Fairfield Lake State Park
Fairfield Lake State Park offers beautiful, big shady hardwood trees, scenic campsites, a great fishing lake and abundant wildlife. We had an amazing visit, and are already planning many more return trips.
On a beautiful spring day, and the roads filled with wildflowers, I sometimes think the drive out is as good as the destination, but I was excited for our first visit to this state park!
On the East side of the lake, there are lots of camping sites, for tents and RVs, many with lake views.
If you want a little more privacy, there is primitive camping along the Big Brown Creek, which you must hike into. It’s a pretty good hike, about 3 1/2 miles, perfect for backpackers and scout troops!
The Dockery Trail is a 13 mile multi-use trail that goes around most of the East side of the park. We were lucky enough to get to meet Mr. Dockery, for whom the trail is named, as we were fishing at dusk. He and his wife have worked at the park for 17 years.
Day Use Area
The day use area has many tables and grills under the big shade trees. We cooked hot dogs for lunch, along with the strawberries we picked up at Cooper Farms Peaches in Fairfield.
The kids enjoyed the swim beach, which was a mixture of sand and mud, perfect for squishing your toes and the inevitable mud fight that followed. The swim area, which is roped off from the rest of the lake, was a nice way to cool off after a morning of hiking.
My Restroom Report
There were numerous restrooms, clean and working, around the park, including one right at the picnic area. Unfortunantly, it doesn’t have showers, so the kids weren’t able to rinse off after their swim. There are showers located near the campsites, so we didn’t smell TOO bad on the drive home!
The water in Fairfield Lake is warmed by the Big Brown Power Plant, and because of this, Texas Parks and Wildlife is able to stock the lake with Blue Tilapia and Red Drum, making it a great destination for fisherman who don’t have time to drive down to the coast!
By asking around, we learned that the Red Drum are found near the dam, along with some nice catfish! I was a little obsessed with catching tilapia, a non game fish with no limits, and something I’ve never caught before! We watched with amazement as some of the boats were bringing them in that they caught in castnets and bowfishing in about 5 feet of water! We will definitely be back to try that out!
We found a quiet little cove across the lake from the boat ramp, and spent the late afternoon fishing from our boat. The kids were pulling out perch like crazy, and we enjoyed the quiet sounds of the birds in the reeds. Occassionally, something would startle them, and it was amazing to watch as they all took flight!
My Mommy Tip:
- There isn’t a park store at the park, and it’s about 7 miles back to town to buy bait. Be sure to stop on your way out! The kids lucked out that the park headquarters happened to have a box of worms for their personal use that they shared with them, and a big THANK YOU to them for it!
We’ll Laugh About this One Day
It was so pleasant, just sitting and watching as wildlife, and the kids were so busy catching fish, that we purposely kept overlooking the small leak in our boat, where the plug wasn’t put in just right! Finally, about an hour before sunset, we gave up and drove back to the boat ramp, with all of our feet in about an inch of water!
The Wildlife We Missed
As we pulled our boat from the water, we were told we just missed seeing one of the two bald eagles that have nested on the lake over winter, as it swept down to catch it’s dinner from the water. Ugh!
My Mommy Tip:
- Even on good days, it’s sometimes hard to keep a little child occupied and happy. We take along a small bag of toys, including his “frog rocks” which he uses to try to call to the cricket frogs. He also adopted one of the worms we were fishing with, naming it Squirmy Wormy. Squirmy is now happily living in our garden at home.
Things To Do in Fairfield
As always, we were famished after a long day fishing. I’ve heard great things about Padrino’s Italian Restaurant in Fairfield, but they are closed on Sundays. We’ve stopped at Sam’s Restaurant, also in Fairfield, before, click HERE to read that post.
Cooper’s Farm Peaches are a rite of summer, and we’ve watched over the years as they have moved from a stand on the side of the highway to a store front! Click HERE to read more!
Fairfield Lake State Park
123 State Park Road 64, Fairfield
Click HERE to visit their website.
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