Cedar Hill State Park is close to Dallas, but still far enough away to get a great sense of the outdoors. The water at this Texas State Park provides a beautiful backdrop for any outdoor adventure including hiking, camping, boating, and fishing. It’s also really close to Lake Whitney State Park which was a fun visit.
Cedar Hill State Park sits off of Joe Pool Lake, which covers over 7,000 acres and can be accessed from multiple points.
The state park is one of four parks that you can access, and each offers fun recreation opportunities. Click here to learn more about the other parks that you can visit.
In addition to the outdoor recreation, you can also take a self-guided tour of Penn Farm Agricultural History Center. From TPWD, “For over a century, the Penn family lived and worked here. Take a self-guided tour and see how farming changed throughout the family’s tenure. The center is open daily. Call the park to arrange a guided tour for your family or school group. Learn more on our History page”.
Camping at Cedar Hill State Park
This being a lake state park, there are a ton of camping options. Approximately 350 campsites are available, and depending on what you want to see, you can curate the ultimate experience.
|Full Hookup Campsites
|Campsites with Electricity
|People Per Site: 8
|People Per Site: 8
|People Per Site: 4
|Number of Sites: 147
|Number of Sites: 192
|Number of Sites: 30
I felt that you couldn’t get a poor campsite while driving around this state park. So many views of the water, great trees around, etc. It just felt like a great place to camp. If you call before hand to see how full the park is, sometimes it’s fun to cruise around and then pick your campsite. That way you can know for sure what to expect instead of picking it from the map.
Hiking at Cedar Hill State Park
One thing to know right off the bat; In the Dallas area you’ll hear more about the DORBA trails, and there are three to consider while at this state park, and each offer a different biking experience.
DORBA is short for Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association, and they’re great stewards of the parks, and are a great organization for mountain biking activities. There are rules hikers and bikers must follow on these trails that may be different than what you’re used to, but it’s mostly which direction each can go. The trailhead will denote which direction each can go, so be on the lookout for that information.
At the time of my arrival there were a couple of trails still closed due to some recent poor weather, so I opted for a bit of history on the Penn Farm Trail. This self-guided trails takes hikers through some amazing farm life including homes, tools, and plenty of interpretive signage to learn what life was like on the farm.
Take some time to read each sign, walk around the buildings, and really soak it all in. Features like these can really amplify the park experience. We found that there were plenty of buildings to admire and reflect about the families that once occupied the spaces.
With eight trails total, including the three DORBA trails, there are a handful of hikes you can experience, and mostly short in length. The longest trail is the Talala Trail at 2.3 miles, so check out the map and see what you’d be interested in doing.
I spent a lot of time just driving around and walking by the water along the one-mile Shoreline Trail. It was more a less a sidewalk, but a great way to get in some steps.
Points of interest worth checking out
There are five points of interest at Cedar Hill State Park. These are always a great way to experience a state park as they offer a mix of history and great views. Check the information on the different sites from the TPWD park map.
POINTS OF INTEREST
1 PRAIRIE ROOTS
Stroll by our shoreline sculpture and see for yourself how deep prairie roots run. Take in scenic views of the lake and dam from here, too.
2 PENN FARM
The Penn Family farmed this valley for over 100 years. Remnant buildings and farm equipment transport us back to a middle-class farm around the turn of the 20th century.
3 TALALA OVERLOOK
Talala is the Cherokee Indian name for
“woodpecker.” Enjoy the breathtaking view from the overlook, one of several at the park.
4 DUCK POND
Bring the children for an easy hike to the pond, where you may catch a glimpse of wildlife stopping by for a drink.
5 PLUM VALLEY OVERLOOK
This scenic overlook provides views of the Tallgrass Blackland Prairie converging with the White Rock Limestone Escarpment.