central texas state parks

If you're looking to marvel at Central Texas' natural beauty, look no further than any of the state parks near Austin. Whether you're ascending to the peak. Twenty state parks provide equestrian access, as do Big Bend National Park, Pace Bend Park, located along the shoreline of Lake Travis in Central Texas. Tucker Lake, Texas The newest state park in Texas, Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, is located in the Western Cross Timbers Ecoregion of North Central Texas.

Central texas state parks -

Here's how to beat the post-COVID rush at Texas state parks

After a day exploring one of Texas’s state parks, it’s so much better to crash in a bed. And enjoy a little running water. Some temperature control. Maybe even a touch of luxury.

Here are some parks with accommodations for the not-so-rustic among us:

Bastrop State Park

A decade ago, the worst wildfire Texas has ever seen knocked out 96 percent of this park, but since then conservation efforts and Mother Nature have been committed to restoration. Bastrop is famous for its loblolly pines — those tall skinny trees with reddish brown bark. Seven miles of nature trails and proximity to Austin, Buescher National Park and Lake Bastrop make this park a perfect stop on a central Texas road trip.

Driving time from Houston: Two hours

Accommodations: Though they’re simple and rustic, the cabins in the park, ranging from $110 to $200 a night, offer air conditioning, bathrooms and full kitchens.

Garner State Park

There’s no better way to cool off on a hot Texas day than to grab an inner tube and float down the Frio River. Bring your own tube or rent one in the park at Garner Park Store for $10 per day (plus a $20 deposit that you’ll get back once you return it). In the southwestern stretch of the Hill Country, Garner State Park offers not just tubing but dancing, too; jukebox dances at the gift shop pavillion have been livening up summer nights since the 1940s. Dances happen every night during peak season, Memorial Day to Labor Day, from 8-11 p.m., and the jukebox has plenty of country selections, so get ready to two-step.

Driving time from Houston: Four hours, 48 minutes.

Accommodations: For $150/night, temperature-controlled cabins with fireplaces offer the basics, including bathrooms. These cabins book out before any other accommodations, so plan ahead. You can reserve them five months in advance, to the day.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Just outside of Amarillo, the second largest canyon in the United States offers views of colorful banded rock layers, 30 miles of trails and in the summer, TEXAS Outdoor Musical productions in the park’s amphitheater — think actors in period costumes singing and dancing the history of the Panhandle.

Driving time from Houston: Nine hours

Accommodations:For $299 a night, rent one of four rustic-chic glamping sites at the floor of the Canyon and enjoy a fully furnished, canvas-roofed cabin with a dining area, a fire pit, comfortable beds and even a wooden porch swing. You’ll still have to pee in the campgrounds restrooms, but the gorgeous sunrises compensate for that. You can make glamping reservations online and see a calendar with the already-booked dates crossed out.

Big Bend Ranch State Park

The crown jewel of Far West Texas, our largest state park is not only breathtaking during the day, with its bighorn sheep, river lowlands and desert scrub, it’s a designated International Dark Sky Park, so it would be a mistake to leave before nightfall. Stay a while and star-gaze.

Driving time from Houston: 11 hours

Accommodations: In the basin of the Chisos Mountains, the only hotel inside the park, Chisos Mountains Lodge, offers temperature-controlled rooms with bathrooms and amenities. In addition to hotel and motel rooms, five stone cottages rent for $226 a night (plus tax).

Ray Roberts Lake State Park

Three units (or mini parks) — Johnson, Isle du Bois and Greenbelt Park — surround this 29,000-acre lake, making up the Ray Roberts Lake State Park system. The lake is a dream for anglers hoping to catch a largemouth bass (It’s not impossible to reel in a 15-pounder). Equestrians enjoy the 12 miles of Greenbelt Corridor along the Trinity River designated for horseback riders.

Driving time from Houston: Four hours, 34 minutes

Accommodations: A far cry from camping, Lone Star Lodge and Marina, though nine miles from Isle du Bois, is the only game in town for those who don’t want to pitch a tent. With lake views from the back patio, it’s not just a place to crash but a popular wedding venue. Rooms are $109 plus tax year-round and you can book as far ahead as one year.

Davis Mountains State Park

Known as a birding paradise and an oasis from West Texas summer heat, this smaller and lesser known alternative to Big Bend offers high desert trails and a chance to see javelinas.

