History: Fairfield Lake State Park is 1460 acres northeast of the City of Fairfield in Freestone County. The park was acquired in 1971 - 1972 by lease from Texas Utilities and was opened to the public in 1976.
The history of the area around Fairfield Lake State Park resembles that of much of rural eastern Texas. Long occupied by Native Americans who exploited its waterways, the land was first broken in the mid-nineteenth century and planted in cotton and corn by Anglo farmers and, about a third of the time, their African-American slaves. Following the Civil War, the crop-lien system took root. Blacks and whites alike worked in the service of the cotton crop until after World War II, when changes in American agriculture and increased employment opportunities away from the farm brought an end to the era of widespread cotton farming. Since that time, cattle ranching has prevailed throughout the region. The human population of the Brown Creek area, never large, is now widely scattered over the region. In this sparsely populated area, Texas Utilities built its dam, creating Fairfield Lake as a cooling system for its new power plant.
Activities: Activities include camping, backpacking, hiking, day use equestrian, nature study, bird watching, boating on this 2400-acre lake, water skiing, jet skiing, fishing, and lake swimming in a large, buoyed, sandy area.
Fishing: Fairfield Lake is warmed by the TXU Big Brown power plant. Because of our warm water, people come from all over Texas to enjoy some fantastic winter fishing opportunities. From November through February, we have tournaments every weekend. Fishing Clubs from the Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Waco, Austin, and Tyler areas host tournaments here. Why drive all the way to the Texas Gulf Coast to enjoy fishing for Red Drum! What makes Fairfield different then most lakes is that, because of the warm winter temperatures, it is stocked with Red Drum (aka Red Fish). The state record for Inland Red Drum was taken here at Fairfield Lake. (44 inches, 36.83 lbs.)
Area Attractions: Nearby points of interest include Rusk/Palestine State Parks, Texas State Railroad State Park, and Fort Parker State Park; Old Fort Parker (operated by the City of Groesbeck), and Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site; the Cities of Rusk, Palestine, and Fairfield (where the Freestone County Museum in the century-old jail is located). While you are in the area, visit the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens a unique TPWD facility showcasing aquatic life and sport fishing in Texas.
Facilities: There are campsites with water (most on the lakefront); campsites with water and electricity; a hike-in primitive camping area (at the end of a 6-mile, round-trip hiking trail); picnicking; an overflow camping area; restrooms with and without showers; a lighted fishing pier; a fish-cleaning shelter; a fish-cleaning table; boat ramps; a trailer dump station; playgrounds; a group dining hall for day-use only; and an amphitheater.
A six-mile trail has connected an older 9-mile trail to provide a continuous 15 miles of trailways that provide multi-use (hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian) access from one end of the park to the other. Much of the trail is adjacent to the 2400-acre Fairfield Lake. There is also a 2-mile nature trail and 1 mile of bird watching trail.
Firewood, ice and park-related merchandise can be purchased at the Texas State Park Store. There is an honor box to collect park use fees after office hours.
Park & Facility Fees
Fairfield Lake facility & trail map. (PDF 142.3 KB)
Flora/Fauna: Surrounding woods are oak, hickory, cedar, elm, dogwood, and redbud, which offer sanctuary for many species of birds, and mark the transition zone between the pine forests to the east and the prairie grasslands to the north and west. Wildlife found in the park include osprey (year-round), bald eagles (November through February), white-tailed deer, raccoons, foxes, beavers, squirrels, and armadillos. Popular catches include catfish, bass, carp, freshwater redfish, and other varieties.
Texas Wildlife Factsheets.
Elevation: 461 ft.
Weather: July average high is 95; January average low is 35; April and May are wettest months; first/last freeze: November 29/March 11.
National Weather Service forecast for this area.
Schedule: Open: 7 days a week year-round, except for Public Hunts (Check the Calendar for Access Restrictions.) Busy season: March through November.
Directions: The park is 6 miles northeast of Fairfield off FM 2570 on FM 3285 adjacent to Fairfield Lake. 90 miles south of the Dallas/ Fort Worth area, 150 miles north of the Houston area, and 60 miles east of Waco. The park is located just a few miles from Interstate 45, northeast of the city of Fairfield, TX
Current conditions and fire bans can vary from day to day
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