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Trip Ideas

If you are planning a trip to Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto County you have come to the right place.  We would be happy to help you any way we can to make your trip enjoyable!  For more information contact the Tourism & Marketing Director, Ryan Oliver at 940-325-2557 or at ryan@mineralwellstx.com.

We have put together some itineraries for your time in Mineral Wells:

For The Nature Lover:    

If you love the outdoors and are the adventurous type, make sure to check out Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway.  As one of the most visited State Parks in the State, there is never a dull moment at this 3,282.5 acre park.  Activities include camping, fishing, boating, rock climbing, mountain biking, equestrian camping, horseback riding and hiking.  There are also a number of events at the park throughout the year that includes  children’s wilderness survival classes, bird walks and wild walks through Penitentiary Hollow.  The Lone Star Amphitheater provides a great place for natural and cultural interpretive programs that include astronomy programs, storytelling and cowboy history through music and poetry.   This remote and beautiful area provides fun for all ages and is sure to instill the love of nature in its visitors.

Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway
100 Park Road 71
Mineral Wells, Texas

Clark Gardens Botanical Park is a 35 acre park filled with Texas native and adaptable plants.  Throughout the park there are tree covered pathways that lead to beautiful landscapes full of life.  Not only are there beautiful plants in the gardens, but the gardens are home to all sorts of wildlife including swans, peacocks, frogs, ducks and fish, just to name a few.  Clark Gardens shows the simplistic elegance that encompasses native Texas plants and is open 365 days a year. 

Clark Gardens Botanical Park
567 Maddox Road
Weatherford, Texas

Lake Palo Pinto is a fishing and recreational lake equipped with camping, rv hook-ups and lake front property.  The Brazos River is the longest river in Texas and runs right through Palo Pinto County.  With striper bass, small and large mouth bass, catfish and trout, the river has prime fishing all year round. Kayak or canoe down the river and see the beautiful scenery. 

Rochelle’s Canoe Rental
7024 N FM 4
Graford, Texas 76449

Possum Kingdom State Park is located in the picturesque Palo Pinto Mountains and the Brazos River Valley and sits on 1528 acres.  With more than 300 miles of shoreline, scenic coves and clear blue water, visitors can swim, boat, ski, scuba dive and snorkel.  The park also offers camping, hiking and biking. 

Possum Kingdom State Park
3901 St Park Road 33
Caddo, TX 76429

If you like to take the scenic route, you will love the stunning scenic drives on FM 4, HWY 16 and HWY 6.  FM 4 has been called the most scenic highway in Texas with the bluffs of the Palo Pinto Mountains twisting and turning.

For the History Buff:

Mineral Wells was founded on water.  In 1887, the first settlers came to the area and realized that traveling four miles to retrieve water from the Brazos River was quite the task. In 1880, a well driller made his way through town and drilled the area’s first well.  In the beginning the waters funny taste worried people, so they watered their livestock to see if it would harm them.  Soon after, the settlers began drinking the water and began to recognize the water’s “healing powers”. People began flocking to the area to try the magical waters and shortly after wells were being drilled throughout Mineral Wells.  Quickly bathhouses, drinking pavilions, and spas began opening to cash in. The trains that brought visitors also helped the mineral water companies distribute their products outside of the area. Entrepreneurs found more a more efficient way to ship the waters—namely by shipping the minerals only in crystal form. Those who bought the crystals could add them to their water and instantly have Mineral Wells mineral water.  

Today, the only water company still in business is the Famous Mineral Water Company.  This drinking pavilion has been serving its customer for over 100 years.  The “Crazy Water” is now distributed throughout the United States and is the heart and soul of Mineral Wells.  Inside the water company, you can see the history of our great town from the very beginning. Recently, they have also brought mineral baths back to Mineral Wells at the Crazy Bath House. Sip from the healing waters while you take a relaxing bath with water right from the wells.

Famous Mineral Water Company
290 N.W. 6th Street
Mineral Wells, Texas

The Old Jail Museum in Palo Pinto is sure to spark your interest in the history of Palo Pinto.  The Jail grounds are now home to five cabins, a fort and a welcome center. The first floor of the Jail houses artifacts from the pioneer days of Palo Pinto County.  The second floor starts with a hangman’s noose and trap door that was added to the jail in 1906 but never used.   Upstairs once housed inmates in cells, but the cells were removed to create room for exhibits.  