Driving time from Houston: 8.5 hours

Accommodations: This state park is worth a visit just to stay at the white adobe-walled Indian Lodge, a hotel inside the park that’s been there since the 1930s. Today it even has a swimming pool. Both Indian Lodge and the campsites fill up fast, but you can make reservations up to five months in advance.

Brazos Bend State Park

Wildlife-lovers flock to Brazos Bend to check out the swampy wetlands and woodlands and hang with alligators, armadillos and a limpkin. Hiking trails showcase live oak trees and Spanish moss.

Driving time from Houston: 53 minutes

Accommodations: The most popular accommodations are the RV campsites, but for $65 a night, you can rent the one and only cabin. Book it five months in advance, especially for peak season from September to early June. It has air conditioning, heat and a bunk bed frame, but you’ll have to bring your own bedding and walk to the nearby restrooms.

Источник: https://www.chron.com/life/travel/article/texas-state-parks-camp-book-stay-16532949.php

The best national and state parks in Texas, according to Condé Nast Traveler

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is in central Texas about 50 miles west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country. The park protects the birthplace, home, ranch, and final resting place of Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States.

You can tour the grounds of Johnson's boyhood home in Johnson City, then drive 14 miles to the LBJ Ranch and Texas White House, where you can drive past his birthplace, a show barn, a small schoolhouse, and the Texas White House (which is temporarily closed to indoor tours due to structural issues).

"As you make the rounds, imagine the former president, known for pulling pranks on his guests – like the time he loaded dignitaries into a vehicle, rolled it down a hill and into a pond, hollering that the brakes had given out. He didn't tell them it was an amphibious vehicle, designed to drive on roads and float in the water," Condé Nast stated.

It is about an hour and 30 minutes north of San Antonio. 

Источник: https://www.mysanantonio.com/lifestyle/travel-outdoors/article/The-best-national-and-state-parks-in-Texas-16455635.php

Best state parks in Texas

#4 - McKinney Falls State Park

Texas

McKinney Falls State Park is located in Austin, Texas, United States at the confluence of Onion Creek and Williamson Creek. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities including camping, hiking, mountain biking, road biking, picnicking, fishing, and wildlife observation. Swimming is also allowed in Onion Creek. The main attraction at the park is a series of limestone ledges and pools over which Onion Creek flows. One particular site within the park along Onion Creek served as a key crossing point along El Camino Real de los Tejas. The park is named for Thomas F. McKinney who came to Texas in the early 1820s as one of Stephen F. Austin's first 300 colonists. Sometime between 1850 and 1852, McKinney moved to Travis County and to his property on Onion Creek, where he built a large two-story home, stone fences, and the first flour mill in the area. Fees: Adult: $6 Daily Child 12 Years and Under: FreeShow more

Источник: https://www.alltrails.com/us/texas/state-parks

We Love our State Parks!

Image of sunrise over a beautiful field of bluebonnets in central Texas with the words April is Texas State Parks Month at Whole Earth Provision Co. on top

 

 

 

As Texans, when we head outdoors for rest and recreation, we're blessed with a dizzying number of possible destinations: Big Bend, the Caprock and Rio Grande Canyonlands, Enchanted Rock, the Piney Woods, prairies, beaches, springs, mountains, lakes and the desert. And thanks to Texas State Parks, we can visit these magical places anytime and share in the beauty and grandeur of wild and historic Texas.

 

Whole Earth Provision Co. is a longtime supporter of our Texas State Parks. So ten years ago when our Parks were facing budget cuts and even the threat of some Park closures, we created April is Texas State Parks Month. We combined the proceeds from our Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour shows in Austin with an in-store fund drive. Our nine year total of funds raised for the Parks now stands at over $250,000! These funds are used to help with day-to-day Park operational expenses, including visitor programs and maintaining Park facilities.

 

Image of a Texas State Parks Gift CardThis year, during the month of April, Whole Earth customers can make donations to Texas State Parks in our stores. For a $20 or more donation, customers receive a $5 Texas State Parks gift card, good for fees or purchases at any Texas State Park. For a $50 or more donation, customers receive a Whole Earth branded Nalgene 32oz bottle and a $5 Texas State Parks gift card. For a $100 donation or more, receive an exclusive Ft. Lonesome custom Texas Patch, the Nalgene water bottle, and the gift card, while supplies last. Donations are gratefully accepted in any amount. (Sorry, we cannot accept online donations for Texas State Parks at this time.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

Image of the green and white Texas Parks and Wildlife Logo with the words Life's Better Outside underneath

 

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Image with the words Ranger Day

 

 

 

Be sure to stop by your favorite Whole Earth store on Sunday, April 25th, from 2 to 4 pm for Meet the Rangers! Texas State Park Rangers will be in Whole Earth stores to answer your questions about where to go and what to do in the Parks. They have inside knowledge, and they're ready to share. Are you wondering if being a Park Ranger could be your dream job? Ask the Rangers! We know one Whole Earthling who found his true calling talking to the Rangers on a Sunday afternoon. We hope you’ll bring your questions and join us for this fun event.

