Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Comancheria
Mission Tejas State Park
RR 2, Box 108
Grapeland TX 75844
Mission Tejas State Park is a 363.5-acre park in Houston County, 22 miles northeast of Crockett. The park was constructed in 1935 and acquired in 1957 by Legislative Act from the Texas Forest Service, at which time it was open to the public.
The park was built in 1934 by Co. 888 of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) as a commemorative representation of Mission San Francisco de los Tejas, the first Spanish mission in the province of Texas, which was established in 1690. Also in the park is the restored Rice Family Log Home, built in 1828 and restored in 1974. The home, which Joseph Redmund Rice, Sr. constructed between 1828 and 1838, is one of the oldest structures in the area. The home served as a stopover for immigrants, adventurers, and local residents traveling the Old San Antonio Road across pioneer Texas.
Activities include camping; picnicking; hiking; and fishing. A pond located near the picnic area offers an excellent opportunity to explore aquatic life and fish. Hiking and nature trails provide access to the natural beauty of the east Texas Pineywoods. The dogwood are beautiful the last week or so of March, usually around the 25th. Tours: School tours of the two historic structures can be arranged by calling the park headquarters in advance.
Nearby attractions include Caddoan Mounds State Historic Site, Jim Hogg Historic Site; Texas State Railroad; Davy Crockett National Forest, Texas Forestry Museum, in Lufkin; and Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area (a U.S. Forest Service park, 12 miles away, that has a nice swimming beach).
Facilities include commemorative representation of Mission San Francisco de los Tejas; the restored Rice Family Log Home; picnic sites; campsites with water; campsites with water and electricity; campsites with water, electricity, and sewer; group picnic areas; a group picnic pavilion; restrooms with and without showers; a group camping area; an amphitheater; a trailer dump station; 3 1/2 miles of hiking trails; a playground; and a nature pond (approximately 1 acre in size). Winter rates are available.
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