Want to know what east-central Texas is all about? Groesbeck, TX is your one-stop-shop!
Ranging from Confederate meeting places to LGBTQ+ campgrounds, this town truly has it all.
(Related: Is Groesbeck, TX Safe?)
Groesbeck was dedicated as a township in 1869, named after a railroad director. His name was Adam Groesbeeck, but the post office demanded a simpler spelling.
City government development began in 1871. In 1873 the city became Limestone County’s county seat.
It had a population around 4,300 as of the 2010 census.
Where exactly is Groesbeck, TX? How far is it from major cities?
Groesbeck, TX is in east-central Texas.
It takes two hours and 20 minutes to drive from Groesbeck to Houston via I-45 S.
It takes an hour and a half to drive from Groesbeck to Dallas via TX-14 N and I-45 N.
It takes about two hours to drive from Groesbeck to Austin via I-35 S.
Things to do in Groesbeck, TX
1. Fort Parker State Park
Fort Parker State Park is on the banks of the Navasota. You can witness the past and present colliding at this breathtaking park. Just like the past and present, two unique ecosystems collide too.
Explore on kayak, bike, or foot!
Get excited! You can go geocaching, paddling, watch birds and nature, picnic, camp, hike, bike, and fish! Don’t miss the sunset, and don’t forget your camera either.
There are seven miles of trails to walk or bike. Take in views like spring-fed Lake Springfield, the Navasota River Springs, the Springfield Cemetery, and more.
You don’t need a fishing license to go fishing from the shores of the river or lake, or on a boat in the lake. You only need one if you’re fishing from a boat on the river. You’ll find two boat ramps, two fishing piers, and a station to clean fish. You can also loan fishing gear!
Enjoy the five-mile Limestone Bluffs Paddling Trail by kayak or canoe.
There are cabins, screened shelters, and campsites for you to stay overnight!
194 Park Rd, Mexia, TX 76667f
2. Old Fort Parker Historic Site
Old Fort Parker is a sight you have to see if you’re a history buff! It will give you the inside scoop on what it was like to be an early pioneer in what would become Texas.
Step back in time into the 1830’s and live the frontier life.
Fort Parker was established by the Parker family and other members of the Pilgrim Predestinarian Baptist Church.
The Fort Parker massacre took place in May of 1836 when Native Americans raided the fort and killed members of the Parker family. The 9-year-old daughter was taken and spent most of her life with the Comanche and gave birth to a son who ended up being the last Chief of the Comanches.
866 Park Rd 35, Groesbeck, TX 76642
3. Limestone County Historical Museum
The Limestone County Historical Museum presents the history of Limestone County through a number of captivating exhibits. There are photographs and artifacts about notable people, the Mexia Oil Boom, the military, agriculture, railroads, schools, Fort Parker, early settlers, and Native Americans!
Admission is free, with donations welcomed.
The museum also has a small collection of fossils from Limestone County.
210 W Navasota St, Groesbeck, TX 76642
4. Limestone County Fairgrounds
The Limestone County Fairgrounds hosts the annual UPRA Rodeo and Limestone County Youth Fair. It is a facility that gets a lot of use, including:
UPRA and CPRA rodeos
Livestock and equine clinics
Junior and High School rodeos
The fairgrounds are a recent construction, only established in 2019. However, the grounds have become a community hub and have hosted many exciting events throughout their short time here. State and regional sponsors enjoy the quiet atmosphere and economic fees of the fairgrounds.
There have always been weekday and weekend activities since the inception of the grounds, truly serving everyone’s schedule.
People from all around the county make the drive to the fairgrounds for true Texas fun!
922 N Tyus St, Groesbeck, TX 76642
5. Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site
The Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site honors a place where Confederate veterans and their families became reunited between 1889 and 1946. Today, it is still a place to gather for family reunions and special events.
It has a 1902 dance pavilion, ruins of structures from the Mexia Oil Boom and Roaring 20s, and a Civil War-era cannon.
Starting in the 1880s, veterans of the Civil War, including Union and Confederate soldiers, wanted a meeting place to celebrate and talk about their experiences and sacrifices in the war.
Despite the strife of Reconstruction, a strong sense of comradery persisted and Confederate veterans continued to meet. In 1888 they started to meet annually under the full moon, arriving by trains, buggy, and horses all the way from Houston and Dallas.
FM 1633, Mexia, TX 76667
6. Lake Limestone Public Park
Lake Limestone Public Park is on the stunning Navasota River and has, hands down, the best fishing on any lake in central Texas.
Found on the road not taken, anglers won’t have many people to compete with- especially on weekdays. The added solitude of the lake really puts it over the edge and makes it a favorite among locals- and a hidden gem they try not to let tourists know about!
Spring is the best time to catch largemouth mass that are quality in size, although you can catch them all year. You can find flathead, channel, and blue catfish, with channel being the most prominent.
White bass and crappie fishing is best in spring when they spawn. Quality-sized sunfish are very hard to find.
You’ll discover gently sloping banks and lots of aquatic vegetation to give you lots of options of fishing coverage. There are also docks and boathouses at your disposal. Even better, five freshwater fish reefs were recently added to the lake. GPS and fish finders can be used to find them!
County Rd 775, Groesbeck, TX 76642
7. Rainbow Ranch Campground
Rainbow Ranch is an LGBTQ+ campground found in Central Texas on Lake Limestone. It was awarded Dallas Voice’s Readers Voice Award for BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY in ‘09, ‘10, ‘13. ‘16, ‘17, ‘18, and ‘19!
It’s the largest LGBT campground in the state of Texas, where LGBT people can be themselves freely. There are alternating event weekends throughout the year, and you’re also welcome to visit on an “off” weekend for a more serene, quieter atmosphere.
The Ranch has almost 700 acres at your disposal, for walking, bike riding, hiking, and fishing!
Just know that it books up fast- it’s that good! So if you want to reserve a site, do it well in advance.
1662 Lcr 800, Groesbeck, TX 76642
8. Billy B’s Sale Barn Cafe
Billy B’s is always busy for a reason!
If you want to get to know what the locals are like, this is the “go-to” restaurant of choice for many. It’s a no-brainer top 5 burger spot in Texas. Service is outstanding and the steak is no joke either.
If you’re really hungry- good! This place has huge portions that always deliver.
1401 TX-164, Groesbeck, TX 76642
9. Groesbeck City Park Disc Golf
Okay, before we dive in, let’s go over Disc Golf 101!
Disc golf is similar to golf, except you’re using frisbees and targets instead of balls and holes. Courses usually have 9 or 18 holes. A hole is complete when you throw a disc from a tee pad towards a target- otherwise known as a basket.
Then you throw from where the disc landed, until you reach the basket.
The Groesbeck City Park Disc Golf course was built in 2019 and has been a favorite among the sport’s cult following ever since.
It has 9 holes with lots of flat areas- perfect for beginners. Some throws are long, challenging your distance capabilities.