In 1854, John Anderson Penn settled in the rugged cedar-covered hills of southwest Dallas County - an area known as the Cedar Mountains. Today, remnants of the original Penn Farm survive intact in the confines of Cedar Hill State Park. Cedar Hill State Park is a 1,826 acre urban nature preserve located on the 7500 acre Joe Pool Reservoir. The Parks proximity to major metropolitan cities makes it an ideal destination for families who want to enjoy the great outdoors without spending precious time driving. The ruggedness and scenic beauty of the area combined with over 100 miles of shoreline and the water based recreation on Joe Pool is a major attraction. The Metroplex skyline reflects on Joe Pool at night adding to our relaxing atmosphere. The park was acquired in 1982 and was opened in 1991.
Relax by the lake, tour an old Texas farm, or explore our rugged limestone hills and rare prairie pockets. Though we’re just a short drive from the DFW Metroplex, it feels like you’re a world away from the city.
Things to Do
Visit Cedar Hill State Park for the day or weekend. Bring your family to hike, bike, picnic, camp, geocache and nature watch. The park sits on the shore of Joe Pool Lake, so you can also swim, fish, and boat or paddle. Rent one of our picnic pavilions for your next family reunion.
Camp at one of 350 developed campsites, all near restrooms with hot showers. All sites have water and electricity; 150 have sewer hookups, too. Several sites are ADA-accessible. Or hike to a primitive campsite, if trails are open.
Explore our trails on bike or on foot. The DORBA Trail, named for the volunteers of the Dallas Off Road Biking Association, crisscrosses 1,200 acres and is open to bikers and hikers. The trail is closed when wet, so call ahead to make sure it is open.
Swim in the lake! We have a gravel swimming beach (no lifeguard on duty) with picnic tables and grills nearby. A playground and restrooms are next to the beach. Read through our Swimming Safety Tips before you swim.
Fish the 7,500-acre Joe Pool Lake for largemouth black bass, crappie and catfish. We have two lighted fishing jetties and a perch pond for kids. We also have two four-lane boat ramps and lighted boat trailer parking. You do not need a fishing license to fish from shore or pier in a state park.
Joe Pool Marina offers boat slip rentals and boat storage. You can buy bait, fishing and camping gear, and more. Ask about the indoor/outdoor fishing barge. (972) 299-9010
Fishing and lake information for Joe Pool Lake
Volunteer! We need your help. Visit our Volunteer page or ask at park headquarters. Serve as a park host: Camp for free in return for 24 hours of volunteer service. Call (972) 291-3900 to learn more.
Penn Farm Agricultural History Center
For over a century, the Penn family lived and worked here. Take a self-guided tour and see how farming changed over the course of the family’s tenure. The center is open daily. Call the park to arrange a guided tour for your family or school group. Learn more on our History page.
We offer guided hikes, history and nature programs, and outdoor skills workshops.
Check our Events page for upcoming programs.
Call the park to arrange a program for your group.
Learn more about the park on our Nature and History pages.
Borrow a Junior Ranger Explorer Pack for your kids!
Cedar Hill State Park Activity Guide
Interpretive Guide to Cedar Hill State Park and Penn Farm Agricultural Center
Cedar Hill State Park is 20 miles from downtown Dallas and 30 miles from downtown Fort Worth. The Metroplex offers sports, museums, music, restaurants, an amusement park, gardens, and much, much more.
You will find restaurants and shopping just five miles from the park.
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Day Use Facitlities
Hot Air Balloons
National Wildlife Refuges
Nature and Outdoors
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