 

And while you're in our stores, don't forget to pick up your free copy of the State Park Guide. This handy, informative booklet includes descriptions of all the Parks, their amenities and activities, arranged by region, with a fold out map of Texas highlighting the Parks. The Facilities and Activities Index makes it easy to find the Parks with particular features like cabins, equestrian facilities, fishing, kayak rentals and much, much more. Get your copy and start planning your next getaway!

 

 



Источник: https://www.wholeearthprovision.com/info/texas-state-parks-month

Few places in the USA can offer you what the state parks in Texas offer: miles and miles of magnificent rocky hills, scenic trails, diverse wildlife, and so many more. Each of these parks brings stunning landscapes that you won’t find anywhere else. Here, enjoy a wide range of outdoor adventures while marveling at the surrounding scenery. With so many options to select from, choosing which state parks to visit can be tricky. Therefore, making it easier for you, we compiled a list of the best state best Texas state parks that you should definitely visit at least once in your lifetime.

Longhorn Cavern State Park

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The main attraction in this park declared in 1930, is Longhorn Cavern, a cave beneath the surface of the ground formed through a natural rock formation. Since it’d be a shame to go here without exploring the cavern, we suggest you join their paid guided tours, so you can experience the underground adventure and learn the history of it.

While here, make sure to take some time to walk on their natural trails or read about the organization that created the park, the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Longhorn Cavern State Park, Texas

Guadalupe River State Park

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The name of the park hints that the best activities to do center around water. A river frontage that runs for as long as four miles (6 km), is the main highlight of the park. Some exercising activities that we recommend here include swimming, fishing, canoeing, and tubing.

However, even if you’re not a water-sports fan, you can still enjoy this park as there’s a 5.3-mile (8.5 kilometers) trail for horse riding, mountain biking, and hiking. To enjoy the best fishing experience at this park, sign up for a full-day tour in this natural area. If you feel like one day in this park isn’t enough, book a room at Hampton Inn By Hilton Bulverde.

Guadalupe River State Park, Texas

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

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Invaluable to the state, it contributes to the health of Texas’ citizens. Plus, it protects the rich alluvial sediments that allow the growth of plants such as Anacua trees and Sugar Hackberry to grow here.

Another thing that we like about the park; it’s home to many bird species native to south Texas. As such, don’t forget to bring your binocular when you come down to this park!

Village Creek State Park

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Sitting in roughly 7,000 acres (28 km²) of forested land and narrow rivers, Village Creek State Park offers an immersive nature-experience like nowhere else. In addition to the 33 miles (53 kilometers) of multi-use trails, the park also has 10 cabins, two lakes, outdoor and indoor theaters, and more.

We recommend you visit at the beginning of November when the trees in the park undergo their annual leaves turning color. The different colors make for a beautiful scene.

Lake Mineral Wells State Park

Located some kilometers away from west of Fort Worth, the park is a quiet paradise nestled on a forested plain. We love the park’s beautiful scenery as much as we love the outdoor amenities – multiple fishing points, a 640-acre (2.5 km²) lake, and dozens of equestrian campsites. Another thing visitors love about the park – it provides a perfect and safe camping ground.

Lake Mineral Wells State Park, Texas

Caddo Lake State Park

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This family-friendly park which sits in the northeast of Texas hosts the biggest natural lake in the state. Approximately 26,810 acres (108 km²) of its area comprises vast networks of bayous and swamps – making it an ideal location for fishing and boating.

Parents love taking their kids there because the place also features a number of nice playgrounds. Staying overnight at this park is allowed. However, if you plan stopping off in nearby towns before or after visiting the park, the closest towns are Karnack, Uncertain, and Marshall.

Family in an inflatable boat floats among the cypresses. Caddo Lake State Park, Texas

Lost Maples State Natural Area

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Come to this park during Fall, and witness the beauty of the leaves changing color. Situated only two hours drive northwest of San Antonio, this vast park encompasses eight areas for camping, 11 miles (18 km) of hiking trails, 30 campsites.

