Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Lake O' The Pines Loop

Lake O’the Pines Loop map

Lake O’the Pines Loop mapLakeside ParkBig Cypress CreekBrushy Creek ParkAlley Creek ParkDangerfield State ParkLone Star Boat RampCedar Springs Park

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More information:

  • Jefferson/Marion County COC
    (888)-GO-RELAX, www.jefferson-texas.com

121.gif PPW-E 121 Lake O’the Pines - Lakeside Park

Site open for day use only. Fee charged.

From the intersection of SR 49 amd FM 729 west of Jefferson, follow FM 729 west 3.3 miles to FM 726. Turn left (south) and go 2.4 miles to Lakeside Park on the right before crossing the dam. Turn right and follow 0.3 miles to the gate.

Lakeside Park provides easy access to the shoreline of Lake O’the Pines at the southern end near the dam and spillway. This deep water is worth checking during winter for ducks, grebes and occasionally loons. The area is also frequently visited by Bald Eagles in search of prey. The offshore islets are attractive to wading birds such as Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets. Check the trees along the shore for Eastern Kingbird and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Both American and Fish Crows often visit the picnic areas and Red-winged Blackbirds are especially vocal in the reeds along the shore. In more open areas, look for the attractive and easily approachable Halloween Pennant dragonfly skimming the weed tops.

Phone: (903) 665-3911; (903) 665-2336, http://155.84.70.101/lakeopines/

122.gif PPW-E 122 Lake O’the Pines - Big Cypress Creek

Site open for day use only.

From the intersection of SR 49 and FM 729 west of Jefferson, follow FM 729 west 3.3 miles to FM 726. Turn left (south) and go 4.3 miles to the access road behind the dam on the left. Turn left and go 0.4 miles to gate and parking area.

Just downstream from the dam, Big Cypress Creek offers access to tall, seasonally flooded hardwood forest. This area is especially good for waterfowl in the winter and Wood Ducks year round. Numerous Wood Duck boxes have been erected along the creek to encourage nesting. Other birds to look for include Summer Tanager and Red-eyed Vireo, both of which are easier to hear than see in the dense forest canopy. Listen for the piercing cries of the Red-shouldered Hawk and the deep hoots of the Barred Owl in the evening. Check the small streams for Slaty Skimmers and Blue Dasher dragonflies.

Phone: (903) 665-3911; (903) 665-2336, http://155.84.70.101/lakeopines/

123.gif PPW-E 123 Lake O’the Pines - Brushy Creek Park

Site open daily. Developed camping available. Fee charged.

From the intersection of SR 49 amd FM 729 west of Jefferson, follow FM 729 west 3.3 miles to FM 726. Turn left (south) and go 4.3 miles to Brushy Creek Park on the right after the dam.

The pines at this park reverberate with the cheery buzz of Pine Warblers during summer. This buzz is often accompanied by calls of Summer Tanager, Carolina Wren and Northern Cardinal. When walking through Brushy Creek Park, keep a careful eye out for less obvious creatures, such as the emerald green Rough Green Snake or perhaps the shimmering blue of a juvenile Five-lined Skink rustling the leaf mulch. The lakefront is also a good spot to search for herons in summer and a variety of waterfowl in winter. In winter and migration, scan the skies for the occasional Bald Eagle or Osprey.

Phone: (903) 665-3911, (903) 665-2336, http://155.84.70.101/lakeopines/

124.gif PPW-E 124 Lake O’ the Pines - Alley Creek Park

Site open daily. Developed camping available. Fee charged.

From the intersection of SR 49 amd FM 729 west of Jefferson, follow FM 729 west 10.5 miles to Alley Creek Park on the left. Turn left (south) and go 0.3 miles to the gate.

Alley Creek Park, located on the eastern edge of Lake O’the Pines, provides a variety of habitats for wildlife enthusiasts to explore. In winter, look for a myriad of waterfowl and the occasional grebe or loon on the lake. In summer, look for Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and Black Vultures. The towering cottonwoods near the lake attract Great Crested Flycatchers and Eastern Phoebes. Further from the lake, the pines are filled with Pine Warblers and a variety of woodpeckers. Check the cavities of dead trees for Red-headed Woodpeckers, which are regularly recorded in the park. The open fields around the camping area are good for Eastern Bluebirds and American Robins.

