Mother Neff State Park is Texas' first official park named after Isabella Eleanor Neff. She provided six acres of property in 1916 near the Leon River. Pat M. Neff was the Governor of Texas from 1921 to 1925; he created the Mother Neff Memorial Park near Moody Texas. The park now maintains 259 acres all in Coryell County. Three acres were given to the State and Governor Neff provided 250 acres. In 1937 the park was opened to the public and is open 365 days a year. The park has several picnic areas near the Leon River with easy access down to the river for fishing for the avid fisherman. They have a nice rock pavilion for group picnics where reunions, weddings or other group gatherings. There is a nice recreational hall with nice kitchen facilities with restrooms and showers that is heated and air conditioned that can be reserved for special occasions. There is a playground for the little ones to enjoy while the adults are busy doing other things.
Mother Neff Park offers a junior ranger program for children between the ages of 4 - 12 that includes a special badge and certificate upon completion. Hikers can enjoy walking along the lost trail. At the park headquarters the park provides a tree guide for those wanting to learn more about the trees along the trails.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CC) restored the park in the 1930's to its historical setting. In 1935 three Indian graves were unearthed with many artifacts during an excavation. The area was inhabited by several Indian groups including the Tonkawa's. The heavily wooded area made the perfect place for the Indians to fish and hunt.
Currently Mother Neff State Park is under renovation with a new park entrance and roads to include a new headquarters building and maintenance building to replace the current ones. New campgrounds with 20 full hookups , new restrooms with shower facilities are being added for better camping experiences, the park has had serious flooding over the past few years which resulted in the entire park being under water. The park borders The Leon River making it necessary to develop a plan that addresses the habitual flooding problems. The flooding of the campgrounds is one of the reasons for moving the campgrounds to higher grounds in the park. The road up to the top of the hill is quiet and very scenic with several pull offs with hiking trails along the way. The redevelopment project has a $6.5 million budget with an estimated completion date of August 2015.
To learn more about the park visit their website www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/mother-neff.