Discover two small lakes in the center of the park. More than just a state park, the place earned status as a State Natural Area, Therefore we encourage anyone who plans a visit to the park to carry their own waste bags and not to leave any traces.

Beautiful Fall Foliage Surrounding the Crystal Clear Sabinal River at Lost Maples State Park, Texas

Big Bend Ranch State Park

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The largest park of its kind in Texas, the park occupies more than 300,000 acres (1,214 km2). Situated in west Texas- along the border of the USA and Mexico, it’s ideal for many outdoor activities. These include hiking, rafting, wildlife watching, and even horseback riding.

cattle ranches also exist throughout the area. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous try exploring the second tallest waterfall in Texas at this park – Madrid Falls. Before going there don’t forget to don proper outdoor clothing to avoid insect bites and scratches!

Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas

Monahans Sandhills State Park

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For adventure junkies tired of seeing trees and hills, try adventuring at Monahans Sandhills State Park. There, sand dunes as high as 70 feet (21 m). They cover an area of 3,840 acres (15 km²).

Borrow the equipment needed for exploring the dunes such as sand sleds and snowboards at the park’s headquarter. Away from the dunes, find an area for horse riding as well as campsites.

Child on a sled pulls off the sandy mountains. Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas

Enchanted Rock Natural Area

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The park alone provides a good enough reason for considering a tour to Fredericksburg. Its gigantic pink-colored granite mound attracted a large number of tourists for many years.

If you plan your visit during the weekend, we recommend you purchase their entry tickets prior to your arrival. During holidays and weekends, many people flock there.

Rock climb, hike, camp, or stargaze there. There’s also an 11-mile (18 km) hiking trail. Plan your trip in advance if you wish to explore every part of its area. Alternatively, book a tour of this park.

Granite boulders on the flanks of Enchanted Rock, Texas - by Roy Luck/flickr.com

Hueco Tanks Park & Historic Site

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Get down to Hueco Tanks for an unforgettable rock-climbing experience. There, you’ll find magnificent granite-like hills. After you’ve climbed or hiked the hills, plenty of other activities such as bird watching, stargazing, and picnics keep visitors entertained. If you plan on devoting a day while exploring the area, please keep in mind that some areas of the park – such as the rock imagery -require tour bookings.

Pools of Water in Huecos at Hueco Tanks in El Paso, Texas

Washington-on-the-Brazos Historic Site

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No hiking or outdoor gear’s required to explore this 293 acre (1.2 km²) historical-themed park. Here, the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence took place. The park includes a number of buildings of historical significance, with one of them being the farmhouse of Texas’ final president, Anson Jones. Find it in the Barrington Living History Farm.

Along the Brazos River, picnic areas provide a peaceful place for a meal. Once you’re done exploring the park, don’t forget to visit the visitor center and pick some merchandise and read a bit of Texas history.

Washington on The Brazos State Historic Site in Washington, Texas

Mustang Island State Park

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The existence of this park predates the founding of the host country. With a history dating back 25 centuries, Mustang Island is surely a state park with an interesting background.

The 18-mile (29 km) long island earned its nickname from the species of horses that previously roamed freely on the island. The state park makes a great spot for sunbathing, surfing, fishing, and biking. Find the nearest accommodation for this park at Best Western Port Aransas.

Mustang Island State Park, Texas

Devils River Natural Area

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Within the park, runs a whitewater called Devils River from which the park gets its name. There are three sections in the park. These include the Chihuahuan Desert, the Tamaulipan Mezquita ecoregion, and the Edwards Plateau. Each has its own unique ecosystem and scenic landscape.

Not only that, but numerous animals and vegetation occupy the park. Look out for free-tailed bats from Mexico, sycamore trees, and pecans. This place also makes for the perfect getaway from the stress of modern life due to the remote location.

Garner State Park

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Few state parks in Texas are as popular as Garner State Park when it comes to camping. It’s not hard to see why the park is a top choice for summer vacation. Plenty of hiking trails, well-equipped facilities, pristine river, and scenic sights are just some of the reasons why people of all ages and especially families love this park.

Sometimes during peak season, the park is so crowded that no camping spots are left by noon. One of the best views of the park requires a hike along the Old baldy – a mile-long trail on the iconic hill of Garner State Park. Occasionally there are also attractive events held by the river.

