Cooper Lake State Park

Cooper Lake State Park, 3,026 acres, is situated in Northeast Texas. The park consists of two units, Doctors Creek Unit, 715.5 acres, located in Delta County, and South Sulphur Unit, 2,310.5 acres, located in northern Hopkins County. Cooper Lake, 19,300 acres, is a young lake; embankment construction on the South Sulphur River began in 1986. Lake construction was completed in the fall of 1991 and impoundment began on September 28, 1991. The park property was acquired in January 1991 and opened for boat access in November 1992. Doctors Creek Unit opened January 3, 1996; South Sulphur Unit opened April 27, 1996. Both park units are leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for 25 years.

Cooper Lake

Jim Chapman Lake (also known as Cooper Lake) is a 19,305-acre impoundment that provides water supply storage for the North Texas Municipal Water District, the Sulphur River Municipal Water District, and the city of Irving. This water supply storage exists in the conservation pool between elevations 415.5 ft msl and 440.0 ft msl. The water intake structure is located on the South shore of the lake, which pulls anywhere from 2.0 million gallons per day of water in the winter months to 5.0 million gallons per day in the summer months.

Cooper Lake Texas
Cooper Lake, Texas

Attractions

The vegetation of Cooper Lake State Park is dominated by post oak and various native grass species. Other tree species include winged elm, Bois d’Arc, Texas Sugarberry, eastern red cedar, rough leaf dogwood, eastern persimmon, American elm, honey locust, and mesquite. Most-frequently seen wildlife includes swamp rabbit, eastern cottontail, nine-banded armadillo, white-tailed deer, coyote, bobcat, waterfowl, bald eagle, beaver, raccoon, and wild hog.

This relatively new reservoir covers 22,740 acres along the South Sulphur River in Delta and Hopkins County. The area provides recreational opportunities that include two state parks and a wildlife management area

Doctors Creek

Park facilities include 6.2 miles of shoreline; a four-lane boat ramp; a fish cleaning table; a swimming beach; a playground; two day-use areas with picnic sites, and one has a group picnic pavilion (capacity 50); campsites with water and electricity; screened shelters; a 1.3-mile hiking trail; restrooms with and without showers and a trailer dump station.

South Sulphur

Park facilities include 25.5 miles of shoreline; six and two-lane boat ramps; three fish cleaning table; two lighted fishing piers; a swimming beach; a playground; three day-use areas with picnic sites with tables, grills, and water, and one has a group picnic pavilion (capacity 100); campsites with water and electricity; walk-in water sites for tent camping; equestrian campsites with water and electricity; primitive camping; screened shelters; cabins; 5 miles of multi-use trails for hiking and mountain biking; 10 miles for equestrian use; restrooms with and without showers and a trailer dump station.

Area Attractions

Cooper Lake Wildlife Management Area. The Sam Bell Maxey House Historical State Park, Bonham, and Lake Bob Sandlin State Parks, Southwest Dairy Center in Sulphur Springs, and Texas A & M University in Commerce.

Camping and entrance fees vary. For reservations, call 512/389-8900. Current conditions including fire bans and water levels can vary from day-to-day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

Recreation

Features include camping, fishing, water skiing, picnicking, boating, unsupervised swimming, bird watching, nature study, fun and educational nature programs and tours. The South Sulphur Unit offers equestrian camping and horseback riding trails.

Climate

Cooper Lake State Parks is located at an elevation of 450 feet. Temperatures within the park range from an average January minimum of 30 degrees to a July average maximum of 94 degrees. The average rainfall is 42.7 inches annually. Current weather conditions can vary. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

Texas is a huge state with varying climates but generally, the climate could be said to be primarily hot and humid in the summer months and mild to cool in the winter. Western Texas receives very little rainfall with the exception of the higher elevations. This is the driest area of the state having a relative humidity of 50 percent and an annual rainfall average of eight inches. Eastern Texas experiences hot and humid summers. Temperatures in the metro areas of Fort Worth and Dallas often reach 100 degrees in July and August. This makes for dangerously high heat and uncomfortable for traveling. Winters are pleasant in this region, where the temperatures rarely dip below 32 degrees. Average rainfall in eastern Texas reaches 25 inches or more.

Location

To reach Doctors Creek Unit, travel east from Commerce on State Highway 24 to Cooper, then from Cooper, east for 1 mile on State Highway 154, then south for 2 miles on FM 1529 to the park entrance; or north from Interstate 30 at Exit 122 on the west side of Sulphur Springs for 14 miles on State Highway 19, then west on County Road 4795 for 2 miles to the Corps of Engineers office, cross the lake dam and drive 1/2 mile further to the park entrance.

To reach South Sulphur Unit, travel north from Interstate 30 at Exit 122 on the west side of Sulphur Springs for 10 miles on State Highway 19, then west on State Highway 71 for 4 miles, then north for 1 mile on FM 3505 to the park entrance, or east from Commerce on State Highway 71 for 16 miles, then north for 1 mile on FM 3505 to the park entrance, or east from Cooper for 1 mile on State Highway 154, then south on FM 1529 for 5 miles ( cross the lake dam) to State Highway 19, then south for 5 miles to State Highway 71, then west for 4 miles to FM 3505, then north for 1 mile to the park entrance.

Cooper Lake State Parks, Cooper Lake State Park, Doctors Creek Unit, Rt 3 Box 231-A15 , Cooper, TX, 75432, Phone: 903/395-3100

Leave a Comment