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.