Frio River, Garner State Park, Texas
Garner State Park, Texas

Dinosaur Valley

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The geological landscape of the park was mainly composed of a mix of sandstones and limestones dating back to roughly 113 million years ago. The most interesting part of this park is the twin sets of dinosaurs footprints which were discovered in 1908, hence the name of the park. This discovery is one of the reasons the park is listed as a National Natural Landmark.

Encompassing area over 1,500 acres (6 km²), the park offers plenty of outdoor activities such as biking and hiking. There are spaces for camping in the park. However, we encourage you to make a call first to make sure that there’s still a spot left, should you plan to camp here.

Dinosaur Valley State Park, Texas

Inks Lake State Park 

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Sitting atop 1,201 acres (5 km²) of rocky land mainly composed of gneiss rock and surrounded with lush vegetations, this park looks a lot like a piece of heaven on earth. The best way to spend your time here is to take a swim at the famed Devils Waterhole. The pool’s surrounded by rocky grounds. Alternatively, take the plunge at the Inks Lake itself. Feel your stress melts away the moment you get into the pristine water. 

Spring Creek And Devil's Waterhole, Inks Lake State Park, Texas

Pedernales falls

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This ranch-turns-state-park lies 10 miles (16 kilometers) away from Johnson City. Since the main attraction of this park is the Pedernales River, most of the adventures in this state park are water-related.

Fishing, swimming, and wading here are some of the most favorite activities. Once you’re done playing on or in the water, you should try picnicking. Or, camp in its basic campsites that are located two miles (three km) away from the center of the park.

Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas

Caprock Canyons state park and Trailway

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Standing tall on the south of Palo Duro Canyon State Parks are the breathtaking red sandstone cliffs known as Caprock Escarpment. The magnificent scarps aren’t the only things that make this park attractive. Actually, it’s also home to a number of unique animals such as North American camels and the Texas State Bison Herd.

Biking, hiking, and horse riding are popular around here. If you feel like burning up some calories, walk the 90 miles (145 kilometers) of trails, while gazing at the gorgeous panorama of the infamous Staked Plains topography.

Rock formation at Caprock Canyon State Park, Texas

Palo Duro Canyon State Parks

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The park’s spectacular canyon landscape which spans over 120 miles (193 km) has been likened to that of Grand Canyon – one of the most breathtaking canyons in the world. No wonder Palo Duro State Park often makes it to the list of the most popular destinations for biking and climbing in the USA.

Other than those two activities, visitors also usually love to hike, camp, and ride a horse. There is also Best Western Palo Duro Canyon Inn & Suites near the area in case you want to spend a night.

Palo Duro Canyon State Parks, Texas
Sunrise at Palo Duro Canyon State Parks, Texas

Categories: Texas, United States, Wildlife & Nature

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Author: Peter S

A travel blogger and the founder of WOW Travel, Peter is a crazy dreamer with an insatiable desire for adventure who could never settle for an ordinary life or conform with the norm. After visiting more than 50 countries, he aims to travel with a purpose and inspire people to do the same.

Источник: https://wowtravel.me/20-best-state-parks-in-texas/

Texas State Parks to waive entry fees in honor of Veterans Day

TEMPLE, Texas — Texas State Parks will waive entrance fees for all day-use visitors in honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 14, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 

“The dedication, sacrifice and service displayed by the women and men that serve in our country’s military is unparalleled and is a source of pride throughout the country,” said Rodney Franklin, Director of Texas State Parks. “To celebrate their service, Texas State Parks would like to once again invite everyone to spend the day at any one of our beautiful State Parks for free.  I am glad that we are able to encourage families to get outside in honor of our veterans.”     

Texas State Park officials encourage interested visitors to reserve their day passes in advance because some parks are expected to reach their capacity limit.

Passes can be reserved online here, or over the phone at (512) 389-8900. 

When purchasing a hunting and fishing license, buyers can add a donation of $1, $5, $10 or $20 to help support the Veterans Commission’s Veterans Assistance Fund.

Donations to the Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans’ Assistance (FVA) program provide grants to veteran service organizations and nonprofit charitable institutions that assist veterans and their families at the community level throughout Texas.

