Hike to Penitentiary Hollow via Red Waterfront Trail

Texas Lake Mineral Wells State Park Entrance

  • Activities:

    Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    1.5 Miles

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Scenic

Hike the 1.5 mile Red Waterfront Trail on the Eastern shore of the beautiful Lake Mineral Wells to the unique Penitentiary Hollow. Here you'll find four huge Elm trees shooting out of the rocky canyon floor.

Lake Mineral Wells is one of the closest state parks in the area located less than an hour and a half from Dallas and only 45 minutes from Fort Worth. It sits in the heart of cattle country and offers several outdoor adventures.

The trail starts from the Eastern parking lot and heads straight towards the water before it bears to the right and follows along the shore. There are several docks that lead off of the trail over the water that provide a great view of the entire lake. After .52 miles you will reach Penitentiary Hollow- a unique geological feature that resembles a small canyon. Inside the hollow are four huge Elm trees that grow out of the rocky floor and offer a spectacular sight to walk among.

This is a perfect day trip from the DFW area, but there are tons of established campgrounds as well primitive sites if you want to make it an overnight trip!

Lake Mineral Wells State Park Map

Pack List

  • Hiking Shoes
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • $7 entrance fee and free with Texas State Parks Pass
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Reviews

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Essentially the only climbing area near Dallas, Mineral Wells is a worthwhile drive to get some top-roping in. This easy approach is just down the dirt trail that starts to the right of the parking lot. If you get hungry, you can easily trot back up for snacks and water.

6 months ago
6 months ago

Just did this hike this weekend and I loved it. I will be back soon .

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Korey TaylorExplorer

The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

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