Acton Nature Park and Acton State Historical Site, Acton

The tiny rural town of Acton, just North of Granbury, offered a full day of fun and exploration for us, as we hiked the scenic trails of the Acton Nature Park, and explored the Acton State Historical Site at the Acton Cemetery, place of rest of Davy Crockett’s 2nd wife, Elizabeth.  It’s a perfect little day trip, or spend the weekend at De Cordova Bend Park, with FREE primitive camping, a fishing pier and boat ramp to Lake Granbury.

Check out my 12 Mommy Tips for making the most of your visit:  

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1.  Know Before You Go  

The Acton Nature Park is set on 80 acres, with over 5 miles of trails for hiking, mountain bikes and equestrian uses.  It is open 7 days a week, from dawn until dusk, and is FREE to all.

Pack in plenty of water

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2. Pavilion

Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at the pavilion.

My daughter, an avid bike rider, thought the pavilion and bike trail would be a terrific place for a Mountain Bike Birthday Party!  Depending on your distance and how you would transport bicycles, it would be a great location!

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3. Trails 

The are 3 main trails at the center, the Travis Hiking Trail, the Bowie Bike (and equestrian) Trail and the Crockett Butterfly Garden.

We walked both the Travis Hiking Trail and the Crockett Butterfly Garden, but since we didn’t bring our bikes, we didn’t take on the longer Bowie Bike Trail, although you could also hike it.

Visit the Acton Nature Center Website to print out a trail map from home.  The trails are marked with trail numbers and a couple of map kiosk.  Click HERE for a copy of the map.

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4. The Crockett Butterfly Trail

The only ADA Wheelchair accessible trail, the Crockett Butterfly Trail is on a gravel path.

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5. Crockett Butterfly Garden

The Crockett Butterfly Trail leads to the Crockett Butterfly Garden, which features numerous native Texas butterfly friendly plants, most of which are labeled.  The garden also has a functioning windmill, restrooms and a restored farmhouse which serves as offices.

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6. Restrooms

Don’t fear the porta pottys at the parking lot, there is an actual restroom at the Crockett Butterfly Garden, but they don’t offer a changing table.

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7. Travis Hiking Trail

We visited the ANC late on a Tuesday morning, and were surprised to see several runners and another family on the trail.  The trail offeres some shade from the summer sun, and we enjoyed finding the Sam Houston Bridge and exploring the several lean-tos that have been built along the trail.  We loved seeing the hand drawn trail maps, penned by children from 8-13 years old.

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8. It’s Not the Treasure, it’s the Quest  

Geocachers will enjoy searching for the 8 hidden caches in the park.  For more information, or to get started geocaching, click HERE.

CIMG12639. Annual Events

The Acton Nature Center sponsors several annual events, including a First Saturday Bird Walk, which is FREE and open to anyone.  No registration required.

Each April, they host the Action Nature Fun Run.

ANC’s Butterfly Garden provides a stopping place for many Monarch Butterflies as they make their annual migration from Canada to Central Mexico.  Join them on October 11, 2014, from 9-noon to help as the center will catch, tag and release migrating butterflies.

Away from the DFW Metroplex, the dark skies of Acton provide a good venue for a Rio Brazos Star Party.

Click HERE to be directed to the Acton Nature Center’s website for more information.  As always, please check their site before visiting for any updates.

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11.  Acton State Historical Site

Just down the road from the Acton Nature Center is the Acton State Historical Site at the Acton Cemetery.  At only .006 of an acre, it is the smallest historical site in Texas.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never found cemeteries to be frightening, but rather very peaceful. 

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12.  Elizabeth Crockett  

Buried in the Acton Cemetery is Elizabeth Crockett, 2nd wife of famed Davy Crockett, who was killed defending the Alamo in 1836.  Crockett had come to Texas alone to fight in the Texas Revolution, and Elizabeth was awarded his land grant years later.  In the 1850’s, Elizabeth and one of Crockett’s grown sons came to Texas from Tennessee, and built 2 cabins near Rucker’s Creek off the Brazos River.  (A marker commemorates the site, but I wasn’t able to find it.)

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10.  Acton Masonic Lodge 

Sitting just outside the Acton Cemetery is the Acton Masonic Lodge, built in 1868.  It wasn’t open, but we enjoyed it’s peaceful setting.

12.  De Cordova Bend Park

From FM 4, turn right on 167 to visit De Cordova Bend Park, which offers a boat ramp, fishing pier and primitive campsites.  Access to De Cordova Bend Park is FREE.  It is one of 4 parks on Lake Granbury that offer camping, operated by the Brazos River Authority.  

Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun! 

Michelle 

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