PROPERTY OVERVIEW: As the largest private water offering in the state of Texas and the premier rural land asset in the lower 48 states, Fairfield Lake is a once in a generation opportunity. And there will be only one shot at acquiring it.
At the heart of this unique property of approximately 5,025 acres is Fairfield Lake-an estimated 2,400-acre body of water surrounded by a 21-mile elevated shoreline blanketed with a mature hardwood forest. A deep-water asset of this scale is the only offering of its kind.
Within the 5,025+/- total acres is Fairfield Lake State Park, approximately1,800 acres, that's recognized as one of Texas' finest. Inside the park, are 8+/- miles of highway grade blacktop two lane roads, bridges, concrete boat ramps, truck and trailer parking with underground power running throughout. The park property is leased to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and can be continued or canceled with sufficient notice to TPWD.
Fairfield Lake is in a premier location in Freestone County, Texas just east of Interstate 45, which is centrally located between Dallas ~95 miles, Houston ~160 miles, and Austin ~170. There is a ~34 square mile drainage basin flowing into this highly desirable asset that offers fishing, recreation, and a multitude of potential development concepts such as entertainment, recreational or commercial-based.
The remaining acreage, ~825 acres (Northern Acreage), located on the northern shoreline of the lake adds to the uniqueness of the property with two extremely rare private islands connected via a land bridge to each. Future development of the ~150-acre and ~30-acre islands is limited only by one's imagination. Situated between the two islands are ~140 acres that was formally a corporate park/meeting center. Improvements include an 1970's vintage conference center, a brick home that was converted into office space and a ~15-acre park on a manicured picturesque overlook of the lake. Both structures could use updating, but this area offers significant opportunities for its future use. The rustic, remote and mainly untouched landscape is full of wildlife and offers exceptional hunting and fishing opportunities.
Property acreages consist of the following:
TPWD Fairfield Lake State Park = 1,800+/- Acres
Fairfield Lake = 2,400+/- Acres
Northern Acreage = 825+/- Acres
Total= 5,025+/- Acres
LOCATION: Centrally located between Dallas, Houston, and Austin, east of Interstate 45, less than seven miles northeast of the picturesque town of Fairfield, population 2,900. This property is in the Post Oak Savannah Region of Texas on the forested eastern edge of Freestone County near the Trinity River. Fairfield State Park's physical address is: 123 State Park Road 64, Fairfield, TX 75840.
DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL: With over 21 miles of undeveloped shoreline, this property is a blank canvas offering massive development potential. Ownership uses could range from a private ranch, hunting and fishing club to residential, commercial, corporate, leisure, theme park, and resort development. The Seller owns a railroad asset that may be available to purchase with limited land surrounding the RR line. The RR is not included in the current asking price.The possibilities for the future of Fairfield Lake are countless.
ACCESS & ROAD FRONTAGE: Access to Fairfield Lake is highly desirable with FM 2570 providing access to the North side of the lake, and FM 3285 providing access to the South side of the property. FM 3285 turns into Park Road 64 upon entering the park. County Road 235 provides additional access points to the northeast side of the property, leading to the south and north sides of the lake dam.
DIRECTIONS: From Interstate 45 in Fairfield, TX, go east on HWY 84 to FM 488, stay right on FM 2570, then turn right on FM 3285 until this road dead-ends into Park Road 64 at the entrance of Fairfield Lake State Park.
PROPERTY HISTORY: In 1969, Texas Power and Light Company constructed a dam on Big Brown Creek to create Fairfield Lake. The lake would serve as the cooling reservoir for the Big Brown Power Plant. Fairfield Lake finalized construction in 1969 with the plant operational in 1971.
Big Brown Power Plant warmed the waters of Fairfield Lake year-round, creating a thriving fishery that quickly became popular among anglers across the state. TPWD opened Fairfield Lake State Park in 1976.
The retirement of the power plant in 2018 opened this incredible opportunity to now acquire this unique expansive property.
FAIRFIELD LAKE: This spectacular, recreational lake has exceptional fishing, water skiing, boating activities, and swimming. With an estimated depth of 50 feet at its deepest point, the lake is fed by Big Brown Creek, Little Brown Creek, Hanna Branch, Harpers Branch, Powell Branch, Ball Branch and Dry Branch.
There are currently two public boat ramps located inside the park and one private boat ramp on the north side of the lake. All three concrete ramps are in excellent condition providing multiple access points around the lake.
