Counties: Bell, Bosque, Comanche, Coryell, Eastland, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Freestone, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Johnson, Leon, Limestone, McLennan, Milam, Navarro, Robertson, Somerville, and Williamson.
Located in the Praires and Lakes region of Texas, Whitney Lake is 65 miles south of Ft. Worth and 35 miles north of Waco on the Brazos River.
From the City of Whitney, Texas, go north on FM 933 to FM 1713. Turn left on FM 1713. Continue on FM 1713 until the road forks. Stay left at the fork, this road becomes Spur 1713. FM 1713 dead ends into the park. There are two gated entrances, normally the gate house on the right is open for all park visitors.
Facilities: McCown has three areas in the park just for equestrians! They are the day use area, TETRA group campsite, and the 29 site equestrian campground.
Terrain: McCown Valley is a wonderful place to ride, shoes or boots for your horse are not a necessity due to the soft footing. The sand is fairly deep in some areas giving your horse a real work out. Horses not used to the deep sand may fatigue so be mindful not to over do it. Avoid riding off trail along the shore line and beware of possible mud bogs, especially if the lake waters are low. Some trails are heavily wooded with lots of shade and other trails are in the open. Trails are mostly flat, with the exception of one small area. Several trails are wide and will accommodate wagons/carts.
Day Use & TETRA Group Campsite –The day use and the group campsite are located next to each other but divided by a pipe railing. The group campsite was put in by TETRA (Texas Equestrian Trail Riders Association), a strong resource for trail development and improvement in Texas. The overnight group camping area has 10 covered stalls provided by TETRA (Texas Equestrian Trail Riders Association) and 10 electrical hookups with water. Running water is located in both the day use and overnight group campsite and there are portable restrooms. The parking area is large with plenty of room to maneuver your truck and trailer. Gate access to the trails is located on the southwest side of the day use area.
29 Site Equestrian Campground – The facilities at the 29-site gated equestrian campground are nice. You need a code (get this from the attendant in the gatehouse) to enter this gated facility. This site is separate from the group campsite and day use trailhead. When entering the front coded access gate of the equestrian campsite, immediately look to your left, you will see a path that leads to the trails. This is on the southwest area of the equestrian campsite (note the map makes look like the trail access in this area is on the southeast area of this campsite further away from the entrance gate, but that is not correct.) When entering this campground on your right side you will find campsites nestled under trees while in the center and to your left the sites are in the open grassy areas. Each site has water and electricity (50 and 30amp), picnic table, fire ring, barbecue grill, lantern hangers, and two tie posts. Picnic tables in the open areas are covered and on concrete slabs while the picnic tables in the shady forest nooks are not. Pens are available on a first come, first serve basis and are located on the west and east ends of the campground. The pens are identical on both sides and consist of four large side by side pipe pens which can be sectioned off to form eight smaller pens, providing a total of 16 small pens for the entire campsite. Half of the pens are covered. At the center of the campground is a restroom facility with flushing toilets, hot and cold running water, showers, and a handy hitching post. The only downside to the campground is a very heavy preponderance of grass burrs.
Lake Bardwell Multi-Use Trails
Located in Waxahachie Creek Park at Bardwell Lake, Ellis County, Texas only 30 minutes south of Dallas off I-45.
Currently, there are over 13 miles of trails for horseback riding, bicycling, or hiking providing a possible round trip ride of 26 Miles. The trailhead is located near the northernmost boat ramp at Waxahachie Creek Park. The system features one broad flat main trail traversing the area with numerous loops into the surrounding upland wooded thickets, meadows, croplands, and bottomland hardwood forest along Waxahachie Creek. These trails are designated with color coded signs and international symbols. One unique feature is a white arrow prominently displayed that marks the return trail for new users who might become disoriented. Trail head features include: informational bulletin board; a secure trailer length parking lot with hitching posts; Equestrian campsites with 30amp electrical service, water hook ups, and horse barn with 2 designated stalls per site; and trail maps available at the gate house. Additional improvements such as picnic tables along the trail and additional barn stalls that will be available on a first come first serve basis are planned.