The state of Texas is so large that it’s possible to feel like you’re in a completely different part of the country without ever crossing over state lines. Head East on US-80 and you’ll find yourself in a small town called Mineola. Just south of town is the Mineola Nature Preserve on the Sabine River.
To get there from the DFW area, take US-80 out of Mesquite into Mineola. When you arrive at the intersection of US-80 and US- 69 head south until you see the sign for Loop 564. Go underneath the overpass to Loop 564, and then continue on to either the Equestrian Trail Head or the entrance for non-equestrians. You can find links to directions to the preserve from popular locations here:
About The Preserve
Mineola Nature Preserve was created in 2002 with grants from Texas Parks & Wildlife and is maintained by the City of Mineola. The 2,911 acres within the preserve are home to a variety wildlife, big and small, from birds and plants to buffalo and longhorns.
An old railroad bed, built in the 1860s, is now a flat walking trail. Horse lovers can bring the horses out to stretch their legs and take in the natural beauty along the miles of equestrian trails. Mineola Nature Preserve was recognized as one of the top 15 city parks in the nation for its size by Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine in 2008.
Horses and RVs
If horseback riding is what you intend to do, you’ll need to park near The Derby, a pavilion with restrooms and showers. Leave $5 per rider or per horse in the yellow box near the pavilion entrance to cover your daily user fee. If you’ve arrived with an RV and would like utility connections, it costs $20/day. You may pay by simply dropping your reservation sheet and money in the same yellow box.
Pavilion Rental & Campsites
While it shouldn’t be hard to find a spot for a small picnic, you may wish to reserve one of the two pavilions for larger gatherings. A $50 refundable deposit is required and the rental fee is $50 a day. Small campsites are available, as well. There is no charge for these, but they must be reserved.
To make a pavilion or campsite reservation, call (903) 569-6983.
Want Someone Else to Cook?
Address: 126 E Broad St, Mineola
Phone: (903) 569-3140
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11-8, Sunday 11-3
If picnic lunches aren’t your thing and you’d like to get a taste of what the town Mineola has to offer, check out East Texas Burger Company, located at the corner of US-80 and US-69. As you may have guessed, they’re pretty famous for their burgers, but their homemade fried pies are worth making room for, too.
So, You Don’t Camp?
Tents and RVs aren’t everyone’s preferred place to catch some Zs. Check out the other lodging options in Mineola, including a few charming B&Bs.
Jill Krause is a blogger, product ambassador and mother to 2 young children. You can find her humorous take on life as a parent at http://www.BabyRabies.com.