Each year over 8 million people visit Texas State Parks, a number that continues to increase. Texas State Parks provide more than just recreation but also help enhance the well-being of Texans. Studies have shown that time spent outdoors can help improve mood, problem-solving abilities, and physical health.
Texas State Parks are a major economic engine for Texas. The recreational industry, of which Texas State Parks are a significant part, generates 327,000 jobs and $35.9 billion to the Texas economy. Texas State Parks have $891 million in economic value, create 6,801 jobs, and generate $18 million in sales tax revenue. Cooper Lake State Park, near the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, alone generates 23.4 jobs locally with $1.4 million in economic value and $33,000 in sales tax revenue.
Cooper Lake State Park receives over 112,000 visits each year, 54% of which are from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Cooper Lake State Park has two unique park units that comprise over 3,000 acres of parklands to explore, with a 20,000-acre lake in between to recreate. The park has around 20 miles of trails, two swimming areas, over 200 campsites, six day-use areas, and multiple boat ramps. Cooper Lake State Park provides multiple activities to all visitors including the opportunity to share meals and stories around a campfire, kayaking throughout the lake, and fishing in multiple locations. Crappie, bluegill, bass, and catfish are often caught at both park units. A fishing license is not required if fishing from the bank or fishing pier within the state park. Other popular park activities including hiking, playing on the playground, swimming, and simply relaxing and enjoying the outdoors.
Cooper Lake State Park has a $5 entrance fee for adults and kids 12 and under who are always free. Senior Texans 65 or older will only pay $3 to enter the park daily with a Senior Pass. A Texas State Park Annual Pass can also be purchased for $70. Texas State Park Annual Passes are valid for 12 months.