Wichita Falls is a city in and the county seat of Wichita County, Texas, United States.Wichita Falls is the principal city of the Wichita Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Archer, Clay and Wichita counties. According to the 2010 census, the city had a population of 104,553 making it the twenty-ninth most populous city in the state of Texas. In addition to Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls is also home to the Newby-McMahon Building, constructed downtown in 1919 and since known as the "world's littlest skyscraper".
|Wichita Falls, Texas|
The restored "Falls" of the Wichita River in Wichita Falls, Texas, off Interstate 44
|Nickname(s): Falls Town|
Location in the state of Texas
|Coordinates: 33°53′49″N 98°30′54″W|
Wichita Falls is located at (33.897047, −98.514881). The city is about 15 miles (24 km) south of the border with Oklahoma, 115 miles (185 km) northwest of Fort Worth, and 140 miles (230 km) southwest of Oklahoma City. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 70.71 square miles (183.1 km2) of which 70.69 square miles (183.1 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.052 km2) (0.03%) is water.
Wichita Falls experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), with some of the highest summer daily maximum temperatures in the entire U.S. outside of the Desert Southwest. Temperatures have hit 100 °F (38 °C) as early as March 27 and as late as October 17, but more typically reach that level on 28 days annually, and there are 102 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ annually; the average window for the latter mark is April 9–October 10. On the other end, there are 59–60 nights of freezing lows, and 4.8 days where the high does not rise above freezing. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 42.0 °F (5.6 °C) in January to 84.4 °F (29.1 °C) in July. Extremes in temperature have ranged from −12 °F (−24 °C) on January 4, 1947 to 117 °F (47 °C) on June 28, 1980. Snowfall is sporadic and averages 4.1 inches (10 cm) per season, while rainfall is typically greatest in early summer.
In September 2011 Wichita Falls became the first Texas city to have 100 days of 100 °F (38 °C) in one year.
Nearby Lake Wichita was dredged in 1901 at a cost of $175,000 through the efforts of entrepreneur Joseph Kemp. There is a 234-acre (95 ha) Lake Wichita Park on the north shore of the lake. This park offers a 2.6-mile concrete hiking and bicycling trail that runs from the southern tip of the park at Fairway Avenue to the dam. The trail resumes northward to Lucy Park. The park has a playground, basketball goals, and multiple picnic areas. There is a 10-unit picnic shelter that can seat sixty persons and is available for renting. The park also has two lighted baseball and two-lighted softball fields, three lighted football fields, and an 18-hole disc golf course. The park has the only model airplane landing strip in the Texas state park system. There is an off-leash dog park.
Because of drought, the fish population in Lake Wichita has been damaged by golden alga blooms and periods of low dissolved oxygen. Therefore, the lake is not recommended in 2013 as a destination for fishing. When available, the fish population consists mostly of white bass, hybrid striped bass,channel catfish, and white crappie. Camping facilities are also available.
Wichita Falls is the home of the annual Hotter'N Hell Hundred, the largest century bicycle ride in the United States.
Mark Rippetoe, a popular strength coach and author of Starting Strength – Basic Barbell Training, resides in Wichita Falls and owns the black-iron gym, the Wichita Falls Athletic Club.
The city has been home to a number of semi-professional, development, and minor league sports teams, including the Wichita Falls Drillers, a semi-pro football team that has won numerous league titles and a national championship; Wichita Falls Kings (formerly known as Wichita Falls Razorbacks), the professional basketball team Wichita Falls Texans of the Continental Basketball Association;Wichita Falls Fever in the Lone Star Soccer Alliance (1989–92); the Wichita Falls Spudders baseball team in the Texas League; the Wichita Falls Wildcats (formerly the Wichita Falls Rustlers) of the North American Hockey League, an American "Junior A" Hockey league; and the Wichita Falls Roughnecks(formerly the Graham Roughnecks) of the Texas Collegiate League James Darren Black, a once youth goalie phenom, still resides here today. He won All American Goalie of the year 1999, 2000, and 2001.. The Dallas Cowboys held training camp in Wichita Falls during the late 1990s.
Lucy Park is a 170-acre (69 ha) park with a log cabin, duck pond, swimming pool, playground, a frisbee golf course, and picnic areas. It has multiple paved walkways suitable for walking, running, biking, or rollerskating, including a river walk that goes to a re-creation of the original falls for which the city was named (the original falls were destroyed in a 19th-century flood; the new falls were built in response to numerous tourist requests to visit the "Wichita Falls"). It is one of thirty-seven parks throughout the city. The parks range in size from small neighborhood facilities to the 258 acres of Weeks Park featuring the Champions Course at Weeks Park, an 18 hole golf course. In addition, there is an off-leash dog park within Lake Wichita Park and a skatepark adjacent to the city's Softball Complex. There are also unpaved trails for off-road biking and hiking.