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Camping at Mother Neff State Park

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Location and Background

Mother Neff State Park, one of Texas's earliest state parks, is located in central McLennan County. The park sits along the Leon River and is named after Isabella Eleanor (Mother) Neff, who donated six acres of land for the park in 1921. Her son, Texas Governor Pat Neff, created the park when he deeded 250 additional acres to the state. The park officially opened in 1937.

Activities and Amenities

  • Hiking and Nature Trails: The park offers about 3.5 miles of trails. These looped trails provide opportunities to view the park's diverse ecosystems, including prairie and forested areas.

  • Picnicking: There are numerous picnic tables and areas throughout the park, some of which are located in shaded areas, ideal for group outings or family picnics.

  • Fishing: Anglers can enjoy fishing along the Leon River which borders the park. Species like catfish, bass, and sunfish can be caught. No fishing license is required when fishing from shore in a state park.

  • Geocaching: This outdoor treasure-hunting game using GPS-enabled devices is available in the park, offering a modern-day treasure hunt experience.

  • Bird Watching: The park is home to a variety of bird species, making it an excellent spot for bird watchers.

  • Camping: There are campgrounds with sites that include water and electricity, along with a dump station. Primitive camping areas are also available.


  • Park Store: Offers souvenirs, camping and fishing supplies, snacks, and ice.

  • Playground: A play area for children is available.

  • Group Facilities: The park has facilities that can be rented for group events, including a group pavilion and a group recreation hall with kitchen facilities.

  • Restrooms: Restrooms with and without showers are available for park visitors.

Climate and Best Time to Visit

The climate in the area is typically Texan, with hot summers and mild winters. Spring and fall offer the best weather for outdoor activities with less heat and enjoyable temperatures. Always check the weather forecast before planning your trip as Texas weather can vary significantly throughout the year.

Visitor Tips

  • Reservations: Campsite and facility reservations are recommended, especially for weekend trips or during peak season. Reservations can be made online or by calling the Texas State Parks Reservation System.

  • Wildlife: Always observe wildlife from a distance and do not feed animals to avoid unpredictable behavior.

  • Leave No Trace: Pack out all of your trash and leave the park as pristine as you found it, adhering to the Leave No Trace principles.

  • Safety: Bring plenty of water, use sunscreen, and wear appropriate clothing to protect against the sun and insects.

  • Check Park Alerts: Before visiting, check the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's website for any current alerts or advisories that may affect your stay.


The park strives to accommodate visitors with disabilities. However, given the natural terrain, not all areas may be fully accessible. Contact the park directly in advance of your visit to inquire about specific accessibility needs and accommodations.

By observing the park rules, taking advantage of the available amenities, and respecting the natural environment, visitors to Mother Neff State Park can enjoy a memorable outdoor experience.

Map of Campgrounds in Mother Neff State Park
Campgrounds in Mother Neff State Park
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