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STATE PARK ADVENTURES

Messing About in Boats


In the opening chapter of the children’s classic The Wind in the Willows, Water Rat paddles his boat across the river to pick up Mole, who had never been in a boat before.

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats,” Rat observes. 

Indeed. 

Meridian State Park, with 72-acre Lake Meridian at its center, provides a tranquil place to mess about in boats. It’s nestled among limestone bluffs at the top of the Hill Country west of Waco.

The no-wake lake is a manageable size, so it’s possible to cover the whole body of water in an outing, with plenty of coves and bluffs to explore. The Civilian Conservation Corps created the lake in the 1930s by building a rock and earthen dam on Bee Creek. Rentals of kayaks (single and double), canoes and stand-up paddleboards are available at the park.

“It’s a good area for a quiet, calm paddle,” says Superintendent Steve Kimbley. “It’s a great fishing lake. There are a couple of fingers of the lake you can paddle up, and a couple of CCC bridges to check out.”

From ship to shore

With 505 acres, Meridian is a small park with lots to offer.

Camping

 Sonja Sommerfeld | TPWD

CCC Lakeside Beauty

The CCC built the park in the 1930s, with work that includes bridges and the dam. The centerpiece of CCC work is the lakeside refectory made of cut stone.

Paddling

 Sonja Sommerfeld | TPWD

Camping Your Way

The park has a variety of campsites available, from primitive to full hookup, plus a few cabins and screened shelters, including shelters right on the waterfront.

Hiking

 Sonja Sommerfeld | TPWD

Hike Around the Lake

Explore more than 5 miles of hiking trails, including the Bosque Hiking Trail, which encircles the lake.

Meridian State Park

  173 Park Road #7, Meridian, TX 76665

  Admission fee $5; Kids 12 & under free

  tpwd.texas.gov/meridian

  (254) 435-2536

Passes reserved online or by phone are recommended.

 Russell Roe   Top: Sonja Sommerfeld | TPWD

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