Take a Hike
Lakeside Trail at Lake Brownwood State Park
Distance: 0.7 miles (one-way) • Difficulty Level: 2/5 • Approximate Time: 45 minutes
If you’re a fan of Civilian Conservation Corps park architecture, you need to visit Lake Brownwood State Park.
“We have the most CCC structures of any state park in Texas,” says park Superintendent Nikki Little.
A walk along the park’s Lakeside Trail, which follows the shore of Lake Brownwood, allows you to see quite a bit of the CCC’s handiwork.
“The best part of the trail is all the CCC-built features — benches, grills, rock tables,” she says. “The trail also goes by the cabins and recreation hall. It’s a nice little history trip, with views of the lake, too.”
The Lakeside Trail starts near the rec hall, a fine example of the CCC style, which uses local materials such as rock and stone. The rec hall, with its adjoining dance pavilion, sits atop a hill. From its rooftop observation deck, you can see the park, lake and surrounding rolling hills.
Behind the rec hall, the Grand Staircase leads down to the lake. Early park visitors arrived by boat and walked up the staircase to attend dances at the pavilion.
As you walk the trail, look for CCC benches, rustic limestone tables and the “outdoor living rooms” that provide nice views of the lake.
Lake Brownwood, near the geographic center of Texas, sits in an area where three ecoregions overlap — the Edwards Plateau, Western Cross Timbers and Rolling Plains. Plants and animals from each region can be found here.
CCC workers constructed more than 100 structures in the park, including some cabins you’ll see on this trail. After passing a CCC pumphouse, where a spur trail leads to the lake, the trail ends at the shelter area in Comanche Trails.
Their legacy endures.
Russell Roe Sonja Sommerfeld | TPWD
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