Marion Sansom Park


  • 1933



  • 264.0  acres


Additional amenities

  • Park Lighting
  • Parking Lot
  • Shelters
  • Tables
  • Water Features


Fun facts & History

Marion Sansom Park has its roots in the late 1800s when banker and rancher Marion Sansom Senior bought seven thousand acres north of the West Fork of the Trinity River between Lake Worth and Marine Creek. Marion Ran a cattle ranch here and was instrumental in the establishment of the Fort Worth Stock Show.  Two City of Fort Worth parks are what remains of the original ranch; Marion Sansom Park and Buck Sansom Park. Additionally, the town of Sansom Park also is established on the former ranch.

In 1927, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed the Inspiration Point Shelter House. Inspiration Point Shelter House has been a favorite location for generations of Fort Worth citizens for picnics, family gatherings, and scenic overlooks. At Inspiration Point, visitors could enjoy an unspoiled, natural setting with the added convenience of the shelter’s shade, fireplace ovens, and picnic tables. Designed in the rustic style so commonly used for park facilities in the late 1920s, this structure is a good example of the style and is a rare intact example from the pre-Depression era in Fort Worth.  In 2014, the shelter was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the Nations’ historic places worthy of preservation. 


The 260 acre Marion Sansom Park sits atop a limestone bluff overlooking the West Fork of the Trinity River and Lake Worth. It affords breath-taking views that are a glimpse into the past. The vista in the 1800s would have been open rolling prairie with a ribbon of riparian forests along the river. The bluff and steep topography are a result of geologic forces during the Cretaceous Period when North Central Texas was covered by a shallow inland sea. Organisms in that sea secreted calcium that layered upon the sea floor; and rainfall has eroded deep valleys to create the steep topography. Most of the park is comprised of the Bolar-Aledo soil complex.


This geology provides unique prairie habitat. Many species of prairie plants growing at this park are endemic (found only here) to North Central Texas. Pale-leaf yucca and Engelmann’s sage are two such plants. They prefer limestone soil and are drought hardy. Both plants are found in high quality prairies. Prairies and woods are subject to invasion by non-native (not native to the United States) plants. Privet (Ligustrum spp.), Johnsongrass (Sorghum halpense) and goathead (Tribulis terrestris) are just a few of the invaders that have taken over the park. Privet forms dense walls of shrub that is practically impenetrable.

Marion Sansom park affords opportunity to view many bird species from migratory songbirds to winter waterfowl. The view from the top of the bluff offers an overview of the park, whereas hiking downhill along the numerous trails offers a great view of Lake Worth and the wildlife that depends upon it.

Trails - Hike and Bike

Thanks to the hard work of the Fort Worth Mountain Bike Association, there are 11 miles of hike and bike trails that meander down the steep hillside. Ranging from intermediate to expert, mountain bikers will find the trails challenging and exciting. A 5-10 minute hike will reward you with views of one of Fort Worth’s waterfalls. 

Trail - Trinity River Paddling Trail

 Marion Sansom Park is one of 21 official canoe launch sites for the Trinity River Paddling Trail which is a 130 mile stretch of the Trinity River between Fort Worth and Dallas.  The Trinity River Paddling Trail was designated a National Recreation Trail by the National Parks Service in November 2020. See all launch sites in the link on the sidebar. 


View animal, plant and insect species observed at Marion Samson Ranch Park and make some of your own observations through iNaturalist. See link under the "Related information" Section.


Reserve this park on ActiveNet


2501 Roberts Cut Off Rd, Fort Worth 76114  View Map

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