By Elissa Thompson
With miles of hiking trails, a cave, and an old water tower, Mother Neff State Park offers something for the avid campers or a college student just needing a break from studies.
The park is located about 35 minutes north of UMHB, outside of Moody. It offers campsites with water and electricity, as well as primitive campsites for those who are feeling more adventurous. There are also miles of hiking trails, some in the woods and some out on the prairie.
The park features an intriguing cave and an old water tower, where one can see for miles. Every Saturday afternoon from 2 to 3, park rangers give a talk on the local flora and fauna. Mother Neff is a great place to take a group of friends for an overnight trip or just a day of hiking and fun.
In 2007, the park was under 18 feet of water due to flooding of the Leon River. Water sat on the park for three months, and the park staff could do nothing. After the water started to recede, the park staff began to inventory the damage. There were more than 100 hundred trees down as well as large deposits of sand and mud from the nearby Leon.
“It was a slow process,” park ranger Leah Huth said. “We plan to build a new headquarters and camping facility up on the prairie, which is at the north end of the park. If the lower portion floods, we can still provide campers a place to stay when the other side of the park is closed.”
Several of the buildings and structures were underwater.
“We can also use this part (the lower portion) as well as the buildings as a learning tool to show people what floods can do and the aftereffects of it,” Huth said.
Plans for reconstruction on the new section of the park will begin in fall 2012.
The park is open seven days a week, and the daily entry fee is $2 per person. More information can be found on the web site: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/mother_neff/.