabulous Texas State Park is a world away from the hustle and bustle of big city life, offering a tranquil and scenic nature retreat for those who want to rest and relax.

Set across 1,826-acres, one of the main draws of this Texas state park is the shimmering Joe Pool Lake, which is a haven for boating, swimming and fishing. Other popular activities include hiking and biking, as well as birding. With the park being home to over 200 different species of birds.

Given its close proximity to Dallas the park is, not surprisingly, a popular day-trip destination. However, with 369 RV and tent campsites to choose from, there are plenty of accommodation options available for those who want to stay for a few nights too.


Visitors to the park can partake in a plethora of outdoor recreational activities during their time there.

Below are just a handful of some of the many activities you can do whilst at Cedar Hill State Park.

Water Activities at Cedar Hill State Park

Made by The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Joe Pool Lake is where much of the action happens at Cedar Hill State Park.

Activities like jet skiing, canoeing, kayaking, SUP and boating are very popular here and there are two boat ramps that can help you get into the water.

One of the only lakes in Texas to flow north, its shimmering waters are the perfect place to swim. Enabling you to cool off from the heat of the Texan sun when its at it most unforgiving.

If you do decide to go for a dip please note that the area is not lifeguarded. So you will have to enter the water at your own risk.

Near the beach section, you’ll also find a playground and restrooms, as well as BBQ grills and picnic areas.

Fishing at Cedar Hill State Park

Fishing is a very popular activity at Cedar Hill and throughout the park there are several spots along the shore in which you can cast a line.

Some of the best of them include Perch Pond, as well as a space near Penn Farm and the Lake View Camping Area.

The 7,500-acre lake is filled with catfish, black bass and crappie, all of which regularly bite. To catch them, you can choose to fish by the shore, on either of the two lighted fishing jetties located by the lake, or in a boat on the water.

You do not need a fishing license to fish in this state park.

Hiking at Cedar Hill State Park

Whilst not on the water, one of the best ways to explore the park’s topography is via hiking.

The Cedar Hill State Park is unique in that it contains two converging ecosystems. One of which is rolling tallgrass prairie, which contains black clay soil and the other is a rugged limestone escarpment.

Throughout the park there are several trails that showcase this contrasting landscape. Here are some of the most popular of them:

  • trail 1 – Penn Farm Trail. Length: 0.6 mile Degree of Difficulty: easy
  • trail 2 – Talala Trail. Length: 2.3 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate
  • trail 3 – Plum Valley Trail. Length: 0.8 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate

Birding at Cedar Hill State Park

With over 200 species calling the park home, birding is a very popular activity at the park.

Bird lovers visit it all year round for the opportunity to see many different types of breeds, some of whom live in the park permanently.

When visiting the park be sure to take your binoculars with you because depending on when you go, you should be able to see the likes of Eastern bluebird, yellow-billed cuckoo, black vultures, indigo buntinglogger, head shrike, red-tailed hawk, great horned owl, and ruby-crowned kinglets.

All of which add intoxicating color and noise to the park.

Pets at Cedar Hill State Park

Pets are allowed within the confines of the park, although there are some spaces where they are not permitted.

For full clarification of where you can or cannot take your dogs whilst at Cedar Hill, please contact the park’s main office.

Camping at Cedar Hill State Park

If you are wanting to stay overnight at the park, there are a whopping 369 sites available across several campgrounds.

Of these, 147 sites offer full hookups for 30-amp to 50-amp electricity, water and sewer. They are located in the Eagle Ford Camping Area, the Lakeview Camping Area, Shady Ridge and Coyote Crossing.

All of them come with a picnic table and fire ring and are situated near restrooms that have flush toilets.

In addition to them, there are also 192 other sites available that come with water and electric hookups. They can be found at the Hog Wallow, Shady Ridge and Coyote Crossing campgrounds.

These campsites also all come with picnic tables and fire rings too, as well as being located close to restrooms.

To compliment these hook up sites, there are also 30 primitive sites available. You’ll have to hike up to 2.25 miles to access them. But once you arrive, you will be able to put up a tent in an area of immense beauty and tranquility. As well as make use of the chemical toilets that are situated there.

Park Location

Cedar Hill State Park
1570 FM1382
Cedar Hill, TX 75104
Phone: 972.291.3900




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