Interpretive Guide of Lake Arrowhead State Park (SP) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.
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INTERPRETIVE GUIDE Things to do at Lake Arrowhead State Park PULL UP A CHAIR AND GATHER AROUND THE CAMPFIRE WHILE YOU RECOUNT THE DAY’S ADVENTURES WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS: A COOL SWIM IN THE LAKE, A PRIZE FISH DANGLING FROM THE LINE, AND A HIKE THROUGH THE WILDFLOWERS. LAKE ARROWHEAD STATE • Take a hike on a nature trail and explore the flora and fauna of the park. Check for scheduled hikes with a ranger or pick up a trail guide at the park office. • Play a round of disc golf on our 18-hole course. Discs are available to borrow at the headquarters. • Watch the wildlife that live in the park. Morning and evening are the best times to see white-tailed deer, armadillos, raccoons, and skunks. Please don’t feed the wildlife—nature’s foods are healthier. • Go fishing for bass, crappie, and catfish. No fishing license is required if fishing within the state park. Be sure to ask park staff about our tackle loaner program. • Get your binoculars and look for the over 200 species of birds sighted at Lake Arrowhead, including herons, raptors, songbirds, and waterfowl. • Learn to be a good steward of the park by becoming a Junior Ranger at Lake Arrowhead State Park. Ask at the park office for the Junior Ranger journal. • Leave no trace! Help our wildlife by disposing of garbage and fishing line, staying on trails, and leaving natural treasures for everyone to enjoy. • Check the State Park Store for souvenirs of your visit. For more information about programs or volunteering, contact the park or visit our website and add us on Facebook. Lake Arrowhead State Park 229 Park Road 63, Wichita Falls, TX 76310 (940) 528-2211 • www.tpwd.texas.gov/lakearrowhead www.facebook.com/lakearrowheadstateparktx PARK IS A PLACE WHERE MEMORIES ARE MADE. © 2020 TPWD. PWD BR P4506-0098G (12/20) In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TTY) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989 or by email at email@example.com. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. LAKE ARROWHEAD STATE PARK A R R O W H E A D S T A T E P A R K LAURA CLEPPER L A K E PRECIOUS WATERS Can you imagine what this area looked like 75 years ago? TRY YOUR HAND AT DISC GOLF T Picture rolling grasslands and the call of wild turkey breaking the silence. The Little Wichita River meanders across the landscape. In the distance you spot smoke gently rising from chimneys in the small community of Halsell. You would not see Lake Arrowhead until years later. “I can sit on the porch before my door and see miles of the most beautiful prairie interwoven with groves of timber, surpassing, in my mind, the beauties of the sea. Think of seeing a tract of land on a slight incline covered with flowers and rich meadow grass for 12 to 20 miles.” Like most lakes in Texas, Lake Arrowhead is a manmade reservoir. To meet demand for a reliable source of drinking water, the growing city of Wichita Falls decided to dam the Little Wichita River. The residents of Halsell fought the plan but eventually lost their battle in court. Construction on the reservoir began on May 17, 1965. Over the next year, residents of Halsell relocated and their small community was swallowed by the lake. — John Brooke, early settler in the prairies of Texas, 1849 RETURNING TO NATURE Lake Arrowhead lies at the edge of the Rolling Plains and Mesquite Plains sub-region. The park gives visitors a glimpse of the lasting effects of the ranching era on the landscape, and the hope for the future. The waters of Lake Arrowhead are now a precious resource for all who live nearby. Birdlife flourishes along the lake’s 106 miles of rich shoreline habitat. Fish such as bass, catfish, and crappie call the cool waters of Lake Arrowhead home. Turtles sunbathe on logs under the warm sun and frogs croak during the cool nights. Deer and coyotes come to the lake for a refreshing drink. Human visitors splash in the water and fish from the pier. And beneath the waters lies a community that gave way to this abundance. LYNN SEMAN The vast prairies of central North America once sprawled from Texas to central Canada. Regular disturbances from fire and grazing bison returned nutrients to the soil, restricted tree encroachment, and helped disperse seeds. The rich biodiversity of these plant communities supported a staggering array of life. When settlers arrived on the plains, they transformed the landscape. Farmers tilled the soil and replaced prairies with crops. Cattle reduced grass diversity to all but a few species that could withstand the constant grazing. These practices destroyed the delicate balance, resulting in the degradation of much native prairie habitat in Texas. he only disc golf course in Texas State Parks is found here at Lake Arrowhead State Park! This family-friendly game is suitable for all ages and abilities. Players stand at the start of the hole and try to land their disc (like a frisbee) in the basket with the fewest number of throws. There are 18 holes at Lake Arrowhead State Park, each hole with its own par, and the player with the lowest score at the end of the game wins. Watch out for obstacles like trees! The park hosts an annual disc golf tournament each year, with professional players coming to compete. Discs are available to rent for free at the park headquarters so head out to the course and try your hand at this popular sport. You might just end up being the next champion! Course Courtesy (directly from PDGA): • Remain quiet and avoid unnecessary movements while others are throwing • • Remove disc from Disc Pole Hole® after completing the hole • Help new players learn the rules • Allow faster groups to play through when possible • Pick up trash and put in proper receptacles • Do not alter the course (trees, bushes, etc.) in any way At Lake Arrowhead State Park, human-mediated prescribed burns restore the natural prairie cycle. Careful removal of non-native and invasive species helps grasses and wildflowers to flourish. As these native plants return, Texas pollinators such as bees, bats, and hummingbirds return as well. Visitors can now hike the trails and enjoy a burst of prairie color in the spring. As these valuable prairie landscapes are restored, wildlife and humans benefit. LAURA CLEPPER