LAKE COLORADO CITY STATE PARK
Lake Colorado City State Park is a 500-acre park, leased for 99 years from a utility company in Mitchell County. It is southwest of Colorado City. TPWD leased the land in 1971 and opened the park in 1972.
The lake was built in 1949 on Morgan Creek, a tributary of the Colorado River. It provided cooling water for the Morgan Creek Power Plant, water for Colorado City, and recreation. Its waters no longer serve the first two purposes it is now just for recreation.
The park is in the Mesquite Plains, a subdivision of the western Rolling Plains.
This area was originally an open grassland with scattered woody plants. Now mesquite dominates these plains.
Mesquite trees are quite hardy, and like many other drought-tolerant plants, have thorns that protect them from browsers like deer and cattle. Mesquite trees are fast-growing and often create shade where other trees will not grow. As a legume bean, they fix nitrogen in the soil which can improve soil quality.
TPWD staff have been working to return the land to its original makeup. As part of those efforts, firefighters conduct controlled burns periodically. In burned areas, wildflowers flourish in the spring and summer.