Dallas Downriver Club

Fort Parker State Park

Rendezvous time has changed 04/07/2014

Date: April 13 – 14, 2014

Sponsor: DDRC

River: Lake Fort Parker & the Navasota River

Trip Leader: Dale Harris

Reach: Lake Fort Parker & the Navasota River

Phone: 972-814-2633

Difficulty: Flat water / easy / this trip is good for beginners


Rendezvous: Fort Parker State Park campgrounds,  Sunday April 13th, at Noon

Required Skills: Basic winter flat-water paddling and camping experience

Backup Plan: This trip will be rescheduled in case of inclement weather

Confirmation Deadline: None


Trip Description:

Fort Parker State Park:  This is a Sunday / Monday trip for those of us who work on Saturdays!! And for those not waiting to finish their taxes.

Several people have been asking for a camping trip that didn't start of Friday or Saturday. So please join me on April 13th, 2014 at Fort Parker. The park is located approximately 110 miles south of Dallas near Mexia, TX. It is on Lake Fort Parker which is beautiful medium size lake with a nice campground. It is one of the clubs favorite campgrounds. And since it is so close it can be day trip - albeit a long day trip. 

Everyone needs to make their own arrangements for lodging at Fort Parker State Park.

Arrive on Sunday morning and set up camp and paddle around the lake. Right now there are plenty of sites open, but depending on site availability you may not be able to check in on Sunday until 2pm.

We will meet in the camping area of the campground on Monday at 9am. We will run our shuttle and paddle the Navasota River – hopefully getting on the water by 10am.  We should get back to the campground by 12:30 at the latest.

Gear requirements:

Almost any canoe or kayak will work. Bring PFD's and a whistle for each person.  April should be mild, but could be cool at night. Bring sun protection - a hat and sun block - and light rain gear just in case. Also bring everything you may want for camping - tent, sleeping bag, chair, etc. Water is supplied at the park.


Bring all your own meals, utensils, plate, cup, etc. Paddling the Navasota River will on take 2-3 hours so we’ll have lunch back at the camp grounds.

Back-up Plans:

If, for any reason, the trip is cancelled it will be rescheduled.

Driving Directions: 

From Dallas: Take I 45 South to Richland. Take Hwy 14 South through Mexia. Continue for about 6 or 7 miles to Park Road 28. Turn right to Park entrance. 

Map to Ft Parker


Google Earth Users

Ft Parker Pushpin


* International Scale of River Difficulty

Class I: Easy. Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight, self-rescue is easy.

Class II: Novice. Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed.

Class III: Intermediate. Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. Scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims.

Class IV: Advanced. Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. A fast, reliable eddy turn may be needed to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. Rapids may require "must" moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting is necessary the first time down. Risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high, and water conditions may make self-rescue difficult. Group assistance for rescue is often essential but requires practiced skills. A strong eskimo roll is highly recommended.

Class V: Expert. Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to above average endangerment. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is mandatory but often difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is difficult even for experts. A very reliable eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential for survival.

Class VI: Extreme. One grade more difficult than Class V. These runs often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. The consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible. For teams of experts only, at favorable water levels, after close personal inspection and taking all precautions. This class does not represent drops thought to be unrunnable, but may include rapids which are only occasionally run.


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Last updated April 7, 2014 7:46 AM