Tom Hughes Park

Tom Hughes Park, a 5-acre tract of land donated to Travis County in 1939, is located in the basin area of Lake Travis near Mansfield Dam. The lower section of the park consists of steep limestone outcroppings and boulders along the shoreline, while the upper elevations consist of thick juniper and oak woodlands. Several primitive trails with steep inclines lead down to the water’s edge, providing close-up views of an unusual diversity of Hill Country flora.

In the vicinity of Tom Hughes Park is Comanche Peak, a natural geographic feature named for the American Indian tribe who once lived in the area, and the valley named Defeat Hollow. Comanche Peak sets along the Colorado River, a major thoroughfare of the Comanche into Travis County in the 1800s.  Defeat Hollow was named for a minor skirmish between Joel Arthur Harris, an early settler on Hudson Bend, and 10-12 Native Americans, most likely Comanche, that occurred around 1870. While it was a minor skirmish with no casualties, it is thought to be one of the last such skirmishes in Travis County and provides an indication of how late into the 19th century Native Americans were in the vicinity of Comanche Peak and its trails.