What to do and see in Mineral Wells

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Lake Mineral Wells State Park


Note: There is a $5 admission charge per person. Reservations are necessary for camping facilities. Call ahead to reserve camping areas as spaces tend to be reserved quickly during the vacation season.


In 1975, the City of Mineral Wells donated 1,095 acres of land and the 646 acre lake to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. The US Government donated an additional 1,541.5 acres of land and the Lake Mineral Wells State Park opened in 1981.


Lake Mineral Wells was created as a direct need for water by the burgeoning city of Mineral Wells. The city had outgrown Lake Pinto and the new lake was completed in 1922. With an expansion of Fort Wolters, due to World War 2, and continued population growth of the city, an increase in the levels of the lake and height of the dam was required to meet the ever-growing need for water.


In 1963, a different source of water was found and Lake Mineral Wells was no longer needed as the main source of the city's water supply. After Fort Wolters closed, the City of MIneral Wells and the US Government donated the area around and including the Lake to the State of Texas to create the State Park.


There are varied and diverse activities for the entire family. Lake Mineral Wells State boasts some of the best rock climbing in Texas. Boating (no jet skis, tubing or skiing however), fishing, canoeing and kayaking are popular pasttimes. Trails are available for horseback riding, mountain bikes and of course, hiking.


There are cabins, shelters, and camping spaces available for overnight camping. Backpacking and picnic spaces are also available. Call the State Park at (940) 328-1171 for availability.


There are restroom and shower facilities available. The park store carries various food and supply items, as well as fishing bait and boat rentals.


Lake Mineral Wells State Park also hosts many interpretive and interactive programs throughout the year. These programs are fun and engaging for the entire family.


(Visit the TPWD website for more information on the State Park.)


National Vietnam War Museum

12685 Mineral Wells Highway


Note: The Vistors' Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Currently the center is closed on Friday.) The gardens and other exhibits are open from dawn to dusk daily.


At this time, the first three gardens and the visitors' center are open to the public.


The first garden is the Meditation Garden. Designed by the Weatherford Master Gardeners, it contains multiple pathways, over 350 native plants, placques and memorials, a gazebo, and places to sit and meditate.


The second garden is the Contemplation Garden. The highlights of this garden is a Vietnam-era helicopter and OH-23 rotor blades, a covered bench sitting area, and the only replica of the Camp Holloway Memorial Wall which was located in a town in South Vietnam. This wall was considered as a sacred memorial to fallen fellow soldiers and friends of the 52nd Combat Aviation Battalion.


The third garden is the Vietnam Memorial Garden. A 300-foot 1/2 scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial located in Washington DC is the cornerstone of this garden. The wall contains the same names as the DC monument and wil be updated annually to ensure accuracy. This garden will also contain placques, bricks and other memorials to loved ones lost. If you would like to honor a loved one, please contact the Museum at (940) 325-4003.


(Click here for more information on the National Vietnam War Museum.)


Clark Gardens Botanical Park


567 Maddux Road


Note: There is a $7 for adults admission charge to the Gardens.


Rising up in the middle of a mesquite grove is quite possibly the most beautiful and serene spot in the entire State of Texas. (Although we may be a bit biased.) Clark Gardens Botanical Park is the 35-acre labor of love of Max & Billie Clark.


What began as a humble family garden back in 1972, has grown to become a premier event and vacation destination. On April 22, 2000, Clark Gardens opened to the public.


Featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Fox News' "Lone Star Adventures", the PBS show "The Daytripper" the Gardens have become nationally known as a gardening and nature treasure. The facilities at the Gardens are top-notch. The wedding venues have been featured in the national wedding magazine "The Knot".


Bring your family and a picnic and spread out a blanket or enjoy one of the three pavilions or numerous open areas near the three large lakes. Watch swans, ducks, blue herons, and other wild fowl or search out the guineas and strutting peacocks.


Also a joy of family members of all ages is the Clark Gardens Clark Station G-scale trains. The interior of Clark Station displays local building and interesting features of the area. Outside, trains make chug their way over tracks winding their way through bridges, overpasses and replicas of local towns and communities.


Near Clark Station are two beautiful rose-filled areas. A new event tent adorns one of the areas named Rose Pavilion. Many parties, weddings, receiptions and conferences are held in the breezy pavilion.


(For more information on Clark Gardens Botanical Park, visit their website here.)