Proud of East Texas: Tyler State Park - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Proud of East Texas: Tyler State Park

(Source: KLTV staff) (Source: KLTV staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

From the beginning, Tyler State Park, which opened in 1939, was an ambitious project, particularly in the midst of the Great Depression.

"The lake that we have here was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, along with the bathhouse and boathouse. These are some of the original buildings."

Boyd Sanders says he's always loved history and the out of doors, so being a park interpreter for visitors here, is what he calls his dream job.

"They talk about the adventures they've had in the woods, the fun times they've had in our interpretive programs. They're making memories and that's what makes this job awesome."

Sanders says he also gets to tell about Texas history and teach people how to build safe campfires to roast those smores, that are favorites of all generations.

"I teach bird watching and even this week we're going to talk about Caddo Indians.

The 985-acre park, which was once Caddo Indian hunting grounds, also offers hiking trails, mountain biking trails, boating, and fishing.

"We have...sun fish are very numerous. In the wintertime, we stock it with anywhere from 4 to 5,000 trout."

"I'll tell you a secret. We have really large mouth bass here."

Only a couple of weeks ago, Sanders weighed in a 12 pounder.

Campers, who can sleep in anything from tents to air conditioned cabins, come from all over East Texas and the metroplex. The camp is also a favorite of foreign visitors.

"A lot of people from other nations and other parts of the U.S. don't realize that we have huge trees in Texas, so the Piney Woods in new for them."

While June is the most popular month for camping, Sanders says the fall is the best time weatherwise. But whatever time of year it is, Boyd Sanders just loves his job.

"I'm part of their family memories when they come out to the park. That's what I'm here for."

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