Texas State Parks: Our Review of the Ten Best
The hidden gems of Texas are its many state parks. These parks offer hiking, horseback-riding, mountain biking, camping, and many more activities that provide hours of fun for children and adults alike. Here is a list of just some of the notable state parks in the state of Texas.
1. Lost Maples State Natural Area – Vanderpool, Texas
Deep, branched limestone canyons with clear running water provide the main attractions of Lost Maples State Natural Area, plus for those interested in trees there are several groves of Canadian bigtooth maple, a species usually found much further north or west. The 2,174 acre park is most popular in the fall months due to the drastic leaf color change, which isn’t so prevalent in the rest of the state.
2. Brazos Bend State Park – Needville, Texas
The Brazos Bend State Park spans 4,897 acres of swampy lakes and streams that are home to many wild animals, including alligators. White-tailed deer and bobcats also roam the terrain of the park. Campgrounds, picnic tables, and concrete paths make this park ideal for visitors that wish to take a walk on the wild side.
3. Emma Long Metropolitan Park – Austin, Texas
Emma Long Metropolitan Park has a mile of shore on Lake Austin, which is a great lake for fishing, swimming or boating. This is a perfect place to camp, hike, or picnic while enjoying the natural surroundings of the state’s capitol.
4. Davis Mountains State Park – Fort Davis, Texas
Davis Mountains State Park is a 2,708 acre park nestled in the valley of the beautiful Davis Mountains, the most extensive mountain range in Texas. The terrain is rugged, rocky, steep, and covered with trees, brush, and cactus, which makes for an exciting place for camping, hiking and mountain-biking.
5. Guadalupe River State Park – Kendall, Texas
Located in Comal and Kendall counties, the Guadalupe River State Park features a nine mile stretch of the Guadalupe River, which is a popular place for tubing or kayaking.
6. Palo Duro Canyon State Park – Randall, Texas
The Palo Duro Canyon is known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas.” Palo Duro Canyon was formed by the Red River and stretches 120 miles long and 20 miles wide, with depths of 800 feet. The park offers camping, horseback riding, hiking, mountain-biking, and picnicking, among other things.
7. Kickapoo Caverns State Park – Brackettville, Texas
Kickapoo Caverns stretches across 6,368 acres of land near Brackettville, Texas. The main attraction of the park are the 15 caves and the Brazilian bats than inhabit them during the spring and summer months.
8. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area – Fredericksburg, Texas
600 of Enchanted Rock state park’s 1,644 acres are covered with enormous, pink granite rock that stands over 400 feet tall. Other than the admiring the rock, the park offers camping, bird watching, stargazing, and hiking.
9. Caprock Canyons State Park – Quitaque, Texas
Hiking is the best way to appreciate the red rock scenery of the Caprock Canyons State Park as well as to witness the official Texas state bison herd that inhabits the park. Among the many trails, the Caprock Canyons Trailway is the longest with 64.25 miles for hiking, cycling, and horseback-riding.
10. Hueco Tanks State Historical Site – El Paso, Texas
Hueco Tanks offers a variety of outdoor activities, most notably camping and rock climbing. However, one of the biggest draws to this historic site is the prehistoric pictographs that cover the walls of the caves.