The Mineola Nature Preserve on the Sabine River encompasses 2,911 acres located in Wood County, and is home to East Texas species of critters that can fly, walk, crawl, and slither, and home to more than 193 species of birds, numerous wildlife, buffalo, longhorn cattle, and a pristine wetlands environment. Imagine walking along a railroad bed built in the 1880s as you step back in history. Owned by the City of Mineola, this is part of a comprehensive development plan to protect our natural wildlife and habitat for future generations. This pristine area is an escape to the quiet of nature and the solitude of yesteryear.
With construction beginning in 2002, the Preserve is being constructed with matching grants from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and others and maintained by funding from the City of Mineola. Walking, hiking, biking, birding, wildlife viewing, equestrian trails (over 20 miles), fishing ponds, picnic areas, primitive camping areas, Recreational Vehicle Utility Connections at THE DERBY, two pavilions with restrooms, playground and educational opportunities abound. Don't miss the active beehive on Johnnie Bendy Trail that can be viewed behind safety glass. There is an abandoned rail bed that lends itself well to accommodate walkers, and a history of that era that romanticizes the area that is recognized by historical markers, such as the Hasinai Tribe of the Caddo Indian Nation. This area is an ideal corporate retreat with facilities to support either a short term or long term stay.
According to an article in the November (08) Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, this Preserve is in the top 15 city parks in the nation for its size. The goal is to make the list as a top 10 choice destination for educators, birders, hikers, bikers, equestrians, local, regional, and national groups. In many respects, the site is still in the visionary state, with both progress and plans continuing to develop.
The People Pavilion can be reserved by calling (903) 569-6183. The rental fee is $100.00 per day. Also a $50.00 deposit (which is refunded upon clean up and removal of trash). Many couples have selected the Nature Preserve as the venue for their wedding, a picturesque location and facilities. See recent article. The new Amphitheater/Stage can be reserved for a rental fee of $100.00 per day and a $50.00 deposit. (If both are rented together the rental fee is $150.00 with $100.00 deposit.)
The Recreational Vehicle Utilities Connection user fee is $30.00 Per Space-per day. Please call (903) 569-6183 to make a reservation.
The primitive campsites require a reservation, a fee of $5 per night is charged. Click HERE for more information.
From I-20, turn North on U.S. 69, about 14 miles, cross the Sabine River and continue approximately 1.5 miles then turn right (east) on Loop 564:
For the Equestrian Trail Head: About one fourth mile, turn right on first road to the right (You will see the sign that says Wastewater Treatment Plant before County Road 2724). The signs at the top of the hill note horse trailer parking. The Pavilion, (THE DERBY), has restrooms and showers. Reservations for THE DERBY Pavilion are available by calling (903) 569-6183. Recreational Vehicle Utility Connections are available.
For other than equestrians: After turning east on Loop 564, about one fourth mile and just past equestrian turn off, turn right (southeast) on County Road 2724. (CR 2724 or Cap Ranch Road). Follow signs about 1.5 miles to entrance. Reservations for the Pavilion are available by calling (903) 569-6183.
Via U.S. 69 from Greenville/Alba and also from U.S. Hwy 37: Continue through Mineola, proceed south until sign for Loop 564 is observed. Go underneath the overpass to Loop 564. Note directions above for the equestrian trail and other than the equestrian trail.
Via U.S. Hwy 80, traveling west from Hawkins: Go under the overpass for Loop 564, immediately turn right (north) and follows signs to Loop 564. Continue right (south) on Loop 564 until reaching County Road (CR) 2724 and turn left on CR 2724. Follow signs about 1.5 miles to the entrance. (Equestrians continue on Loop 564 about 1/8 mile, turn left at the sign Wastewater Treatment Plant just west of CR 2724). Parking area for horse trailers is at the top of the hill.
Via U.S. Hwy 80, traveling east from Grand Saline: Continue through Mineola to the intersection of U.S. Hwy 69. Turn right (south) on U.S. 69. Proceed south until sign for Loop 564 is observed. Go underneath the overpass to Loop 564. Note directions above for the equestrian trail and other than the equestrian trail.