Источник: https://www.kcentv.com/article/news/local/texas-state-parks-waive-entrance-fees-in-honor-of-veterans-day/500-913ba3cf-1661-47c4-8754-2d903be01e37

: Central texas state parks

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Central texas state parks
central texas state parks

Competitive Park Grants Enhance State Parks Across Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2018

Media contact: Lydia Saldaña
817.851.5729
[email protected]

Thanks to funding provided by the Meta Alice Keith Bratten Foundation, 12 state parks across Texas will soon be providing enhanced visitor experiences or improved habitat to benefit wildlife. Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) is raising dollars to match the more than $38,000 in funding for the competitive grants.

The winning grants will fund efforts ranging from improving bird blinds at Abilene State Park in West Texas, to improving the amphitheater at Central texas state parks State Park in North Texas, to providing trail entrance kiosks at Colorado Bend State Park in Central Texas. All the projects are aimed at providing a higher quality visit for state park visitors. Engaging volunteer labor to provide a non-monetary match for the requested funds is one criteria of the competitive grant.

“This marks the third year of this 3-year year grant central texas state parks, and we are gratified at the enhancements across the state park system that have been made as a result of this funding,” said Adelaide Leavens, president of Meta Alice Keith Bratten Foundation in Fort Worth. “The projects presented by park staff and volunteers are innovative and unique to the attributes of each site, as is evident in this year’s approved projects. I am amazed and inspired by the ingenuity of staff who squeeze every inch of value out of the grant funds while encouraging the dedicated volunteers who bring the projects to life.”

The projects that are funded in the 2018 grant cycle are:

STATE PARKCOUNTYPROJECT
AbileneTaylorBird blind improvements
Colorado BendSan SabaTrail entrance kiosks
Cooper LakeHopkinsGeocaching
Copper BreaksHardemanConstruct bird blinds
Devils RiverVal VerdeRainwater collection and xeriscaping
Dinosaur ValleySomervellOutdoor skills kit
EisenhowerGraysonAmphitheater improvements
GoliadGoliadInvasive species control
Goose IslandAransasInvasive species control
Kickapoo CavernKinney and EdwardsPollinator garden
LockhartCaldwellInvasive species control
Mother NeffCoryellNative prairie restoration

In 2019, the Competitive Park Grants program will be evaluated to determine whether a new grant cycle will be funded in the future.

“State park visitors will be enjoying these enhancements for years to come, and we’re very thankful for the funding that has been provided by the Meta Alice Keith Bratten Foundation over the last there years,” said TPWF Executive Director Anne Brown. “It’s a great example of how philanthropic funding is enhancing the experience for those who love to visit Texas State Parks.”

Donations can be made online HERE

All TPWF news releases available online: www.tpwf.org/news/press-releases/

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation raises private funds to advance Texas’ proud outdoor traditions and conserve our state’s wildlife, habitat, recreational areas, and natural resources. Since 1991, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has raised more than $170 million in private philanthropy to ensure that all Texans, today and in the future, can enjoy the wild things and wild places of Texas.
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Источник: https://www.tpwf.org/competitive-park-grants-enhance-state-parks-across-texas/

The best national and state parks in Texas, according to Condé Nast Traveler

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is in central Texas about 50 miles central texas state parks of Austin in the Texas Hill Country. The park protects the birthplace, home, ranch, and final resting place of Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States.

You can tour the grounds of Johnson's boyhood home in Johnson City, then drive 14 miles to the LBJ Ranch and Texas White House, where you can drive past his birthplace, a show barn, a small schoolhouse, and the Texas White House (which is temporarily closed to indoor tours due to structural issues).

"As you make the rounds, imagine the former president, known for pulling pranks on his guests – like the time he loaded dignitaries into a vehicle, rolled it down a hill and into a pond, hollering that the brakes had given out. He didn't tell them it was an amphibious vehicle, designed to drive on roads and float in the water," Condé Nast stated.

It is about an hour and 30 minutes north of San Antonio. 

Источник: https://www.mysanantonio.com/lifestyle/travel-outdoors/article/The-best-national-and-state-parks-in-Texas-16455635.php

Here's how to beat the post-COVID rush at Texas state parks

After a day exploring one of Texas’s state parks, it’s so much better to crash in a bed. And enjoy a little running water. Some temperature control. Maybe even a touch of luxury.

Here are some parks with accommodations for the not-so-rustic among us:

Bastrop State Park

A decade ago, the worst wildfire Texas has ever seen knocked out 96 percent of this park, but since then conservation efforts and Mother Nature have been committed to restoration. Bastrop is famous for its loblolly pines — those tall skinny trees with reddish brown bark. Seven miles of nature trails and proximity to Austin, Buescher National Park and Lake Bastrop make this park a perfect stop on a central Texas road trip.

