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Lake Mineral Wells behind a tree on a sunny day at Lake Mineral Wells State Park

When the good people of Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington want a bit of down time in nature, many of them head on over to the beautiful Lake Mineral Wells State Park.

Situated between a 45 minute and 75 minute drive from all three cities, the 3,282.5 acre park is known for the picturesque waterway in which it is named after.

Spread across a surface area of 640-acres, this Texas state park is an excellent spot for kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, swimming and fishing. It is also a noted spot for hiking, horseback riding and rock climbing. With the stunning Penitentiary Hollow (a small canyon) being a stand out place in which to scale its walls.

The perfect destination for a digital detox, the park offers peace, serenity and tranquility in abundance. It also has a number of camping accommodation options, including full hookups for RV and trailer sites, primitive tent camping and even equestrian camping facilities too, for those who want to really take the time to enjoy it.


The park provides visitors with a plethora of ways to explore and enjoy its spectacular landscape.

Below are some of the most popular activities you can enjoy during your time there.

Penitentiary Hollow at Lake Mineral Wells State Park

For many visitors the opportunity to check out Penitentiary Hollow is a major reason for coming to the park.

Whether you choose to marvel and photograph it from a distance, climb it independently, or book a guided tour that will take you through very narrow rock crevices like ‘the Squeeze’, is entirely up to you.

However, you should attempt to experience this stunning landmark in some way, shape or form.

Hiking at Lake Mineral Wells State Park

At the top of Penitentiary Hollow there is a stunning lookout point that provides incredible views of the lake and the surrounding area. To get there you will need to take the Red Waterfront Trail which starts from the Post Oaks campground.

For those who enjoy hiking, there are over 31 miles of trails overall you can tackle in the park. About 25 miles of which are set up for mountain biking and horseback riding.

One of the most popular of them is the Primitive Camping Trail, which will take you through wide open grasslands and the stark remnants of an ancient forest.

Another excellent course to traverse is The Maroon Trail. Should you attempt this more difficult trail, it will involve you navigating a high ridge before descending into a natural bowl.

Boating at Lake Mineral Wells State Park

Whilst the Penitentiary Hollow is a big drawcard, as the pack is named after a lake it shouldn’t come as any surprise that boating is a popular activity there.

As you can’t engage in tubing, jet skiing or waterskiing, more relaxed boating activities are the go here. With the likes of kayaks, canoes and paddle boards being well practiced.

Most boating activity tends to take place at the southern end of the lake, which is more developed. However for a more serene paddling experience its worth heading to the solitude of the northern part.

Fishing at Lake Mineral Wells State Park

Fishing is another favored activity at the park with many guests choosing to cast a line during their visit.

Overall there are a whopping six fishing piers, one of which is artificially lit. But if you would prefer you can also choose to fish from the shoreline.

You won’t need a license to do this if you stay at either of those areas. But you will need one if you venture into the middle of water, on a boat ,with your rods and reels.

Wherever you choose to fish you can expect to catch plenty of crappie, sunfish, largemouth bass and sunfish.

Pets at Lake Mineral Wells State Park

Pets are welcome to join you at the park, but they do need to be supervised and kept under control, on a leash, at all times during your stay there.

Some other restrictions on their presence may also be in place. So if you intend to bring your four legged friend with you, it would be worthwhile to get in touch with the main office, to determine what they are.

Camping at Lake Mineral Wells State Park

For those who want to stay at the park for a few nights there are several accommodation options available to you.

This includes 47 sites in the Live Oak Camping Area that come with hookups for water and 50-amp electricity. As well as 30 sites at the Plateau Camping Area which come with 30-amp electricity connections.

All of these sites come with their own picnic tables, outdoor grills, fire rings and lantern post. They are also situated near restrooms that have flush toilets and hot showers.

To compliment these sites there are also 11 campsites in the Post Oak Camping Area that come with similar amenities and water connections.

For those who are more into primitive camping there are a number of hike in sites available. Best suited to self-sufficient campers, these sites do not have much in the way of amenities. Although as they involve up to a 2 mile hike to access them, they do provide solitude and tranquility.

If you are planning to visit the park with your horse, there are 20 sites available with water, at an equestrian campground in the Cross Timbers Camping Area. Before you can stay here though, you must provide evidence that your horse has had a negative Coggins test within the last 12 months.

Park Location

Lake Mineral Wells State Park
100 Park Rd 71
Mineral Wells, TX 76067
Phone: 940.328.1171




Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Lake Mineral Wells State Park: