Interpretive Guide of the Cooper Lake State Park (SP) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.
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INTERPRETIVE GUIDE THANK YOU FOR VISITING! WELCOME TO THE LAND OF THE OAKS! COOPER LAKE STATE PARK, THOUGH CLOSE TO THE CITY, FEELS FAR AWAY FROM THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE. OVER 16 MILES OF HIKING, BIKING AND EQUESTRIAN TRAILS EXIST WITHIN TWO SEPARATE PARK UNITS, SOUTH SULPHUR AND DOCTORS CREEK, AS WELL AS ACCESS TO JIM CHAPMAN LAKE (ORIGINALLY NAMED AND While enjoying this natural beauty, please remember that everything you see in the park is protected. Artifacts, rocks, plants, and animals (even snakes) are all part of the region’s rich cultural and natural heritage. Help us keep recreational use sustainable for the future and protect these resources by leaving things as you find them. We hope you will visit these other state parks while visiting Northeast Texas: Bonham State Park Park Rd. 24, Bonham, TX 75418 • (903) 503-5022 Daingerfield State Park 455 Park Rd. 17, Daingerfield, TX 75638 • (903) 645-2921 Lake Bob Sandlin State Park 341 State Park Rd. 2117, Pittsburg, TX 75686 (903) 572-5531 Visit www.tpwd.texas.gov for more information on these and other Texas state parks and historic sites. Cooper Lake State Park – South Sulphur 1690 FM 3505, Sulphur Springs, TX 75482 • (903) 945-5256 KNOWN AS COOPER LAKE), Cooper Lake State Park – Doctors Creek Unit 1664 FM 1529 South, Cooper, TX 75432 • (903) 395-3100 MAKING COOPER LAKE STATE www.tpwd.texas.gov/cooperlake/ PARK A DESTINATION EVERYONE CAN ENJOY. © 2021 TPWD. PWD BR P4508-0154L (7/21) TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TTY) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. COOPER LAKE STATE PARK C O O P E R L A K E S T A T E P A R K REEL IN THE MEMORIES S urrounded by the state park and wildlife management areas, Cooper Lake provides a peaceful fishing and paddling destination. Bring your own boat or kayak or rent one at either unit. While paddling, bring a pole and wet a line out in the open water. Both white bass and hybrid striped bass thrive in the lakes’ open water areas and make for excellent fishing. Although channel and flathead catfish are present, blue catfish are the most abundant in this lake. Mississippi Kite A BIRD’S EYE VIEW INTO THE PAST I tie my hammock off between two proud oak trees, and climb in, ready to relax. A gentle breeze rocks me as I watch a Mississippi Kite make lazy circles in a clear summer sky. I close my eyes and enjoy the warm air on my face when the breeze becomes something stronger. Upon opening my eyes, I’ve become the kite, soaring over the park on narrow, pointed wings. I catch a thermal, or warm pocket of air, and ride it upwards, until the park below me is no longer distinguishable. Circling back down, the view has changed. Gone are the camping loops, and in its place, a dairy farm. Somehow, I’ve travelled back to the 1930s, when dairy farming ruled Hopkins County. I tuck my wings to dive down and get a closer view. A dragonfly distracts me, and I change course to grab my snack from mid-air. Perched on a tree limb, I devour my snack and resume watching the cows graze. To my surprise, I’ve travelled further back in time; the cattle have become white-tail deer and the farm replaced with native Post Oak Savannah and small pockets of Blackland Prairie. Taking flight, I ride another thermal up above the prairie, and survey my new surroundings. Along the South Sulphur River, a Caddo couple hunt for fish and forage for freshwater mussels. This river would eventually be dammed to form Cooper Lake. I close my eyes to enjoy the breeze, and something hits my face. Startled, I snap open my eyes only to realize I’d fallen asleep in the hammock and an oak leaf, falling from the trees above, brought me back to reality. Standing and stretching, I can’t wait to explore the park and find pieces of the past woven into the stories of my present. Prefer to fish from solid ground? In the springtime, crappie fishing can be quite good along the park’s retaining walls and structural pilings when the fish are spawning. Both park units have fishing piers, which are perfect for those who want easy access to the lake. For families at Cooper Lake, fishing goes beyond a pastime. Park staff know family fishing experiences are complimented by excellent species management and strive to keep this aquatic environment healthy. Everyone plays a role here; by taking care of this habitat for wildlife, we also protect it for humans.