I took a day trip to Meridian State Park ending a multi-day park adventure of camping and hiking. This state park has some amazing views, birding opportunities, fun trails, and of course Lake Meridian.
This is also a Civilian Conservation Corps park, and the CCC-built refectory is definitely a point of interest worth visiting.
Visiting here during the off-season gave me an appreciation for the space, but I could definitely imagine what it’s like when the water levels are up, and tons of people are enjoying the various features of this park.
The drive to the park takes you through some fun small towns, and when you arrive to the park the visitors center is decorated differently than other visitor centers I’ve visited. The building itself used to be a building for storage, but I’ll let the rangers tell you more about it.
This park features six points of interest that range from historic to scenic, and they are as follows:
- Civilian Conservation Corps refectory
- CCC stone grill
- Bee Ledge
- Fern Ledge *top pick*
- Wildflower Field
- CCC Bridge
The road here splits off in two directions at the refectory, and I totally messed up and left off the western part of the road to view POI 2, but definitely go check out the grill. Otherwise, if you head to the right at the refectory you’ll be taken down a one-way road that loops all the way back to the visitor center.
Meridian State Park Maps
Meridian State Park Camping
There are three main camping site options at Meridian State Park. Full hookup sites ($25/ night), Campsites with electricity ($20/ night), and Primitive Sites ($15/night).
The primitive sites are located in the Shinnery Ridge area and offer a woody landscape with easy access to the water.
The other camping areas, including the shelters, are all on the eastern part of the park near the visitor’s center and refectory.
Learn more about reserving your camping areas.
Meridian State Park Hiking
There are four main trails at Meridian State Park including Bosque Hiking Trail (2.2 mi.), Shinnery Ridge Trail (1.5 mi.), Little Forest Junior Trail (0.8 mi.), Little Springs Trail (0.7 mi.).
The Bosque trail takes you to the perimeter of the park including over the dam that created Lake Meridian. There are some great views of the water and refectory from here.
Head towards the Little Forest Trail for access to three of the points of interest including the highly recommended Fern Ledge and the Bee Ledge which will give you a great view of the water.
The Fern Ledge is a ledge, but it’s the ferns underneath that give it its name. There are no ropes or barriers here, so you’ll need to watch your step. You can get a great view of the ferns growing from under the ledge in multiple angles here.
If you’re into birding, on the other side of the road there is a neat bird blind to check out some additional wildlife.
The Bee Ledge overlook is a quick hike that takes you to a wonderful view of Lake Meridian. Because the water levels were too low for the boat ramp, people were out on the lake in their kayaks. Plenty of paddling opportunity on this water to take in some views.
The Bee Ledge is a stop along the Bosque Hiking Trail, so you can have a snack here to fuel up.
Final Meridian State Park Thoughts
Meridian is one of those smaller parks that offer the perfect amount of recreation, and probably not completely overrun with guests. It has some great hiking for the entire family, and all experience levels, but water views, fishing, and is tucked away from any major city.
Sometimes you really do just want to get away from it all, and Meridian State Park is a great place to do just that.
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