The Dallas Morning News
Fairfield Lake to reopen — for now
Popular state park still set to become multimillion-dollar residential area once sale final
Fairfield Lake State Park will temporarily reopen to the public for daytime use beginning Tuesday, a partial victory for Texans who’ve called for the park to be saved from development.
The popular 50-year-old state park closed last month ahead of its sale to a developer, who plans to turn it into an exclusive gated community with multimillion-dollar homes and a private golf course.
The park will be open for free day-use visitation, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced Monday. Reservations will not be offered.
It’s unclear how long the public access will last, although there’s roughly three months until the land sale is final.
The announcement of the park’s opening comes days after the state House Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee held a hearing about the park. The loss of the park has frustrated lawmakers across the political spectrum, and at least two lawmakers have filed bills to use eminent domain to block development.
“Since closing the park in February, we have heard an outpouring from Texans who would love to visit their park,” TPWD State Parks Director Rodney Franklin said in a statement. “While we still stand committed to reaching a compromise that would save Fairfield Lake State Park for future use, our team will be working hard to keep this gem as accessible as possible for as long as possible.”
Fairfield Lake State Park is about a 90-minute drive south of Dallas in Freestone County. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department named it the 2022 State Park of the Year.
Last month, TPWD was given 120 days’ notice to vacate the property before the buyer takes over. The property is owned by Vistra Energy, which leased it to the state at no cost leading up to the sale to Dallas developer Shawn Todd.