Mineola, TX 75773
Quiet or lively, serene or athletic – it does not matter what your ideal setting for fun is, Mineola boasts plenty of enjoyable ways for the young and the young at heart to spend their time.
One of the newer and most popular attractions is the 2,911-acre Mineola Nature Preserve on the Sabine River. Visitors who include hikers, nature lovers, photographers, bird watchers, horsemen, and bicyclists can enjoy the pastoral sight of grazing buffalo and longhorn cattle as they enter the park. The further you delve into the trails, the more chance you will have of spotting some of the documented 193 species of birds there. The preserve is the “Birding Capital of East Texas.” The wetland habitat also offers numerous species of plants and animals, as well as the tranquility and curiosities of nature.
In recent years a canoe landing has been developed for enthusiasts on which to launch and travel through the preserve along the Sabine River. Also at the preserve, archers can sharpen their skills at the park’s archery range. There are stocked fishing ponds (one of which is even ADA accessible), a pavilion with picnic tables and restrooms, and a new playground area. The preserve is home to a new disc golf course that is gaining popularity in the area and hosts tournaments from time to time.
While in town to visit the preserve, the varied businesses in Mineola provide fun and intriguing places to shop, and the restaurants can tempt almost any palate from Texas barbecue to fantastic burgers and famous patty melts, juicy steaks, pizza, coffee, cafes, fried pies, sweets, Mexican cuisine, and even gluten-free choices.
Some of the other things that bring folks to town include the Mineola Youth Foundation, Meredith Memorial Football Stadium (home of the Class 3A Div. 1 State Champion football team), as well as the Mineola Civic Center, Mineola Country Club golf course, Select Theater, Lake Holbrook, and the other nearby county lakes. Historic Wisener Field Airport, home of the Royal Flying Circus, Wood County Collins Field Airport, and Highways 80, 69, and 37 are ways visitors arrive in town, not to mention Amtrak’s Texas Eagle that stops here twice a day.
The Mineola Youth Foundation hosts the boys and girls of summer and has for generations. Meredith Memorial Stadium has hosted other towns’ championship games and most recently, a high school marching band contest that drew droves of musicians and their entourages to Mineola. The country club and its golf course are one of Mineola’s oldest attractions. While it is a country club, you do not have to be a member or be with a member to play. It is considered one of the top 9-hole courses in the state.
Wisener Field Airport recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the moment when a barnstormer touched down in a meadow on the northwest side of Mineola. Wood County Airport, with its modern-day accouterments, was recently renamed to include the name of the long-time and former board chairman, Wayne Collins, who has shepherded its development.
Visitors will find a fenced and secure area at the civic center that incorporates concrete recreational vehicle pads with full hookups. Mineola’s newest attraction - a spectacular splash park - offers play areas for toddlers to teens alike. There is also a shaded pavilion with restrooms and a concession stand and room for birthday parties or other events. There are lighted tennis courts, picnic tables and a playground, and sidewalks that stretch for a mile around and through the park. On any given day you will find joggers, tennis players, soccer teams, RV campers, and pet owners enjoying the park on the northeast side of town. The center is also the location of Meredith Hall, one of the popular event locations in town.
The Historic Select Theater is the longest continuously operating movie theater in Texas. First opening in 1920, The Select has kept pace with the ever-changing technology of the motion picture industry while maintaining the charm of a single-screen theater in a small town. The building retains much of its original style and ambiance today, still showing first-run movies with an updated sound. In 1978, the Lake Country Playhouse was formed and has brought live music and theater productions to the Select ever since, doing 4 live plays each year (one for each season).
The Mineola Historical Museum is located just off of Downtown in the old post office building. Walking through the museum's front doors plunges one into a journey through the past, told through over 4,200 square feet of exhibits detailing the people, glory days, and moments in time that have forged the town of Mineola. Mineola's Historic Downtown District is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the US Department of Interior. Listing in the National Register is a great honor and an achievement for a community. The Historical Museum is proud to be the "first" building to receive its National Register plaque and it is proudly displayed on the building since November 1, 2013. Admission is free and Group tours are available by request. In addition to the museum, there are over 40 historical markers in the city.
Iron Horse Square is a five-acre area in downtown Mineola that celebrates the railroad heritage of our city, county, and East Texas area. Situated between Front and Commerce Streets and alongside the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, the park hosts the popular mini train (2nd and 4th Saturdays April-September). Visitors come from all over the area to ride the 15-inch gauge replica of a Union Pacific train and children love the train-themed playground area. The Historic Mineola Depot Museum with a model railroad replicating 1930’s Mineola & her 3 railroads are located there as well. The model train layout is used as an educational tool for individuals and groups who are seeking to learn about Mineola/East Texas and her railroad history. The model trains have the capability of being run remotely from inside and outside the train room. The Depot also is a working depot for Amtrak. The Silver Eagle train stops there twice a day. 9:20 am and 5:20 pm. The Mineola Farmers Market makes its home just west of the depot (Saturdays May-November) and hosts local merchants with produce, food products, and crafts.
Mineola, TX 75773