Park Pick: Christmas at Fairfield Lake
Why not celebrate the holidays and get a little fishing in, too?
By Shelby Vega
Imagine the ghostly lights of Mission Espíritu Santo at Goliad State Park as the choir raises angelic harmonies high above the stone walls. Picture your family gathered around a tree with handmade ornaments, drinking wassail like the first German settlers in Texas. Hear the lilting strains of your favorite carols bouncing off the rock formations of Longhorn Cavern, or join a Mexican posada to help Mary and Joseph search for shelter at Fort Leaton.
Christmas and Texas state parks are a wonderful combination for the holidays, and Fairfield Lake State Park will join in the fun this holiday season.
Join visitors and staff at the park on Saturday, Dec. 12, as they celebrate this joyous season with a variety of holiday-themed activities. Take a hayride through the “Tour of Lights” in the beautifully renovated Cooks Ferry Camping Loop. Gather around a toasty, country campfire and warm up while you listen to classic Christmas music and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or delicious wassail and holiday cookies. Even Santa will join in the Christmas cheer and is expected to stop by for a visit from 7 to 9 p.m.
Local businesses and campers are invited to decorate their campsites. Camping fees are waived for those who participate. Anyone interested in participating should contact the park in advance at (903) 389-4514. Entrance and event fees are waived for this event.
Throughout the rest of year, the park boasts many recreational opportunities for all ages, but the most popular activity by far is the excellent fishing. A variety of unusual fish species, including freshwater red drum and blue tilapia, thrive here due to the increased temperature of the lake, which is warmed by a power plant. From November through February, people flock to Fairfield Lake from all over the state to participate in the exceptional winter fishing and tournament opportunities. Other water activities include boating, water-skiing, kayaking and swimming.
For visitors who prefer more land-based activities, there are over 15 miles of trails available for horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking and running. With close to 250 species of birds recorded, the park is a veritable bird-watching paradise and an attractive site for birders of all skill levels. During the winter, one of the most sought-after sightings is a bald eagle soaring above the lake waters before diving for its favorite meal.
Fairfield Lake State Park is located in Freestone County, approximately 90 miles south of Dallas/Fort Worth, 150 miles north of Houston and 60 miles east of Waco. The park is just six miles off of Interstate 45, northeast of the city of Fairfield, via FM 2570 and FM 3285, along the shore of Fairfield Lake. For more information, visit us on the Web at tpwd.texas.gov/fairfieldlake or on Facebook or call (903) 389-4514.
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