Estimated Cost: $150
2 adults, 1 night, staying at Best Western Plus, dinner at Big Rig, and entrance to Eisenhower’s birthplace and Grayson County Frontier Village. (The Wildlife Refuge is free!)
The time has come to take my first trip in the year of travel!
I wanted to start the journey in my backyard. I’ve lived in Texas for 7.5 years and haven’t seen nearly as much as I’d hope to. I’m so fortunate that I’m in a situation now where my time is mine and I can really explore! The weather is so nice for January, I wanted to take advantage of outdoor time while I could so found a spot I was sure to see some things in – Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Sherman, TX.
I was pretty excited to see some wildlife and to experience this northern part of Texas. I used Trip Advisor to scope out the area and they have this nice deal with Best Western where BW sponsors the map but they also have pretty sweet hotel rates so I decided to utilize that and stay in Denison, a 10 minute drive from the refuge. I also decided to not do a ton of research on what I’d see at my final destination, I was hoping to be surprised. I did so much research on Denison I wanted some spontaneity left.
It took only about an hour and a half from Arlington to get to Denison. I left early in the afternoon and drove through a surprisingly not packed with traffic downtown Dallas. I will say the hotel was super nice. See more of the hotel and my room here. When booking the room I did ask for a room on the top floor with the best views and at sunrise, I was not disappointed.
So, I was also not let down by the breakfast, there were quite a bit of options. I neglected to get photos of that because I went downstairs in a hoodie and shorts just long enough to eat then went back to sleep. 😂😂😂
Now, I’m off to seize the day! The wildlife refuge was only a handful of miles from the hotel so that gave me plenty of time to check it out. I learned in the visitor center that where the refuge is now there used to be an entire town 100 years ago. They flooded the town to make a dam and with the land nearby was made the wildlife refuge. I didn’t know that was a thing. Everyone in the visitor center was helpful and even from the backdoor you get a nice overlook of the refuge. There’s plenty of trails to go on and still the weather was so nice, I walked around in shorts and a hoodie. I suppose because there were no leaves and it was January, I might not have been going at the best time. The only wildlife around were birds but I did see some deer tracks.
There’s also plenty of spots to stare for wildlife or have a picnic. I would definitely like to go back when there’s more creatures roaming around. There’s so much opportunity to enjoy the serenity that is nature and plenty of walking to be had. You’re able to drive around a good bit, which is helpful for those who might have difficulty walking or are unable altogether. There’s a lot of info, I highly recommend learning about all they do for the animals that call this place home. I also recommend going during the week, as did I.
Before I was to head back to home, though, I wanted to take in a bit more of the area. After much frustration, I finally found the Dwight D. Eisenhower Monument. I tried Google Maps, my soul’s GPS, and Trip Advisor – none of which took me to the right area. I had to pay close attention to the highway and after giving up, found it on the way home. Any way, it’s right before you pull into the Frontier Village, which is cash only. Unfortunately, I was unaware so I didn’t get to check that out. It was a very sobering time at the monument. All those who had perished in a war from Denison was remembered here. Definitely worth the stop to take that all in.
Have you ever been to this area? Have any questions? Feel free to leave me a comment or check out the rest of the photos from the trip here. Also, stay tuned for next month’s trip to Turner Falls, OK!