Pace Bend Park is in far western Travis County. Originally called Paleface Park after the cattle ranch that once covered the area, the name was changed after the land became the property of the Lower Colorado River Authority.
One of the largest county parks, Pace Bend features more than nine miles of shoreline along Lake Travis, high limestone cliffs, and numerous rocky coves with views of Lake Travis. Many of the coves are named after former area landowners; Mudd Cove was named after the town of Mud, a rural community that was once located within the park’s current boundaries. Settled in the early 1870s, the community of Mud took its name from the moist lowlands along the river. The town thrived briefly, but by 1940 it no longer showed up on county maps.
Pace Bend Park has been leased to Travis County since 1976, and it was officially designated a county park in 1978. In the 1990s, the park was revamped in an effort to restore soil and vegetation lost due to uncontrolled access in the 1970s. Eroded areas were filled with sediment and large boulders were placed at strategic points to keep visitors from going off-road. The main road loops around the park, giving access to the popular shoreline areas and surrounding a wildlife preserve in the center. With management, the park’s interior has maintained much of its rugged nature but is accessible via several miles of mostly wide, clearly marked trails. The area serves as home to whitetail deer, raccoons, foxes, ringtail cast, and dozens of bird species.