Mother Neff State Park is where I found myself last weekend on a camping adventure at the end of a frenzied work week. I use the word “adventure” because discovering item after item I had forgotten to pack was a total adventure.
I don’t know who is their groundskeeper, because I didn’t see a single staff person, but the entire park was tidier than a museum. Everything from the headquarters to camp sites to restrooms to roads and trails looked like it had just been power washed, pruned, or swept. The road going through the park was brand new.
MNSP is on the smaller end of the spectrum but it’s just right for a one or two-night trip.
It’s handy. Easy to get to off I-35 and easy to reserve. Many of our state parks book up months in advance, but if you’re like me, you aren’t always planning that far ahead.
On your way in to the park, you can see that Mother Neff is surrounded by miles and miles of flat farmland. When you get on the trails, the terrain becomes very hilly and there is actually a cave you can visit, which I found to be unexpected in such a flat area.
Perhaps most entertaining was hearing the owls hoot at night. My little neice Grace loved listening for their calls and sending back her own hoots in their direction.
Mother Neff really is perfect for kids Grace’s age (3) and younger who need short, easy trails with a variety of features to keep their interest.
In addition to the cave, there was a pond and a tall rock tower with great views of the park.
Grace and I pretended to be Rapunsel letting down our hair from the top of the “castle.”
Grace proved that a high energy 3 year old could stay entertained at Mother Neff for 24 straight hours.
The bouncy air mattress in our tent which was so fun to jump on may have had something to do with it.
All in all it was a good little park.I think it may get old after more than a day and a half, but in these busy times we live in, sometimes that’s all you have.
If I had to sum it up on a bumper sticker, I would say:
Mother Neff State Park, perfect one-night camping trip!
Mother Neff State Park, best for small children!
Mother Neff State Park, our bathrooms are clean! Does anything else matter?
Last but not least, be sure to bring your own hand soap as the it is not provided in the restrooms.
You may need it to wash off your child’s face after they decide to nap face down in the dirt…