Description - Eisenhower State Park, with 423.1 acres, is located in Grayson County, northwest of Denison on the shores of Lake Texoma. It was acquired in 1954 by a Department of Army lease, which extends until 2004, and was opened to the public in 1958.
Copyright: Texas State Parks & Historical Sites
The park was named for the 34th U.S. president, Dwight David Eisenhower, as he was born nearby. In the early 1830s, the area became increasingly important to Anglo settlers, particularly as a route to Texas and the American southwest. Some of the things which add to the history of the area are the American Indian; Butterfield Overland stage routes; Chisholm and Shawnee cattle drive trails; Fort Johnson, established in the area in 1840; and Colbert's Crossing, established on the Red River in 1853 and operated until 1931.
- Attractions to this scenic State Park are its abilities to deliver a variety of recreational activities. Moreover, the Eisenhower State Parks will have a wide variety of wildflowers from March to November. Depending on the species, peak wildflower display usually last from May through September. The park offers outstanding examples of Coneflowers, Deathcamas, Fleabane, Blue eyed grass, Verbena, Anemone, Wild Onion, and Woodsorrel. Most of the wildflowers are viewable from the roadways leading to the park. The park itself has wildflower blooms throughout the area with especially high concentrations in the Deer Haven, Fossil Ridge, and Elm Point areas of the park.
Grassy uplands, including rare remnants of the tallgrass prairie, terminate in rocky, shoreline bluffs and woodlands. A large variety of colorful wildflowers bloom throughout the growing season, March through November. Several wildflowers are identified by signs along the roadside in selected areas. A nature guide is available that identifies some of the trees along the trail. A wide variety of trees includes oak, ash, elm, cedar, dogwood, cottonwood, soapberry, locust, redbud, persimmon, and bois d'arc. A variety of mammals at the park include armadillo, bat, beaver, coyote, deer, fox, mink, nutria, opossum, rabbit, raccoon, skunk, and squirrel. Wintering bald eagles, pelicans, loons, and other waterfowl may be observed in the area. Lake fishing offers a variety of bass, sunfish, and catfish; lake fossils are on display at the park headquarters.
Facilities provided include restrooms with and without showers; picnic sites; 3 playground areas; campsites with water only (premium sites are available); campsites with water and electricity (special rates are available); pull-through campsites with water, sewer, and electricity (special rates are available); screened shelters; overflow camping area; recreation hall (day or overnight use, air-conditioning/heating, restrooms, and a kitchen); a campground pavilion; a group camp including water and electric campsites and a campground pavilion; trailer dump stations; a fish-cleaning facility; a launching ramp; a courtesy boat dock; a lighted fishing pier; Eisenhower Yacht Club, a privately leased marina with boat pump-out station, and a Texas State Park Store. There is a mini-bike area of 10 acres (ATVs allowed) and 4.5 miles or trails. The first .5 mile nature trail is signed for identifying items along the trail and is restricted to foot traffic. The remaining 4 miles (8 miles round-trip) is open to hikers and bikers (nonmotorized). Of the 4 miles open to mountain bikes, about 2 miles would be for beginners, and the other 2 miles is rather challenging with steep grades and rock (intermediate).
Located within the park, is a privately operated full-service marina (Eisenhower Yacht Club). They have a repair shop, boat sales, boat and personal watercraft rental, on-the-water fuel service dock, and long-term and overnight rental of wet boat slips. The marina store also has bait and tackle; limited groceries, camping, and picnic supplies; boating supplies; a sewer pump-out station; clothing items; and snacks.
Nearby attractions include Eisenhower Birthplace State Historical Park (campers can get a free tour); Bonham State Park; Lake Texoma; the Grayson County Frontier Village, a rustic 19th century structure and museum; and the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge with 11,300 acres of land and water known as a haven for migrating and wintering waterfowl.
Camping and entrance fees vary. For reservations, call 512/389-8900. Current weather conditions, including fire bans and water levels, can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.
Recreation - Some of the activities include picnicking, hiking, biking, nature study, fishing, boating, water skiing, swimming, and wildlife observation, and a variety of camping. Nature/environmental programs are frequently scheduled throughout the year and upon special request with enough lead time. There is a small amphitheater available for group use.
Climate - Eisenhower State Park is located at elevations ranging from 616' to 767 feet. Temperatures within the park range from a July average maximum of 90 degrees to a January average minimum 32 degrees. The First/last freeze are November 9/March 27. The wettest months are April to May. Current weather conditions can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.
The park may be reached by taking U.S. Highway 75 out of Dallas; take Exit #72 to State Highway 91 North to Denison Dam to FM 1310 W and traveling 1.8 miles to Park Road 20 entrance.