Keeping park visitors safe as they enjoy the beautiful outdoors are the light-hearted staff at Fairfield Lake State Park. They include (in no particular order) Tim King – Park Superintendent / PPO, Kris Simmons – Office Manager, Nick Nicholas – CSR, Judy Haynes – CSR, Wendell LeGalley – Maintenance Ranger / Backup UPO, Joey Burks – Lead Ranger / UPO and Barry Schattel – Maintenance Ranger. Not pictured is Shade McCord – Maintenance Ranger and Daniel Stauffer – Asst. Office Manager. (Photo by Karen Leidy)
Set along the shoreline of a 2,400-acre lake, Fairfield Lake State Park may be the best place to work in Freestone County, Texas.
Acquired in 1971-1972 by lease from Texas Utilities, the park was first opened to the public in 1976.
Surrounding woods are comprised of oak, hickory, cedar, elm, dogwood and redbud, which offer sanctuary for many species of birds and mark the transition zone between the pine forests to the east and the prairie grasslands to the north and west. Wildlife found in the park include osprey (year-round), bald eagles (November through February), white-tailed deer, raccoons, foxes, beavers, squirrels and armadillos.
Activities include camping, backpacking, hiking, horseback riding on approximately 15 miles of day-use equestrian trails, nature study, bird watching, boating, water skiing, jet skiing, fishing, and lake swimming in a large, buoyed sandy area.
Fairfield Lake is warmed by the TXU Big Brown power plant. Because of the warm water, people come from all over Texas to enjoy fantastic winter fishing opportunities. From November through February, tournaments are held every weekend. Fishing clubs from the Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Waco, Austin and Tyler areas host tournaments here.
Popular catches include catfish, bass, carp, freshwater redfish, and other varieties. The state record holder for inland red drum was taken here at Fairfield Lake (44 inches, 36.83 lbs).
Campsites may be reserved online at www.texasstateparks.org. For questions, call the park office at 903-389-4514.