Like the Book Depository in Dallas, Fort Parker owes it’s claim to fame to a tragedy. In 1836, a band of Indians attacked the fort, capturing among others a young girl named Cynthia Ann Parker. Parker was raised by a band of Comanche Indians, and later married their chief Peta Nacona (for whom the city and the boots are named after) and had 3 children. 24 years later, Captain Sul Ross and the Texas Rangers invaded their camp and returned an uncooperative Cynthia Ann Parker and children to remaining, long-lost family. Her son, Quanah, having experienced both ways of life, returned to the Comanches as their chief, teaching them not only Anglo ways but leading them in some of the most famous Indian Wars in Texas, such as Adobe Walls and Palo Duro Canyon. The Quanah Parker trail is marked throughout Texas by huge arrows, such as the one that stands at Fort Parker, where the story begins.
Old Fort Parker was rebuilt in 1836, and still stands to welcome visitors to examine the way of life of the Texas pioneers, and a remembrance of the history that took place here.
Know Before You Go
Restrooms are available in the Visitor’s Center.
Picnic tables are available for lunches, no food/drinks are sold at the fort.
Check Old Fort Parker’s calendar for upcoming events. The Fort may not be open during weddings, monthly Patriot Shoots, etc.
A tour of Old Fort Parker can take from 30 minutes to an hour, however if you bring a picnic lunch and allow the kids to play in the big field, you could easily spend half a day here.
The Visitors Center has information on the Parker family, Quanah Parker and other points of interest in the area, such as the mammoth found in nearby Pin Oak Creek.
Restrooms are available in the Visitors Center, a small assortment of souvenirs are sold. Admission to Old Fort Parker is paid in the Visitors Center, please check their website for current prices. Old Fort Parker is not a state park, and does not honor SP passes.
One of the structures at Old Fort Parker.
These large arrows mark the Quanah Parker Trail, which can be seen throughout the state. To read more about them, please click HERE to read our blog post.
One of the Old Blockhouses, standing outside of the walls. The holes above were for shooting, and there are also holes in the floor under the boys head that defenders of the fort could also shoot through!
Another of the Old Blockhouses, this one you can go inside and climb the narrow steps to the top.
Old Fort Parker host several special events each year, such as the annual Ice Cream Day, Christmas Rendezvous, trail rides and fly-ins. They also have private events such as weddings, family reunions and the Old Fort Patriots monthly shooting matches.
The Old Fort Parker Patriots hold a monthly shooting match on the Fort grounds, just outside the fort walls. For more information, click HERE to visit their website.
Make a Day or Weekend of it!
Located 100 miles south of Dallas or Fort Worth, and 150 miles North of Houston, it’s a beautiful and scenic drive through pastureland, cotton fields and hardwood forest. Spend more time enjoying these area attractions.
Fort Parker State Park offers camping, fishing and canoeing along the Navasota River. The Limestone Bluffs Paddling Trail takes you over 5 miles to the Confederate Reunion Grounds, and canoes can be rented at the state park. Click HERE to visit their website.
Confederate Reunion Grounds offers over 70 acres to explore. Annual events are held. For more information, please click HERE to visit their website.
Old Fort Parker
866 Park Rd 35, Groesbeck
Click HERE to visit their website.
Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun!