March 1, 2023- After more than 50 years of public use and outdoor recreation by Texas families, Fairfield Lake State Park has been closed permanently as of February 28. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) was notified by its lessor, Vistra, the owner of the site, that the land lease for Fairfield Lake State Park was terminated due to the impending sale of the property. Texas State Parks has 120 days to vacate the state park before it is turned over to the new owner, Todd Interests.
Visitors will no longer have access to Fairfield Lake State Park. During this time, park staff will remove equipment and relocate staff members. Closure of the park also means removal of access to the two public boat ramps and a fishing pier on Fairfield Lake, a popular bass fishery. Public recreation on the lake will cease following the closure of the park, and TPWD will no longer manage the fishery resources. TPWD will begin contacting visitors to cancel upcoming overnight reservations for dates after Feb. 27, which will immediately impact more than 2,700 people.
Fairfield Lake State Park was acquired in 1971 by lease from Texas Utilities and opened to the public in 1976. The park, named after 2,400-acre Fairfield Lake, saw an average 80,000 visitors a year and was known for activities such as horseback riding, family reunions, paddling, fishing, camping and hiking.
The park’s recent lease with Vistra was extended until Fall 2022, contingent upon the sale of the property after the energy company closed the coal power plant located on the lake in 2018. TPWD sought to purchase the state park site, but Vistra would not consider a sale of just the parkland. TPWD also hoped to partner with a potential buyer or possibly acquire the property for continued operations. The new owner does not intend to use the property as a state park.
TPWD will continue to work to buy and potentially expand the park.