Review: While this is not an essential trail system to visit, Bonham State Park is a short trip from Dallas or North Dallas areas. For those looking for someplace new to explore, this park provides some nice trails for a quick diversion. There are also a few Civilian Conservation Corp structures here that add some variety.
Distance: About 7 miles of dirt trails
Direction from Metroplex: About an hour and a half northeast of Dallas:
Facilities: Restrooms, water foutains, pavillions for eating / parties, playground equipment
Suitable for: Hiking / Biking
Type of Trail: These are natural dirt trails, although to do a full loop you’ll be on pavement in sections.
Shade: Very wooded area, many areas are completely under the forest canopy. Other areas are exposed to the sun
Where to Park: This is not a large park, so i would just park at the headquarters when you check in, and you can access the trails here. This is a state park, so you’ll need to pay or present a states park pass, to avoid getting a ticket.
Official Site: Official Site
Northeast of McKinney lies Bonham State Park, one of the smaller state parks I’ve visited. It’s a fairly straight shot on 121 to the east from McKinney. The city of Bonham is nearby, with a few spots to eat if you are hungry while in the area. Judging from the official state park trail map, i didn’t really realize how small this park really was. There are about 7 miles of trails that surround the lake.
Remember, this is a state park, so you do need to either pay an entrance fee or have purchased an annual state park pass. Either way, the first thing you should do is check in at the headquarters to get your parking pass. Support your state parks!
Below shows the trails. There are about seven miles of trails in total. We started with the gnarly root trail, wound around to the Bois d’Arc Trail, and then went around the lake in that manner. These trails are very wooded, with brief peaks of sun if you come to a clearing. You can easily clear the park in a day, without moving your car once.
These are your standard Texas trails, winding through woods with a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees. On the Bois d’Arc trail you will encounter a few Civilian Conservation Corp structures. The pump house is interesting, and worth stopping to explore and take a few photos of. We had more difficulty finding the bridge and the seating. We eventually did, but the winding nature of the Bois d’Arc trail combined with the muddy and wet conditions the day we went, it took us a few tries to find them. See below for photos of the structures.
There isn’t a lot to say about Bonham State Park, which is not a criticism at all. If you are in the area, it’s well worth a visit. It was quiet and we had the park almost to ourselves the day we went. It’s not a huge park, but that’s likely a benefit depending on if you are out for a stroll or have kids with you. The views are nice, and it’s an easy trail to explore if you have a little time to spend outdoors.
Where to go for a beer: Honestly, not many options here. You could go into Bonham, they have a few places to eat, but i didn’t spot any bars or places to hang out.