Driving time from Houston: Two hours

Accommodations: Though they’re simple and rustic, the cabins in the park, ranging from $110 to $200 a night, offer air conditioning, bathrooms and full kitchens.

Garner State Park

There’s no better way to cool off on a hot Texas day than to grab an inner tube and float down the Frio River. Bring your can you pay your discover card with a debit card tube or rent one in the park at Garner Park Store for $10 per day (plus a $20 deposit that you’ll get back once you bremen ohio it). In the southwestern stretch of the Hill Country, Garner State Park offers not just tubing but dancing, too; jukebox dances at the gift shop pavillion have been livening up summer nights since the 1940s. Dances happen every night during peak season, Memorial Day to Labor Day, from 8-11 p.m., and the jukebox has plenty of country selections, so get ready to two-step.

Driving time from Houston: Four hours, 48 minutes.

Accommodations: For $150/night, temperature-controlled cabins with fireplaces offer the basics, including bathrooms. These cabins book out before any other accommodations, so plan ahead. You can reserve them five months in advance, to the day.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Just outside of Amarillo, the second largest canyon in the United States offers views of colorful banded rock layers, 30 miles of trails and in the summer, TEXAS Outdoor Musical productions in the park’s amphitheater — think actors in period costumes singing and dancing the history of the Panhandle.

Driving time from Houston: Nine hours

Accommodations:For $299 a night, rent one of four rustic-chic glamping sites at the floor of the Canyon and enjoy a fully furnished, canvas-roofed cabin with a dining area, a fire pit, comfortable beds and even a wooden porch swing. You’ll still have to pee in the campgrounds restrooms, but the gorgeous sunrises compensate for that. You can make glamping reservations online and see a calendar with the already-booked dates crossed out.

Big Bend Bank of america customer service online chat State Park

The crown jewel of Far West Texas, our largest state park is not only breathtaking during the day, with its bighorn sheep, river lowlands and desert scrub, it’s a designated International Dark Sky Park, so it would be a mistake to leave before nightfall. Stay a while and star-gaze.

Driving time from Houston: 11 hours

Accommodations: In the basin of the Chisos Mountains, the only hotel inside the park, Chisos Mountains Lodge, offers temperature-controlled rooms with bathrooms and amenities. In addition to hotel and motel rooms, five stone cottages rent for $226 a night (plus tax).

Ray Roberts Lake State Park

Three units (or mini parks) — Johnson, Isle du Bois and Greenbelt Park — surround this 29,000-acre lake, making up the Ray Roberts Lake State Park system. The lake is a dream for anglers hoping to catch a largemouth bass (It’s not impossible to reel in a 15-pounder). Equestrians enjoy the 12 miles of Greenbelt Corridor along the Trinity River designated for horseback riders.

Driving time from Houston: Four hours, 34 minutes

Accommodations: A far cry from camping, Lone Star Lodge and Marina, though nine miles from Isle du Bois, is the only game in town for those who don’t want to pitch a tent. With lake central texas state parks from the back patio, it’s not just a place to crash but a popular wedding venue. Rooms are $109 plus tax year-round and you can book as far ahead as one year.

Davis Mountains State Park

Known bank of america software internship a birding paradise and an oasis from West Texas summer heat, this smaller and lesser known alternative to Big Bend offers high desert trails and a chance to see javelinas.

Driving time from Houston: 8.5 hours

Accommodations: This state park is worth a visit just to stay at the white adobe-walled Indian Lodge, a hotel inside the park that’s been there since the 1930s. Today it even has a swimming pool. Both Indian Lodge and the campsites fill up fast, but you can make reservations up to five months in advance.

Brazos Bend My citizens first bank login Park

Wildlife-lovers flock to Brazos Bend to check out the swampy wetlands and woodlands and hang with alligators, armadillos and a limpkin. Hiking trails showcase live oak trees and Spanish moss.

Driving time from Houston: 53 minutes

Accommodations: The most popular accommodations are the RV campsites, but for $65 a night, you can rent the one and only cabin. Book it five months in advance, especially for peak season from September to early June. It has air conditioning, heat and a bunk bed frame, but you’ll have to bring your own bedding and walk to the nearby restrooms.

Источник: https://www.chron.com/life/travel/article/texas-state-parks-camp-book-stay-16532949.php

We Love our State Parks!

