On the Road
Be charmed by the history and fishing in East Texas' Wood County
Nestled in the piney woods of East Texas, about 90 minutes from Dallas-Fort Worth, Wood County is a little haven that’s perfect for a weekend getaway.
Known as the best fishing destination in Texas, Wood County is home to four major county lakes, the most famous of which is Lake Fork.
At 27,264 acres and 315 miles of shoreline, it was designed to be a premier bass fishing lake and currently holds records for 34 out of the top 50 largemouth bass caught in Texas.
Of course, there are plenty of non-fishing lake activities to love in Wood County, too, from boating to swimming and more.
The county’s distinct communities — Mineola, Winnsboro, Quitman, and Hawkins — are destinations with active downtown districts, shopping, events and festivals, and more. Here’s what makes each one unique.
You’ll want to book a stay at the Fall Farm Country Inn, a charming bed-and-breakfast on 10 acres in the Piney Woods. It’s a chic country getaway and conveniently located with access to anywhere you’d want to go in Mineola and beyond.
First stop is the Mineola Nature Preserve, located along the Sabine River, which has numerous hiking and equestrian trails and boasts 193 species of birds, wildlife, buffalo, and longhorn cattle.
Then, go from land to water on the Mineola Bigfoot Paddling Trail, which runs for 11 miles on the Sabine River and offers a wild and scenic journey of East Texas.
In Mineola’s red-brick-paved, historic downtown district, you'll find antique shops, boutiques, art studios, coffee shops, taverns, and bars with live music on the weekends.
Stay at the Mineola Beckham Hotel, which was originally built in 1886 and boasts a colorful and likely haunted history as a "railroad hotel" with stints as a Prohibition speakeasy and music school for the likes of Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves.
The town is also home to one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in Texas, the famous Select Theater that opened in 1920. They feature first-run movies every weekend and host Lake County Playhouse productions.
Also downtown, the Iron Horse Square is a five-acre area that celebrates the town's railroad heritage with walking paths, mini train rides, and events throughout the year.
As a designated Texas Main Street city and Texas designated cultural arts district, Winnsboro is known for its historic downtown and its vibrant culture.
The Winnsboro Center for the Arts embraces the spirit of creativity. The Bowery Stage, an intimate, 88-seat listening room with incredible acoustics for concerts, hosts art exhibits, workshops, literary events, and music and theater productions.
The annual Winnsboro Art & Wine Festival, on November 11-12, 2022, brings in artists from around the country to participate in the juried event while wineries from around Texas bring their award-winning wines for sampling. You’ll also get a taste of craft brews, specialty foods, and more.
Speaking of food, The Barrel House Bar & Grill serves up Southern comfort food, often with a side of live music. And Liefie brings the flavors of modern South Africa — a mix of traditional African, Eastern, and European dishes — to Winnsboro’s historic, small-town setting.
Save the date for the month-long Autumn Trails Festival in October that’s jam-packed with pageants and parades, a classic car show, mule rodeo, baking contests and chili cook-offs, trail rides, and more.
And don’t miss the weekly Winnsboro Farmers’ Market every April through October, where you can shop fresh produce from local farmers and other goods. It was recently voted the second best farmers market in the Southwest, beating out hundreds of others.
You’ll be charmed by Quitman's Main Street, with its shops and boutiques, the Wood County Courthouse, and popular spots like Speakeasy Coffee House, which features pop-up yoga sessions, special dining events, and live music on the weekends.
For your nature fix, head to Wood County Arboretum, which covers 23 acres and includes a walking trail, gazebo, sensory garden, shade garden, a water garden, numerous rose and flower beds, and the historic, 1869-built Stinson House.
Hawkins is known for its Oil Festival, a longstanding event every fall that celebrates the booming oil industry that helped the town grow.
On the agenda is a parade with floats, a car show, food booths, a kids zone, arts and crafts, live music, a pancake breakfast, and more.
Learn more about what Wood County has to offer here.