Cooper Lake State Park

By: Laurie E. Jasinski

Type: General Entry

Published: September 20, 2006

Cooper Lake State Park is located along Cooper Lake in Delta and Hopkins counties approximately three miles south of Cooper and twelve miles northwest of Sulphur Springs. On January 22, 1991, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department entered into a twenty-five-year lease agreement with the United States Army Corps of Engineers to develop some 3,000 acres of land along Cooper Lake for recreational purposes. With the aid of federal money, TPWD personnel developed two separate units comprising Cooper Lake State Park. The Doctors Creek Unit consisted of 466 acres along the northern shoreline of Cooper Lake in Delta County, and the South Sulphur Unit contained 2,560 acres on the southern shore in Hopkins County. Cooper Lake State Park officially opened on April 27, 1996. Both the Doctors Creek and South Sulphur units have their own park superintendents, and a manager oversees the overall operation of the park complex. The rolling terrain consists of second-growth woodlands containing post oak, ash, pecan, bois d'arc, hickory, and black willow and is home to numerous birds, small mammals, deer, coyotes, wild hogs, and the occasional cougar. The lake contains hybrid bass, largemouth bass, crappie, perch, and catfish. Visitors can enjoy several miles of hiking trails in both units, including an eleven-mile equestrian trail in the South Sulphur Unit. The Doctors Creek Unit has 42 campsites, 5 screened shelters, and 2 cottages, and the South Sulphur Unit includes 117 campsites, 19 screened shelters, 2 cottages, a group pavilion, amphitheater, and 14 cabins. Both sites offer day-use facilities, swimming beaches, playgrounds, and other recreational features as well as boat ramps. By the early 2000s the park was a very popular destination for tourists from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex as well as residents from northeastern Texas, southern Oklahoma, and eastern Louisiana. In 2006 construction of a cultural center at the eastern end of the South Sulphur Unit was still in progress.

Laurie E. Jasinski, "The Harvest, the Hunt, and the Hoedown: A History of Cooper Lake State Park" (unpublished report, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Cultural Resources Program, Austin, 2004).

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

Laurie E. Jasinski, “Cooper Lake State Park,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 17, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 20, 2006