KILLEEN — I heard about this place nestled in the woods outside Killeen, but didn’t really know what to expect. I was planning to visit a couple of months ago, but the coronavirus hit and my plans changed because I assumed they were closed, like pretty much everything else. I was pleasantly surprised to find out they’re still open – by appointment, which allows people to do something out of the house while social distancing.
I think, no matter how much a person likes the city, it’s great to just take a break every once in a while, go to the country and relax for a few hours. I think Ware’s will be my new go-to place to ease the stressors of life away. Best yet, even my little partner-in-crime enjoyed it. This was the first time she’s been out of the house in two months. As an ultimate introvert, she has been in her zone while homeschooling and social distancing, so her enjoying this place was huge.
Upon arrival, I met owner Brad Ware and his cousin John Fulwiler. The Ware family farm has been in the family since 1874, growing cotton, corn, wheat, sorghum, oats and more, while also caring for livestock and around 100 bee hives. The land has a rich history as an old mining area and Brad was very knowledgeable and funny as he shared stories.
The tour consists of a chain bridge, an old cemetery, a bone yard, an old gold mine and a Stonehenge replica. The Stonehenge in England has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember, so seeing it, even a replica, was a pretty cool. The formations were made out of limestone boulders, which I’m sure took a long time to build. Within the area is a cute little maze for small children.
Along the tour there is a large field, which John and Brad said they use to make a large shaped maze in the fall for Halloween. I’m definitely going to return for the maze, which Brad joked may be shaped like the coronavirus in honor of 2020.
Brad said they also host an annual event called UFO Day, which I’m definitely going to have to attend. He said they wind down the day with UFO stories at night and will attach a faux UFO to the zipline, which extends over the whole area. With lights flashing from the UFO, it really sets the tone and people love it.
Ware’s also has a large fire pit they can fire up for people to roast hot dogs and s’mores on. They have a large covered pavilion which can be used for company family days, school gatherings, weddings and more. Since we went on April 23, the day it happened to hit 97 degrees, the covered pavilion was a great way to get out of the sun.
I would highly recommend this place for a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle or to just experience something a little different with your family. Ware’s Wander Woods is located at 911 Gann Branch Road, on the south side of Killeen. I used Google Maps and found it perfectly, but there are directions on Ware’s website, https://www.wareswanderwoods.com. You can also schedule a tour of the park online.