Sights and Recreation
Wichita Falls Waterfall
Naturally, when visitors come to Wichita Falls they ask, “Where are the falls?” For an entire century the answer was “Well...they’re gone.” Indeed, the town’s namesake five-foot high waterfall on the Big Wichita River was washed away in a flood in 1886.
One hundred years later, the town (over)compensated by constructing a 54-foot multi-level cascading waterfall on the south bank of the river. Visitors to the falls, located just north of town adjacent to I-44 South, can also experience the trails, playground, pool, and pavilions at the adjacent Lucy Park. For more information call 940/716-5500.
Wichita Falls Railroad Museum
Located in the former downtown Union Station building, the Wichita Falls Railroad Museum (500 9th St., 940/723-2661, www.wfrrm.com, Sat. noon–4 p.m. Tues.–Sat., $1) is a showplace for rail cars and memorabilia associated with “The Katy” (the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad).
The museum’s vintage equipment includes a 100-year-old Fort Worth & Denver steam locomotive (one of only three in existence), a diesel switch engine, a baggage car, post office car, two World War II troop sleepers, and several cabooses.
Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University
Located on the banks of Sikes Lake, the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University (2 Eureka Circle, 940/397-8900, www.mwsu.edu, Tues.–Fri., 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m., no admission charge) offers a combination of art, science, and regional history.
Renovated in 2010, the facility features works of regional artists during the university’s academic year, with an emphasis on student art from May through July. The museum also includes a planetarium and a hands-on science center for children.
River Bend Nature Center
Located on 15 acres in Lucy Park, the River Bend Nature Center (2200 3rd St., 940/767-0843, www.riverbendnaturecenter.org, Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sun. noon–4 p.m., $3) is an environmental education center featuring a remarkable butterfly conservatory (Thurs.–Sat. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sun. noon–4 p.m.).
Also on the grounds are a wetland pond habitat, bird habitat, bird-watching, weather station, and a one-mile interpretive nature trail.
Lake Arrowhead State Park
Located on a former oil field, the lake literally reflects the site’s past by retaining several of the oil derricks. Local fishermen claim they’re the best spots to catch crappie, perch, and bass.
Built primarily as a water supply by the city of Wichita Falls, the lake is also a major recreational site for the North Central Plains. The park offers campsites, restrooms with showers, a boat ramp, an 18-hole disc golf course, fishing, swimming, and water-skiing.
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition