Ever been in a hot tub the size of a city? Well lucky for you now’s your chance! Bathers come from far and wide to enjoy the heated waters thanks to none other than TXU Big Brown power plant! But don’t worry worry, it’s not as suspicious as it sounds. The waters, which sometimes reach as high as 107 degrees fahrenheit, simply act as a cooling reservoir for the plant and thankfully you won’t be finding any mutant 12-eyed fish species living in the lake - just red drum (redfish), stripers and largemouth bass. Swimming, boating, water-skiing and jet-skiing are popular water sports at Fairfield, while 15 miles of mixed trails allow ample opportunity for hiking, biking, horseback riding and ATVing through oaks, cedars, dogwoods, soapberries, wildflowers and more within the 1,460-acres of park territory. A little extra motivation for anglers: catch a red drum bigger than 44 inches and 36.83 lbs and you might just find yourself on the cover of the Fairfield Lake State Park web site just like the current record holder!
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History of Fairfield Lake State Park
Fairfield Lake State Park, 1,460 acres, is northeast of the city of Fairfield in Freestone County. The park was acquired in 1971-1972 by lease from Texas Utilities and was opened to the public in 1976.
The history of the area around Fairfield Lake State Park resembles that of much of rural eastern Texas. Long occupied by Native Americans who hunted and fished its waterways, the land was first plowed in the mid-19th century and planted in cotton and corn by Anglo farmers and, about a third of the time, their African-American slaves. Following the Civil War, the crop-lien system took root. Blacks and whites alike worked in the service of the cotton crop until after World War II, when changes in American agriculture and increased employment opportunities away from the farm brought an end to the era of widespread cotton farming. Since that time, cattle ranching has prevailed throughout the region. The human population of the Brown Creek area, never large, is now widely scattered over the region. In this sparsely populated area, Texas Utilities built its dam, creating Fairfield Lake as a cooling system for its new power plant.