Hike and bike the summer away at the Mineola Nature Preserve

For those that are looking for a place to stay outdoors, enjoy some serene time in nature, or even have a family get-together, there’s more than enough room at the Mineola Nature Preserve on the Sabine River.

The Mineola Nature Preserve is able to boast being the “East Texas Birding Capitol” and Mineola has the most city owned park space, per citizen, IN THE NATION.

The preserve has almost three thousand acres of land that is filled to the brim with wildlife of all sorts. Visitors wanting to explore the preserve and see all the wildlife while hiking trails, mountain biking, taking the horse out for a ride, canoeing the Sabine River, or while staying overnight in one of their camp spots. It only took me minutes to spot an alligator when I started exploring, and my long legs have never moved quicker.

“It was part of an expansion of our waste water treatment plant,” said Mineola Marketing and Tourism Director, Owen Tiner. “We had a waste water treatment plant out here. We ended up having this whole empty part as what we bought for the waste water treatment plant. Well, we don’t need three thousand acres for (it). We called Texas Parks & Wildlife, and got started on that, about 1998.”

Construction began in 2002, which helped provide the two pavilions with restrooms, a playground, educational events, all the hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, and ponds for visitors to fish in.

“There’s a rumor of a bigfoot out here,” said Tiner.

“A black bear,” chimed in Neal Duncan, Chairman of the Parks & Open Spaces Committee. “That’s disputed, but there is a picture!”

Two of our famous citizens Lily and Dinky Gator are out enjoying this beautiful day!

Posted by Mineola Nature Preserve on Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Visitors are able to rent facilities at the preserve, including their amphitheater, the People’s Pavilion, and their derby pavilion.

“Lots of weddings right here,” said Duncan, while at the People’s Pavilion. “Very popular for weddings, and baby reveal parties.”

The preserve currently has an 18-hole disc golf course for visitors to enjoy, and also host events such as fishing tournaments, 5K runs, bike events, picture taking events, and star gazers for certain late events in the night sky. Along the trail there is “Dick’s Beehive” where you can observe bees working in their natural state.

For flower lovers, not only does the preserve have unbounding amounts growing in the preserve, there is a Wildscape Garden by the Texas Master Gardeners available to walk through that features native Texas plants.

There’s a multitude going on, and always something new to discover while you trek through the Mineola Nature Preserve.


The Mineola Nature Preserve is open from 7:30 AM to sunset each day.

The main entrance to the preserve is at 1860 County Road 2724 Mineola, Texas 75773.

To see what events are coming up you can check out their website or keep up with their adventures on Facebook.

Jade Allen

Jade Allen

Jade Allen explores East Texas to bring the most exciting activities and locations to The East Texas Weekend. Jade came to Texas in 2018, where it has steadily become a home and a place to explore.