Abilene State Park

By: Christopher Long

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: November 25, 2017

Abilene State Park is off Farm Road 89 nineteen miles southwest of Abilene in Taylor County. Elm Creek, which flows through the 621.4-acre park, was for many years a popular camping ground for the Tonkawas and Comanches, who hunted buffalo during their annual migrations through Buffalo Gap, five miles to the northeast. In 1921 the city of Abilene built a dam across the creek to impound water for municipal use. In 1933 the city donated the land below the dam to the State Parks Board. During the mid-1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps built a number of structures, including a swimming pool and a concession building with an adjoining dance terrace. Shelters and campgrounds were added in the 1960s and 1970s. The heavily wooded park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, ranging from deer and raccoons to armadillos and coyotes. A portion of the official Texas longhorn herd is also kept in the park. Lake Abilene, a popular fishing and recreation spot, is adjacent to the park, and Buffalo Gap, one of the early frontier settlements of the region, is nearby. Facilities include a hiking trail, a dining hall, and playgrounds.

Ray Miller, Texas Parks (Houston: Cordovan, 1984).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Christopher Long, “Abilene State Park,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 15, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/abilene-state-park.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 25, 2017