FISHERIES: While the power plant operated, fishing enthusiasts routinely flocked to Fairfield Lake for the warmed winter water to catch redfish, catfish and largemouth bass. A tropical species, Blue tilapia, took advantage of the warm waters and thrived, but have since disappeared.
After the plant retired, reports of the fisheries have actually improved. Native fish have adjusted to the cooler waters extremely well with 8-10lb largemouth bass being regularly caught. The lake record largemouth is 13.01 lbs. Other current fish species include, catfish, bluegill, sunfish, carp, and alligator gar. There are no crappie, white bass, hybrid bass, or stripers adding to the quality of this black bass fishery.
WATER RIGHTS: Per the December 18, 1967 Certificate of Adjudication, 50,600-acre feet of impoundment rights. In addition, there are 14,150-acre feet of consumptive water rights out of Big Brown Creek that are being retained by the current owner though the opportunity exists to purchase all or a portion of the consumptive water rights. At normal pool, Fairfield Lake stores 44,169 acre-feet of water according to Freese & Nichols 2020 Dam Inspection Report at the normal pool level of 310 feet.
Included in the sale is a water pipeline running from the south end of the lake dam to an inoperable pumping station on the Trinity River via a deeded easement through two adjacent owners. There are currently no water rights or pumping rights from the Trinity River associated with the line.
LAKE DAM: Fairfield Lake's dam is a 4,350-foot earthen dam that maintained its Low Hazard classification from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) after its 2020 inspection. Diligent upkeep of the dam by the current owner, including the installation of fencing to deter the area's feral hogs, have kept maintenance costs low relative to dams of similar size.
Fairfield Lake's dam has aLarge dam classification due to the total lake storage exceeding 50,000-acre feet in storage capacity at the top of the dam. Conservation Pool of 44,169-acre feet and Top of Dam Storage of 70,840-acre feet (per F&N 2020 Report).
Maximum height: 77 feet above the original streambed.
Embankment side slopes: 3 horizontal to 1 vertical
Downstream slope: includes a 130-foot wide stabilizing berm below elevation 290 feet.
Upstream slope: protected by soil cement extending from the crest down to a five-foot berm at elevation 295 feet.
Constructing a dam of this magnitude today would be nearly impossible to get permitted and the cost would be extremely expensive.
PRIMARY & EMERGENCY SPILLWAYS: The 66-foot wide primary spillway is concrete with two 30' x 14' radial Tainter gates that control discharges as needed (including one six-foot wide pier). There is also a backup generator in place, should the dam ever lose power. In addition to the primary spillway, the emergency spillway elevation is at 314-feet compared to the normal pool level of 310-feet above sea level.
FAIRFIELD STATE PARK: The park, roughly 1,800 acres, encompasses the southern "half" of the lake, with most of the facilities on the south and southeast shoreline. Upon entry, guests are greeted at the check-in station by TPWD Park Rangers, who guide visitors to a variety of activities and programs within the park.
The park is extremely well kept with attention to detail around every corner. The park's exceptional road system is highlighted by miles of two lane black top roads meandering through storybook hardwood canopy. Upon settling in on your adventure, activities could include primitive camping, RV camping, hiking, biking, horseback trail riding, nature studies, bird watching, kayaking, water skiing, jet skiing and fishing. Watching children at play on the gently sloping sandy bottom beach area makes for a perfect ending to event filled days at Fairfield Lake.
Points of interest in the park include the Hill Homestead Well, Chancellor Union Cemetery, Ski Cove Overlook, and the Dockery Trail Overlook. The park improvements currently include a check-in station/shop, dining hall, two park ranger residences, two floating boat docks, two concrete boat ramps with paved turnaround access points, fish cleaning stations, fishing pier, parking areas, numerous restrooms & shower facilities, primitive campsites, RV camping with water and electric to most sites, amphitheater, sand volleyball court, swing set, picnic areas complete with fire pits and grills, Wi-Fi hotspots, maintenance facilities and underground electric run to all improvements inside the park. If the park lease is canceled by the new owner, TPWD has the right to remove any improvements inside the park within 90 days of the cancelation.
TERRAIN: The sandy loam land consists of elevation changes of approximately 130 feet. Elevation is approximately 250 feet above sea level at its lowest and approximately 380 feet above sea level at its highest. There are several creeks and drainages meandering through the landscape feeding into the lake and wetland areas.
