3 Things You Don’t Want to Miss at Mother Neff State Park

View of the cave at Mother Neff State Park near Waco, TX.
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We were told that Mother Neff State Park was a ‘boring’ park and that there wasn’t ‘really anything to do’ there. So, why did we have a great time on our first visit?

Because those people were absolutely wrong!

Indeed, you can’t fish or swim at the park and there’s no gorgeous waterfall (like there is at Colorado Bend State Park), but don’t count this park out.

Visiting a state park we had never been to before was part of our Deployment Bucket List and Mother Neff was the perfect way to mark it off the list.

Here are 4 things you don’t want to miss when you visit Mother Neff State Park.

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Lookout Tower

During the Great Depression, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) worked at Mother Neff State Park for 4 years. They built pathways and multiple structures at the park, including a tower.

It was part storage tank and part lookout tower. And it was one of our favorite things in the park.

After our hike through the woods, it felt good to enjoy the breeze on top of the tower and take in the views.

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Tonkawa Cave

The girls loved seeing Tonkawa Cave on our hike. It’s less of a cave and more of a big rock overhang, but it was still fun to see.

The Tonkawa Indians were indigenous to Central Texas and Oklahoma. They were a friendly tribe, known to share their camps and hunting grounds with neighboring tribes and white settlers.

The Tonkawa used this shallow cave for shelter when they were in the area. Arrowheads and other tools have been found near the cave.

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Armadillo Picture

There are a couple of playgrounds scattered throughout Mother Neff. However, the first one that we came across before getting to the trails has a big armadillo that you can play on.

There’s nothing more Texas than a giant armadillo, so make sure you don’t miss this photo opportunity!

(Make sure you don’t miss this Texas photo op!)

We had a great time on our first visit to Mother Neff State Park.

Sure, it’s a smaller park, but that makes it perfect for younger kids or those just starting out hiking.

Don’t take anyone’s word for how quietly beautiful this Texas park is, you should see it for yourself!

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