Rains County is in northeast Texas on the upper reaches of the Sabine River. It is bordered by Hunt, Hopkins, Wood, and Van Zandt counties. The county seat and largest town, Emory, is centrally located in the county at 32°50' north latitude and 95°50' west longitude and is sixty-four miles east of Dallas. The altitude of Rains County varies from 406 to 491 feet above sea level. The average maximum temperature is 95° F in July, and the average minimum is 31° in January. The county receives an average of 42.2 inches of rain per year and has a growing season of 242 days. With a total area of only 258.8 square miles, Rains County is one of the smallest counties in the state, and more than 10 percent of it has been under water since the construction of Lake Tawakoni and Lake Fork Reservoir. The soils are primarily a mixture of sand and clay. The Sabine River forms the southern border of the county, but most of the creeks drain northeast into the Lake Fork of the Sabine. Other watercourses in Rains County are Elm, Cedar, Garrett, Woodbury, Brushy, Sandy, Turkey, Bull, and Bear creeks. There are also numerous springs. The largest group, Springville Springs, are the source of a stream that flows through the city park in Emory. The rate of flow from these and other springs has slackened in recent years because the water table has been lowered by well pumping.
The dominant trees in the county are post oak, blackjack oak, walnut, cedar elm, and black hickory, as well as winged elm, chinaberry, redbud, and dogwood. The western Blackland Prairie has primarily tall grasses and mesquites, and post oak, elm, and pecan trees are found along streams. The number of wild animals is relatively low, but a considerable diversity is represented. Many of the species are at the extreme western or eastern extension of their natural range. The most common mammals are the opossum, cottontail, swamp rabbit, several species of squirrel, and the plains pocket gopher. Less abundant, but also native to the area, are the beaver, coyote, gray fox, raccoon, weasel, mink, river otter, skunk, bobcat, and white-tailed deer. The armadillo established itself in Rains County within the last century. Species which have been exterminated or driven away include the black bear, mountain lion, red wolf, alligator, buffalo, and wild turkey.
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Pilgrim Rest is classified as a Town
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Pilgrim Rest by the Numbers
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