It was still dark when we loaded the bikes up and set out for Cleburne State Park, which offers 12 miles of mountain bike trails! The trail varies from easy to challenging for me, who will never advance beyond a beginner. My kids however, loved it, and left me in their dust! Afterwards, we all headed down to swim in Cedar Lake, a clear, spring-fed lake that washed off the dust! Our visit was just a day trip this time, but years of camping at the park have given me experience for some great Mommy Tips to help you make the most of your visit!
For more upcoming events, click HERE to visit their facebook page.
Cedar Lake is a no-wake lake, which makes it perfect for bringing a kayak or paddleboard to explore along the shore, or set out across the lake! Several water-front campsites make it easy to put in kayaks, and keep during your stay! The park does not rent kayaks at this time.
Boat ramp and fishing pier
There is also a boat ramp and fishing pier.
Since Cedar Lake is completely contained within the state park, you do not need a fishing license to fish from the pier, OR FROM A BOAT ON THE LAKE!
There is a nice shower house and restrooms above the swim area. The swimming area offers a slow and gradual slope into the deeper water, and a nice, gravel bottom.
There are several picnic tables with grills along the water.
Because it’s a no-wake lake, it’s the perfect place to bring a tube or float to just spend the day! It’s also ideal if you have one of the big party mats or inflatable islands! Remember to bring life jackets!
There are no lifeguards. Swim at your own risk and bring a US Coast Guard approved life jacket for young and weaker swimmers.
Yes, we’ve been coming to the park for a long time!
It never seems that Texas State Park put much money or effort into their playgrounds, but the playground at Cleburne State Park is located right across from the swim beach, and is a great place to let the kids play and dry off from a day of swimming!
The 13 miles of trails around Cedar Lake are perfect for hiking, trail running and mountain-bike riding! Do the entire trail, or break it down into smaller segments.
The Spillway Hiking Trail is about a mile from the parking area, and offers a great view when the water is flowing over!
The Coyote Run trail is one of our favorites, although on a bike it’s a little brutal for me. Our friend Chris, who races mountain bikes, says he loves the trail in March and April when it’s covered in wildflowers!
Unlike nearby Dinosaur Valley State Park, Cleburne is an easy park to get last-minute reservations and it seldom feels very crowded. This is on the Poplar Point Loop.
The park also has 3 limited-use cabins, which offer air conditioning and heating, and 5 screened shelters. There is also a large barrack for groups, such as family reunions, etc.
It seems we never think about firewood until the stores are closed, but I really like this firewood vending machine, which you can use 24/7!
For DFW, this is our preferred site to go for the annual Perseid Meteor Shower each August! Because the park is quite a ways off any major roads, the park is one of the best places we’ve found for watching the showers! We spread out a couple of blankets in the open area of North Creek, with a good view of the northern sky. The restroom has a pesky light, so we angled ourselves so we were able to block it.
The best time for viewing the 2017 Perseid will be be August 9-13th. Click HERE to read more about the shower!
Know Before You Go
Load up on gas and groceries before you go, it’s about a 10 miles drive back to town.
Don’t forget bug spray.
Things to do in Cleburne
The Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum takes you back to the Wild West and cattle drives of Texas! Explore an old school, jail and watch a real blacksmith at work! Click HERE to read more.
The Cleburne Splash Station has a pool, slides and a lazy river to keep you cool during the summer! Click HERE to read more.
Each December, the town of Christmas is lit up with a Whistle Stop Christmas in Hulen Park. Click HERE to read more.
Before you head out to Cleburne State Park, stop off in Downtown Cleburne to visit the smallest restaurant you’ve ever seen, The Cleburne Burger Bar! Click HERE to read more about it!
Grumps is another fun burger spot! Click HERE to read more!
Cleburne State Park
5800 Park Rd 21, Cleburne
Click HERE to visit their website.
Click HERE to visit their facebook page.
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