TREE COVER & PASTURELAND: The high banks surrounding Fairfield Lake consist of an old growth hardwood canopy. Improved grasses dominate the north end of the lake and lake dam. Native grasses thrive in the open meadows throughout the park. Uplands consist of a variety of oaks intermixed with flowering dogwoods during the Spring bloom. Towering oak, elm, pecan, and ash trees grow in the rich bottomlands along Big Brown Creek.
WETLANDS: Behind the spillway there is shallow drainage that feeds into ~6-acre and ~3-acre wetland areas. Alternatively, the south end of the lake presents multiple wetland ecosystems. Waterfowl can be found in the backwaters of Fairfield Lake as well as 5-6 semi-open flooded timber holes scattered along the two main creek systems feeding the lake. Wetland cattail, bulrush, and water lily along the lake's edge create a marshland oasis for birds, turtles, and frogs.
WILDLIFE: The array of wildlife includes an abundance of white-tailed deer, armadillos, raccoons, river otters, beavers, squirrels, foxes, bobcats and coyotes. Sights of the skies include 180 species of birds including herons, raptors, songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl. Bald eagles spend their winter months at the lake and colorful painted buntings are frequently seen in the summertime.
MINERALS: No minerals are believed to be owned by the Seller and none will convey.
There are 3 active gas wells on the interior of the property.
OUTPARCELS: Hopewell Church is located within the Young Cemetery on the north side of the property on a small 30-acre island connected by a land bridge. On the south side of the lake, surrounded by the park, is the Chancellor Union Cemetery, a Texas Historic Landmark with ties to the Civil War. Both cemeteries are not believed to negatively impact the property, but to provide history and areas of interest.
STRUCTURAL IMPROVEMENTS: There are two ranger residences and numerous other facilities in the park. In the northern acreage there is one residence converted into office space and a conference center with overnight facilities. The residence and conference center need significant refurbishment. There are also several maintenance buildings for storing equipment and materials. The homes/conference center vary in condition and none of the homes or other structures contribute substantially to the property's overall asking price.
EASEMENTS/RIGHT-OF-WAYS: There is one main gas pipeline that crosses the park with three feeder lines to each of the well sites. Two cell towers, one being an easement and the other a lease. The Oncor tower is a perpetual easement with no income associated with the tower. The second tower, operated for Verizon, is a lease and generates monthly income. Both towers are located on the northern acreage.
AIRPORTS: Teague Municipal Airport (68F). located ~18.5 miles Southwest of Fairfield Lake, Lat: N 31 degrees 39.68' Lon: W 96 degrees 18.60'. The runway measures up to approximately 3300' long by 50' wide. Fuel: None
Palestine Municipal Airport (PSN). Located ~41.4 miles Northeast of Fairfield Lake, Lat. N 31 degrees 46.78' Lon. W 95 degrees 42.38'. The runway measures up to approximately 4003' long by 75' wide. Fuel: Jet A & 100LL
Corsicana Municipal Airport. Located ~41.6 miles Northwest of Fairfield Lake, Lat. N 32 degrees 01.68' Lon: W 96 degrees 24.03'. The runway measures up to approximately 3200' long by 75' wide. Fuel: Jet A& 100LL Self-Serve & Full Service
HOSPITALS: Located in the town of Fairfield is Freestone Medical Center. The full-service 24-hour hospital is minutes away from Fairfield Lake.
UTILITIES: Electricity is provided by Navarro Electric Cooperative. Electric lines are primarily underground in the park to promote the natural scenery and views for visitors and above ground on the remainder of the property. As part of the park are two sewage treatment plants and two water treatment plants to accommodate guests and park facilities.
GROUND WATER: There are no existing residential water wells on the north end of the property to our knowledge. Water to the park is supplied by 3 water wells drilled into the Wilcox Aquifer. The well completed depths range from 431-549' with production being 30-50 GPM per the original well schedules. No recent test reports are available to our knowledge.
SCHOOL DISTRICT: Fairfield Independent School District, which includes Fairfield High School, Fairfield Junior High School, Fairfield Intermediate School and Fairfield Elementary School.
PROPERTY TAXES: The property taxes for 2020 were $33,715. The property is not Ag Exempt.
ASKING PRICE: $110,550,000 ($22,000 per acre)
Cash McWhorter, Broker/Partner
Blake Hortenstine, Broker/Partner
BROKER & COMMISSION DISCLOSURE: Buyer's Agent/Broker must be identified upon first contact with Listing Broker/Listing Agent and Buyer's Agent/Broker must be present at the initial property tour to participate in the real estate commission. Co-Operating brokers/agents are being offered 1% commission based on the gross sales price.