Things To Do in East Texas – Mineola Nature Preserve

Things to Do in East TX, Mineola Nature Preserve

So first I have to give a shout out to my amazing Moms Inc. group. I loved my MOPs group in Boston so much that as soon as we got down here I stared hunting for a new group to be a part of. Through the MOPs website I found a group that was formerly a MOPs group but this year went a slightly different direction and became Moms Inc. which combines all the best things from Mops, playdates, and Meetup type groups!

A few weeks ago for our table’s playdate we headed over to the Mineola Nature Preserve just outside of Mineola, TX. We had never been there before and I was so impressed with how awesome it was that I wanted to share it with you–if you’re in the area definitely check it out! All kinds of wonderful outdoor fun and it’s free!

Things to Do in East TX, Mineola Nature Preserve

Right off of the main parking lot there is this awesome little fishing pond. It’s full of minnows along with the bigger fish and you can buy food to fatten up those fishes if you’re not in the mood for trying to catch them!

Mineola Nature Preserve Fishing Pond

The girls loved it–we probably could have spent a good hour here alone!

Mineola Nature Preserve

But there was an alligator to see! (more on him later!!) so off we hiked! For a good part of the way the path was paved which was nice for all us mommies with strollers!

Mineola Nature Preserve Buffalo

There were buffalo that made me feel right at home…..

Mineola Nature Preserve Long Horn Cattle

and Longhorns! Yey Texas!

Mineola Nature Preserve

The kids all loved this bright little guy! (as did I!)

Mineola Nature Preserve Beaver Pond

We knew we’d arrived at the right spot when a sign by this pond read “Do NOT feed the alligator!”

Mineola Nature Preserve Alligator

Mr. Alligator was kind enough to swim out so we could see him! I was SO excited-it was the first time I’d seen one “in real life” and not just at a zoo! It really made me feel like I was down south!

Mineola Nature Preserve

The kids and the rest of the moms were impressed as well–we sat and watched him and those cute turtles all lined up on the log for a very long time!

After our hike we headed back and had lunch at the very nice covered pavilion (where restrooms were also available!) There’s a gorgeous view of the preserve and a windmill–but at that point I was too busy peeling cuties, wiping mouths, visiting, and fixing ant bites to have my camera out (yes, both kiddos have been indoctrinated into the being a Texas kid club with ant attacks now–see my Mommy Survival Kit for how to deal with ant bites!)

It was a lovely morning and picnic and we will definitely be headed back to check out the rest of what the Mineola Nature Preserve has to offer!


  1. Adelina Priddis

    That looks like so much fun! Now I miss my Meetup group though 🙁

    • Nicole

      It was so awesome!!! 😀 And awww, yeah–it’s super hard if you move to an area where there isn’t one around!! 🙁

  2. Glenda Cates

    Looks like it was so much fun and would make a nice mini cation I wonder what else is close by to do as we would come from Bedford.

    • Nicole

      There is actually a ton of things to do in the Tyler area, I’ve been surprised at how many–I’m going to try to post one a week for the next several weeks so maybe I can set up your little mini cation for you, haha!

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