Phone: (903) 665-3911, (903) 665-2336, http://155.84.70.101/lakeopines/

125.gif PPW-E 125 Daingerfield State Park

Site open daily. Developed camping available. Fee charged.

From Dangerfield take SH 11/49 east for 3.0 miles to PR 17 and the park entrance. From Linden take SH 11 to Hughes Springs. In Hughes Springs, turn right and continue west on SH 11/49 for 6.0 miles to PR 17 and the park entrance.

This beautiful state park occupies 551 acres and includes the 80-acre Lake Dangerfield. A trail system provides hikers with access to the pine forest. Additional amenities include cabins, campgrounds, swimming, and a boat ramp. The beauty of the site comes alive during fall and spring migrations. Springtime brings breath-taking bouquets throughout the park’s rolling hills when dogwoods, redbuds, and wisteria vines burst into bloom. Although northeast Texas is known for pines, each fall the park is a delight as sweetgum, oak, and maple trees produce dazzling shades of red and gold, offering a stark contrast to evergreens.

Over 172 species of birds have been observed at the Park. The fall migration of Broad-winged Hawks is a spectacular annual event here. During the last two weeks in September, over 3,700 Broad-winged Hawks have been counted here in a single-day. Other species observed during this time include Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks, Osprey, American Kestrel, Mississippi Kite, Fleet Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Wood Stork, Anhinga, Double-crested Cormorant, and American White Pelicans.

The hiking trail at Dogwood Camp provides great viewing of resident and Neotropical migratory birds. During the spring and summer expect to see Red-bellied, Pileated, and Downy Woodpeckers, Great Crested and Acadian Flycatchers, Eastern Kingbird, Brown Thrasher, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Wood Thrush, Summer Tanager, and several species of vireos and warblers. The open areas of the park support Killdeer, Indigo Bunting, Eastern Meadowlark, Field and Chipping Sparrows, Mourning Dove, Eastern Bluebird and Eastern Phoebe.

Phone: (903) 645-2921, Dangerfield SP

126.gif PPW-E 126 Lake O’ the Pines - Lone Star Boat Ramp

Site open for day use only.

From the intersection of US 259 amd FM 729 south of Lone Star, follow US 259 south 0.8 miles to the boat ramp road on the left. Turn left (south) and go 0.5 miles to the boat ramp.

The view from the Lone Star Boat Ramp is a picture postcard east Texas swamp, complete with bald cypress. This area is a particular favorite for wading birds such as Great Blue, Little Blue and Green Herons as well as Great Egrets. The woods resound with the prehistoric sounds of Yellow-billed Cuckoos and the sharp whistles of Prothonotary Warblers. Scan the emergent vegetation for Pied-billed Grebes, Wood Ducks and the yellow-striped Western Chicken Turtle. Even in the heat of summer, this area offers the intricate beauty of a Red-spotted Purple sipping from the waters edge or the buzzing of half a dozen dragonflies just above the surface. Dragonflies to look for include Eastern Pondhawk and Slaty Skimmer.

Phone: (903) 665-3911, (903) 665-2336, http://155.84.70.101/lakeopines/

127.gif PPW-E 127 Lake O’ the Pines - Cedar Springs Park

Site open daily. Developed camping available. Fee charged.

From the intersection of US 259 and SR 155 south of Lone Star, follow SR 155 east 0.6 miles to Upshur County Landing Road on the right. Turn right (south) and go 1.3 miles to Cedar Springs Park.

Cedar Springs Park provides an excellent vantage to scan the lake just south of the SR 155 Bridge. Numerous exposed snags and pilings in this area provide perches for Osprey and cormorants in winter and migration, and Belted Kingfisher year round. The waters edge is perfect for Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets, but almost anything could turn up in late summer when juvenile birds start wandering away from the coast. Check the tall pines and dense thickets of the park for Neotropical migrants, such as the White-eyed Vireo, often heard scolding from the brush. Check the leaf litter for the occasional snake, with Rough Green being the most likely although Copperhead and even Timber Rattlesnake could occur. Dragonflies to look for in the area include Widow Skimmer and the occasional Halloween Pennant.

Phone: (903) 665-3911, (903) 665-2336, http://155.84.70.101/lakeopines/


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