Nestled on the banks of the Leon River, RVers looking to visit one of the oldest Texas parks in the state will find Mother Neff State Park. The park is located near the town of Moody, in Coryell County. The 259-acre park is named after the Isabelle Neff who left several acres of her property to the state of Texas to use for a park. Isabelle, her husband Noah, and their nine children lived on their 900-acre property around the land where the park is today. They frequently invited neighbors and friends over to enjoy the lush nature, which is perfect for picnics and swims. Isabelle was well known in the community and affectionately known as "Mother Neff;" hence, the name of the park.
From 1934 to 1938 the Civilians Conservation Corps worked on the park, improving it by building trails, picnic areas, roads, and campgrounds. Despite building the campground as high about the Leon River as possible, the park sometimes closes due to intense flooding.
When you visit the park you can enjoy hiking, geocaching, picnicking, ranger programs, and more. Thanks to a new campground loop, the park can remain open even when the river floods the area surrounding it. The park has 36 RV sites available to choose from and a lodge that you can rent, which is perfect for family gatherings. This park has everything you will need for an RV getaway!
The park is a short distance off the CA-36, and RVers won't have any problem locating it. RVers traveling along the CA-36 won't experience any height restrictions or obstacles along their route, even with bigger rigs. The town of Moody is 7.3 miles from the park, and if you need any supplies during your visit or a restaurant to get something to eat, you can look for it there. If you don't find what you need, you can drive approximately 23 miles to the city of Temple, where you will certainly find what you are looking for.
Once you arrive in the park, the roads are spacious and paved, and you will easily be able to navigate your rig through the park. Make sure to stick to the 20 mph speed limit, and you'll be just fine. The park is not too large, and you can easily get around by bike or on foot and enjoy being outdoors to the fullest.
Visitors will find suitable parking by the park office or a bit further down the road. The parking spaces are large, and you should be able to comfortably park your rig in one of the spaces. You can also find parking at the trailheads of the hiking trails.
Mother Neff State Park Campground has 36 sites available to rent. Twenty-one of these sites are suitable for RVers, tent campers, and trailer camping. These sites offer full hookups, and every site has a picnic table, fire ring, grill, and a lantern so you can enjoy spending the evening outside. Restrooms with hot showers and flushing toilets can be found a short distance away from your site.
Sites can accommodate up to eight people a night and there is a limit of four cars per site. The length of the sites vary, but the average is about 60 feet. If you are visiting the park with a larger rig, then you should try and book sites 9, 14, 16, or 18 because these sites have a length of more than 100 feet. Site 12 can accommodate RVs up to 124 feet long. Sites 18 and 20 are ADA-accessible.
All RV sites are pet-friendly, so don't hesitate to bring along your furry friends on your RV getaway. RV sites have access to the internet, so you can quickly check anything you need to, before re-immersing yourself in nature.
Guests looking to have an authentic historical experience can stay at the Mother Neff Lodge. The lodge was originally the Civilian Conservation Corps barracks built in the 1930s. The lodge can sleep up to 16 people with eight people inside and eight outside in a tent. It has four bedrooms with four twin beds, one full bed, and a king-sized bed. This accommodation is also ADA-accessible.
Guests need to bring along their own pillows, linen, towels, coffee maker, dishwashing equipment, and utensils. The lodge has two bathrooms with showers, air conditioning, central heating, an outside grill, microwave, refrigerator with freezer, oven, and stove. The lodge is ideal for family reunions, gatherings, and other special events. Unfortunately, pets and smoking are prohibited in and around the lodge.
The remaining 15 sites at the campground are situated close to the Leon River and are specifically designed for tent campers as they are too small to accommodate RVs of any size. These sites are equipped with water nearby, picnic tables, lantern poles, fire rings, and grills.
All 15 sites are pet-friendly so you are welcome to bring your pets on your road trip. Restrooms with hot showers and flushing toilets are centrally located near to your tent site. These sites need to be reserved in advance of your arrival.
Mother Neff State Park has over three miles of trails for hikers to explore. These trails are perfect for both beginners and more seasoned hikers and take you on an adventure around the whole park. These trails lead to Wash Pond, a cave used by the Tonkawa Indians in the 1800s, and the Civilians Conservation Corps Rock Tower.
Although there are about seven different trails, none of them are more than a mile long. If you are visiting the park just for the day, you can try and do as many of them as you can. The wettest times of the year are during spring and fall, so if you visit the park then, make sure to be careful on the trails as it may be muddy and slippery.
Throughout the year, the park hosts many ranger programs that the whole family can enjoy. These programs and events are centered around nature and the history of the surrounding area. The park was improved by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s and evidence of their presence and efforts can be found throughout the park.
These are marked with plaques and markers and highlight areas where different projects happened, artifacts were found, and interesting events happened during the improvement of the park. Other nature events include runs, hikes, and much more. It doesn't matter what time of the year you visit the park, there is sure to be an event or program for you to enjoy.
Birders will love Mother Neff State Park. The park has three major habitats: limestone slopes, river bottomlands, and restored native prairies. Combined with multiple different species of trees including red mulberry, elms, oaks, and sycamore, this area is the ideal location for birds to call home.
Whatever season you visit the park in, you are sure to see a variety of birds. These include the endangered golden-cheeked warbler, black-chinned and ruby-throated hummingbirds, blue herons, red-tailed hawks, and eagles. Some of these birds call the park their permanent home, while others may live here during the migration season or use it as a pit stop along their route.
Trails, roadways, and bird blinds are all great places to see all sorts of birds. You'll find the bird blind near the Rock Tower and Prairie Pond. You can also print out a checklist to keep track of the different species you see along the way.
Geocaching is similar to the well-known game of treasure hunt. The object of geocaching is to hunt for caches (hidden treasures) using a GPS-capable device. Once you locate a cache, you can claim whatever trinket or treasure you find inside. Make sure to bring along some of your own treasures and trinkets to trade. Remember to leave the cache exactly like you found it so that other geocachers after you can enjoy finding it.
Picnicking is one of the best ways to enjoy being out outdoors and soaking up the sun. Several pavilions are available throughout the park for you to use, as well as a picnic area with a playground and restrooms. You can also make your own picnic site by bringing along some blankets and chairs and sitting down near the banks of the river. You can enjoy a picnic after a hike, during a day visit to the park, or by making it an all-day event.
Make sure to pack your camera when you visit the park on your RV trip. The surrounding nature and different habitats will provide stunning backdrops and nature pictures. Over the years, the native prairies have been restored and are breathtaking when they flower. The limestone slopes, forests, and even the arid drier areas will provide unique photo opportunities for photographers to snatch up. Sunsets and sunrises are also perfect times to capture the stunning nature of the park.