In the jail yard, you now see holding cells, a hitching post, wheat cribs, a wagon and other farming implements.  The cabins and the fort on the property were moved from their previous homes to the Old Jail yard to create the complex.  If you would like to see the history of Palo Pinto County and how the first settlers in the area lived, this is the place for you!

Old Jail Museum Complex
5th & Elm
Palo Pinto, Texas 76484

The W.K. Gordon Center opened to the public in 2002 as an interactive museum of the economic, social and political history of Thurber, Texas.  The city of Thurber, now population 48, is a coal mining ghost town.  At its peak of between 8,000 and 10,000 residents consisting of 18 different ethnic groups, Thurber was the largest town between Fort Worth and El Paso.

The major aspects of Thurber’s history are coal, brick, oil, ethnic diversity and labor unions. Thurber was home to the most important mine sight in Texas for over 30 years as well as the best equipped brick plant west of the Mississippi.  Bricks from this plant were laid on Congress Ave in Austin, the Galveston sea wall and on Camp Bowie in Fort Worth, Main Street and in the Stockyards. 

W.K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas
65258 IH 20
Mingus, TX 76463

The National Vietnam War Museum is on the east side of Mineral Wells and catches your eye as you approach town.  The Museum and its striking landscaped grounds attract visitors all year round and create an understanding for this era in history.  With an assortment of memorial stones and plaques in each garden, the creators of the Museum wanted to provide guests the opportunity to clear up years of misconceptions about the Vietnam War.  The grounds are home to a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washsington D.C.,  a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter and the only replica of the Camp Holloway Memorial Wall, which was located in Vietnam and has since been destroyed. 

The National Vietnam War Museum
12685 Mineral Wells Highway (U.S. Hwy 281)
Mineral Wells, TX 76067

Other sights to see while you’re in Mineral Wells are the historic Baker Hotel, the Welcome sign, the Mineral Wells Women’s Club, the newly restored Fort Wolter’s Gate and the Medal of Honor Memorial at Fort Wolters.

A Quick Family Getaway:

The Mineral Wells Fossil Park is one of our hidden gems that is a unique family friendly experience.  In 2010, the Fossil Park was opened to the public and provides its visitors an experience they won’t forget.  The park as it exists today is a result of 20 years of erosion of the old City of Mineral Wells landfill's borrow pit, which was closed in the early 1990s. The erosion of the borrow pit has revealed fossils documenting ancient sea species such as crinoids, echonoids and other historic sea life from the Pennsylvania Period- over 300 million years ago.  What is special about the park is that visitors can take what they find home with them and there is an abundance of fossils to choose from.

Mineral Wells Fossil Park
2375 Indian Creek Road
Mineral Wells, TX 76067

Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway is perfect for family day trips or overnight stays.  One of the best features of the park is that you can fish on their 440 acre lake without a fishing license.  Lake Mineral Wells is stocked each year with catfish and bass and it is a great experience for first time and experienced anglers.  The park also offers many educational events throughout the year including a bird walk, a wild walk, kids’ wilderness survival, a wildflower walk, binocular astronomy, cowboy campfire events with music and poetry and night sounds events.

Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway
100 Park Road 71
Mineral Wells, Texas

The Clark Gardens G-Scale trains were the inspiration of Billie Clark to add permanent attraction to the beauty and diversification of Clark Gardens. In 2006, Paul Busse of Applied Imagination originated our “G-Scale” train design, bridges, buildings and surrounding areas of Weatherford Station. The Northern tracks of the trains represent Mineral Wells Train Station and other historically significant buildings in Mineral Wells such as the Baker Hotel, Hexagon House Hotel, and the Standard Well and Amusement Park.  They were designed and built in part by John Holder.  The G-Scale trains are operated Monday-Saturday from 9am-4pm and Sundays from noon-4pm.

Clark Gardens Botanical Park
567 Maddox Road
Weatherford, Texas

YMCA Camp Grady Spruce at Possum Kingdom Lake provides a wonderful experience for children and their families by offering camping available most weekends. Partake in a number of staffed outdoor activities such as canoeing, archery, riflery, horseback riding, swimming and boating to Devil’s Island to hike. All cabins are waterfront and overlook one of the most beautiful lakes in Texas!

YMCA Camp Grady Spruce
3000 Park Road 36
Graford, TX 76449
(940) 779-3411