Saturday, September 13, 2014

Number 45: Mother Neff State Park

Mother Neff State Park was our second stop of the day back on Labor Day weekend.  It was the first official state park in Texas (per TPWD) )comprised of land donated by Isabella "Mother" Neff, her son Pat Neff who served as Governor of Texas and later as the President of Baylor University, and F.P. Smith. There are several CCC projects to see here including the entrance sign and the recreation hall in the background.

We started out from the parking lot on an open grassy trail lined with Bur Oaks and Sycamore, Cottonwood and Texas Ash, Pecans, and Elms.

As we hiked higher the grasses gave way to thicker vegetation.  Here we saw Hackberry, Rattan Vine, and Holly among the trees.

Climbing even higher things changed again.

Here the trail became rocky and the tall trees of the lower park gave way to much shorter Juniper, Mexican Buckeye, Texas Persimmon, and Sumac.

Here you can climb the lookout/water tower that was built by the CCC and get a great view of the park from above.

On our way back down, we took a short detour to get a look at a cave located in the park. The stairs leading in were also a 1930's CCC project.  Let me add, "thank you."

They call it a cave, but to me it was more of an over hang.

Beautiful  nonetheless.

Park number 45 is in the books, but we have not made as much progress on our goal as we thought.  The TPWD added two new properties in the past month which bumps our number up to 95 parks to see.

BP spill fund helps give birth to state park on Texas coast
New state park west of Fort Worth awaits funding