© BOB ZELLER
© CAROL HOLBERT @ CAROL MICHELE PHOTOGRAPHY
HOME TO THE LARGEST PORTION
OF OUR TEXAS STATE LONGHORN
HERD, SAN ANGELO STATE PARK
OFFERS AN UP-CLOSE LOOK AT
THIS TEXAS TREASURE AS WELL
AS A SMALL HERD OF BISON.
ALONG WITH OPPORTUNITIES
FOR SOLITUDE AND ADVENTURE
BOTTOMS AND O.C. FISHER LAKE
WHICH PROVIDE HABITAT FOR
Visiting San Angelo State Park opens a world of exploration
to Concho Country waterways, wildlife and Texas history.
Please remember to preserve and protect park resources
for future generations by following these Leave No Trace
principles and regulations:
Keep Wildlife Wild – Please don’t feed or harass
wildlife, bison or the cattle
Trash Your Trash – It’s ugly and can make wildlife sick
Take Only Memories and Pictures – Leave all plants,
wildlife, rocks and artifacts
Be Safe – In case of emergency, know where you are in
case you need to call for help
Protect Your Pets – They must be on a leash no less
than six feet and cleaned up after
Be Kind to Other Visitors – Yield to visitors on horse
and watch out for mountain bikers
San Angelo State Park
3900-2 Mercedes Road , San Angelo, TX 76901
(325) 949-4757 • www.tpwd.texas.gov/sanangelo
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AN ARRAY OF WILDLIFE. OVER
60 MILES OF TRAILS LET VISITORS
Cover photo © Carol Holbert @ Carol Michele Photography
EXPERIENCE THE PARK ON FOOT,
BICYCLE OR HORSE.
Proud Sponsor of Texas Parks
and Wildlife Programs
© 2018 TPWD. PWD BR P4506-0166F (7/18)
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
(TDD) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact
TPWD 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.
S A N
A N G E L O
S T A T E
P A R K
© CAROL HOLBERT @ CAROL MICHELE PHOTOGRAPHY
WATER BRINGS LIFE
The Concho River and its tributaries, such as the
North Concho River which flows through San Angelo
State Park, spread through the valley like veins, providing
the area’s lifeblood – water.
Historic Native American groups were drawn to the lush
resources of Concho Country but none held the land for
extended periods of time. In spring Jumano peoples left
their winter home in Texas’ Big Bend region for Concho
Country to hunt bison, deer and fish the river and tributaries. In the fall they harvested pecans, honey and root
plants and returned home in the winter. San Angelo State
Park is home to the only known petroglyph (rock carving)
sites along the Concho River. Archeologists believe that
these petroglyphs were carved 400-800 years ago, possibly
by the Kiowa or Comanche.
Early Spanish explorers named the Concho River, Spanish
for “shell,” after its abundant freshwater mussels, an
important food supply. A gift from these mussels are the
prized Concho Pearls, unique because of their iridescent
light pink to deep purple color.
In 1867, nearby Fort Concho was established to protect
area settlers and westward travelers. In 1947, construction
began for the lake to help with soil erosion and flood control. In 1975 the lake was named for Ovie Clark Fisher, a
U.S. Congressman who served 32 years in the U.S. House
of Representatives for Texas’ 21st Congressional District.
San Angelo State Park opened to the public in 1995.
© SCOTT GARTMAN
O.C. Fisher Lake
One of the Texas State Longhorn Herd
Proudly roaming the park, a true Texas treasure, part of the
Texas State Longhorn Herd represents the independence
and hardiness of Texans. They descended from Spanish
cattle brought by explorers around the late 1500s. Escapee
cattle ventured out on their own and adapted to Texas scrub
country by the rule we know as: “survival of the fittest.”
After the Civil War, Texas Veterans came home to a state
without much of an economy, but millions of free-range
Texas Longhorn. Feeding a hungry country after the war,
Texans and other cowboys began to rustle up longhorn and
drive them north on the nearby Goodnight-Loving Trail to
Kansas City for processing. This strengthened the Texas and
American economy for several years. As free range began to
close off, Texas Longhorn were barb-wired in and bred with
other cattle, nearly to the point of extinction. In 1936 Sid
Richardson funded Texas historian J. Frank Dobie and
Graves Peeler to round up a herd of purebred longhorns.
By 1941 he selected 20 longhorn as a base herd. They went
to Fort Griffin State Historic Site and later became the
official Texas State Longhorn Herd. The majority of the
official herd are thriving at San Angelo State Park for all
Texans and park visitors to experience.
ver 250 million years ago during the
Permian Period, present day San
Angelo State Park looked radically
different. All continents were a single, large land
mass called Pangea and much of Texas was covered
by a shallow sea. The climate was shifting from
the mild, wet climate of the “Age of Amphibians”
to a hotter, drier one. Reptiles began to expand
their ranges and take over the planet.
Synapsids, like dimetrodon, were the predecessors
of mammals and also roamed the earth during the
Permian Period making tracks and leaving fossils
behind. They are thought to have made some of
the 26 different trackways in Little Foot Draw of
San Angelo State Park around 100 million years
before the dinosaurs. Only a few trackways from
this time exist around the world. They tell the
story of these ancient creatures that came before
us. San Angelo State Park staff protect these
tracks for future generations to explore.
Dimetrodon may have left tracks in Little Foot Draw.