Traveling west out of Mineral Wells on Texas Highway 180 you will travel for several miles and eventually arrive in Palo Pinto Texas. Palo Pinto is a real small town. The town square consists of the county courthouse and a few old run down buildings. Not much prosperity in Palo Pinto, apparently.
The last time I was in town, one of the buildings on the town square was open, an antique shop, but this time they were all closed up. The Palo Pinto Cafe was open. I didn’t stop in. I never do because I always seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere else when I’m in Palo Pinto. If you’re interested, you can find some historic relics around town. I think there’s an old jail still standing. You could find information on this sort of stuff in the Texas Historical Commission Atlas.
So I pulled off the town square and headed west. I was going to Albany, after all, no time for lallygagging here. And I drove for a while. And then I realized what it is about Palo Pinto, the town and the county, that’s worth a look. It’s the Palo Pinto Mountains. It doesn’t make for a good picture, mountains on both sides of the road. My camera doesn’t have that wide a lens, and besides some visual experiences just can’t be conveyed with a photograph. If you spend a lot of time in Dallas Fort Worth, the landscape here is different. They have real honest to gosh mountains.
The stretch of Highway 180 between Palo Pinto and Breckenridge Texas is stunning for it’s mountainous terrain and scenery. At least it is for someone like me who lives in the DFW area. Farm Road 4 going south from Palo Pinto is very scenic and you get up close to the mountains. Highway 16 north of Highway 180 heading up to Possum Kingdom Lake is another great drive. This area is great for a scenic drive in the fall or spring. Canoeing in the Brazos River is popular, probably at least partially because of the scenery.
Consider a fall ride in Palo Pinto County and the surrounding area for scenery. This is about as close as you are going to get to fall foliage near North Texas.
County: Palo Pinto
Copyright © 2008 by Sam Fenstermacher
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