Cleburne is a charming Texas town with a fascinating history that offers plenty of outdoor recreation and a few other surprises. Fishing on Lake Pat Cleburne, mountain biking at Cleburne State Park, and exploring the old Chisholm Trail may be some of the popular things to do in Cleburne, but that’s not all there is to experience here. From museums to its very own theater, Cleburne has something to offer just about anyone. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of some of the top things to do while you’re in town.
If you’re a theater lover who wants to experience a top-class performance in an intimate setting at an affordable price, it doesn’t get any better than The Plaza Theatre Company. Tickets can be purchased on the company’s website.
The romantic image of the cowboy driving a herd of cattle through the frontier is one of the most enduring symbols of the American West. But in Cleburne, it was an essential part of its history. Cleburne sits near the historic Chisholm Trail, a route used by cowboys in the 19th-century to drive thousands of head of cattle from Texas to Kansas. This trail played a significant role in helping Cleburne grow from a small frontier town to a bustling commercial center. Today, you can take a walk through the past by visiting The Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum, a living history park that contains the site of Wardville, the first seat of Johnson County. Here you'll see a blacksmith shop, stagecoach station, replica teepees, and the original log Johnson County courthouse, along with reenactors dressed in period clothing.
Native Americans were also an important part of the history of Texas and the American West, and their story is told at the Big Bear Native American Museum located within The Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum. Displays of artifacts, vintage photographs, and artwork provide an overview of 13,000 years of history before the arrival of the Europeans. The outdoor and Native American museums provide a fun and educational activity for anyone to enjoy, regardless of how old they are. So if you're interested in history, then saddle up and discover the Chisholm Trail.
Is fishing a permanent fixture on your vacation to-do list? If so, then you need to spend some time at Lake Pat Cleburne. The more than 1,500-acre lake offers some of the best fishing in North Texas, along with plenty of fantastic scenery. Largemouth bass, white bass, sunfish, and channel catfish are some of the most common species that live within the lake, located just southwest of Cleburne. You can try your hand at catching any of these fish on the open water or on the shore, in case you don't have your own boat. Boat slips are available on the east side of the lake at the end of FM 1718 and on the western shore on Hagler Road. If fishing isn't your cup of tea but you still want to enjoy the lake, you're in luck. The lake's access points are popular swimming spots, although you'll have to do so at your own risk since there are no lifeguards on duty. Lake Pat Cleburne's great fishing and ideal location just minutes from downtown Cleburne make it a must-visit during your time here.
Cleburne State Park has built a lofty reputation for having some of the best mountain biking trails in Texas. In fact, Mountain Bike Texas ranked the park's trails among the most technical and the most scenic in the state. Nearly six miles of challenging trails wind through dense wooded areas and wide-open wildflower fields while offering great views of the picturesque Cedar Lake. These trails range from easy to difficult, so you'll likely find something appropriate for your skill level. Whether you're looking for an enjoyable nature ride or a true test of your skill, you'll find it in Cleburne State Park. Just make sure to bring your bike.
Cleburne State Park is open year-round from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
If you're a fan of the book or the movie, then the Gone With The Wind Remembered Museum is an essential stop on your visit to Cleburne.
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