LAKE MINERAL WELLS STATE PARK AND TRAILWAY
Lake Mineral Wells State Park Trailway is a state park located in Mineral Wells, Parker County, Texas. It includes Lake Mineral Wells, and is the only state park in Texas which protects part of the Western Cross Timbers and Mineral Wells Trailway.
Hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders of all ages and abilities can enjoy the Trailway. Because it is a reclaimed railroad bed, it has flat grades and gentle curves.
From northwest of Weatherford in central Parker County, the Trailway travels 20 miles west to the downtown district of Mineral Wells in eastern Palo Pinto County. It connects to Lake Mineral Wells State Park, where you can camp and picnic.
The Trailway is 20 miles long and 10 feet wide. Two miles of surface from the downtown Mineral Wells trailhead toward the east are asphalt. Finely crushed and screened limestone tops the remaining 18 miles.
The 16 bridges have decks and rails for safety. The Trailway's 500-foot signature bridge allows safe travel over U.S. Highway 180. The bridge, adorned with 104 Lone Stars, meets Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Lake Mineral Wells State Park sits along Rock Creek, a large tributary of the Brazos River. This area was an early home to several Native American tribes, including the Comanche.
Settlers began arriving in the early 1850s, and intermittent warfare occurred until the late 1870s. Rugged terrain and lush native grasses attracted many early-day ranchers to this area, including Charles Goodnight, Oliver Loving and C. C. Slaughter, who ran large herds of Longhorn cattle. Ranching continues to be an economic mainstay of this area.
In 1877, James Alvis Lynch settled in what is now Mineral Wells. In 1880, he drilled a well on his land. Mrs. Lynch suffered from rheumatism, but after drinking the water from the well, her rheumatism disappeared. The well water seemed to have curative powers.
Thus began Mineral Wells' tumultuous affair with water. The city quickly became a world-renowned health resort. The supposed healing effects of the local well water brought people from all walks of life to bathe and take the cure.
In 1975, after the closure of Fort Wolters, the city of Mineral Wells and Fort Wolters donated the lake and surrounding acreage to Texas Parks and Wildlife. The 3,282.5-acre park opened on July 1, 1981.