STATE PARK ADVENTURES
Texas has a long history with horses. Spanish conquistadors traversed the state by horseback. Herds of wild mustangs roamed free. Horse-riding Comanches ruled the Plains, and cowboys used horses to drive cattle north.
Texas still has a love affair with the horse, and the state park system offers several places for horse and rider to spend some time on the trail.
Lake Somerville State Park and Trailway contains more than 40 miles of trail, with the majority open to equestrian use (bring your own horse), including a 13-mile trailway west of the lake. Bridge damage from a 2015 flood means riders can’t connect the park units on the north and south sides of the lake as they once could, but there are still plenty of trails to enjoy.
The trailway and related trails cross through yaupon, post oak, hickory and blackjack oak forests, and pass scenic overlooks and water crossings. Pockets of prairie are interspersed, with rainbows of color splashing across the landscape during spring’s wildflower season.
Along the trailway, 350-acre Flag Pond serves as a home to birds and other wildlife. Several miles of loops and spur trails, including Yegua Creek’s picturesque Sandy Slough Trail and a loop around Flag Pond, offer even greater riding opportunities.
Bring your camping gear if you want a real Texas horseback adventure — the trailway contains a primitive equestrian campsite (accessed from Birch Creek).
Equestrian sites are also available at the main park units, and a new drive-up equestrian campsite is opening in the trailway area to offer greater access there.
Birding and Wildlife
Lake Somerville State Park
Park Admission $5 Daily;
Kids 12 and under: Free
Reserving passes online or by phone before visiting is recommended.
Russell Roe Earl Nottingham | TPWD; Inset Eric W Pohl x2; Earl Nottingham | TPWD
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