Image of sunrise over a beautiful field of bluebonnets in central Texas with the words April is Texas State Parks Month at Whole Earth Provision Co. on top

 

 

 

As Texans, when we head outdoors for rest and recreation, we're blessed with a dizzying number of possible destinations: Big Bend, the Caprock and Rio Grande Canyonlands, Enchanted Rock, the Piney Woods, prairies, beaches, springs, mountains, lakes and the desert. And thanks to Texas State Parks, we can visit these magical places anytime and share in the beauty and grandeur of wild and historic Texas.

 

Whole Earth Provision Co. is a longtime supporter of our Texas State Parks. So ten years ago when our Parks were facing budget cuts and even the threat of some Park closures, we created April is Texas State Parks Month. We combined the proceeds from our Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour shows in Austin with an in-store fund drive. Our nine year total of funds raised for the Parks now stands at over $250,000! Central texas state parks funds are used to help with day-to-day Park operational expenses, including visitor programs and maintaining Park facilities.

 

Image of a Texas State Parks Gift CardThis year, during the month of April, Whole Earth customers can make donations to Texas State Parks in our stores. For a $20 or more donation, customers receive a $5 Texas State Parks gift card, good for fees or purchases at any Texas State Park. For a $50 or more donation, customers receive a Whole Earth branded Nalgene 32oz bottle and a $5 Texas State Parks gift card. For a $100 donation or more, receive an exclusive Ft. Lonesome custom Texas Patch, the Nalgene water bottle, and the gift card, while supplies last. Donations are gratefully accepted in any amount. (Sorry, we cannot accept online donations for Texas State Parks at this time.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

Image of the green and white Texas Parks and Wildlife Logo with the words Life's Better Outside underneath

 

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Image with the words Ranger Day

 

 

 

Be sure to stop by your favorite Whole Earth store on Sunday, April 25th, from 2 to 4 pm for Meet the Rangers! Texas State Park Rangers will be in Whole Earth stores to answer your questions about where to go and what to do in the Parks. They have inside knowledge, and they're ready to share. Are you wondering if being a Park Ranger could be your dream job? Ask the Rangers! We know one Whole Earthling who found his true calling talking to the Rangers on a Sunday afternoon. We hope you’ll bring your questions and join us for this fun event.

 

And while you're in our stores, don't forget to pick up your free copy of the State Park Guide. This handy, informative booklet includes descriptions of all the Parks, their amenities and activities, arranged by region, with a fold out map of Texas highlighting the Parks. The Facilities and Activities Index makes it easy to find the Parks with particular features like cabins, equestrian facilities, fishing, kayak rentals and much, much more. Get your copy and start planning your next getaway!

 

 



Источник: https://www.wholeearthprovision.com/info/texas-state-parks-month

Top 10 state and national parks in Texas

Big Bend national park and Big Bend state park

Everything is big in Texas, including the state's crown jewel, Big Bend national park and the adjoining Big Bend state park. Together the parks protect an area of Chihuahuan desert larger than the state of Rhode Island, tucked into a 90-degree curve in the Rio Grand river, along the Mexican border.

Big Bend is a place of contrasts: hot in the summer and frigid in the winter, the terrain ranges from dry open desert to jagged mountains to the riparian river valley, a unique landscape that supports a diversity of plants and animals. Big Bend is also home to some big predators, including Mexican black bears and around two dozen mountain lions, but the rugged landscape provides plenty of roaming room and dangerous encounters with visitors are extremely rare.

As the largest expanse of public land in Texas, Big Bend is a hiker's paradise with more than 200 miles of trails offering everything from short, sweet day hikes to multi-week epics. Horseback riding is also popular, as are float trips down the Rio Grande. The park offers three developed campsites, backcountry camping permits and accommodation at the Chisos Mountain Lodge in the heart of the park.

Top tip: Big Bend is located along a major migration pathway for hundreds of species of birds. Many northern species spend winters in the park, while birds from the tropics flock to the Rio Grande in the spring to mate and raise their young. Some species, like the Colima warbler, are found nowhere else in the US, making Big Bend a life-list destination for avid bird watchers.

Guadalupe Mountains national park

Today Texas is mostly desert, but the landscape hasn't always been central texas state parks dry. Around 265 million years ago, during the Permian period, this region was covered by a vast tropical sea, home to a massive 400-mile long coral reef. Over millennia, portions of this reef were preserved and uplifted into the Guadalupe Mountains, one of the finest examples of a fossilised reef found anywhere on Earth.

This dramatic and fossil-rich reef is protected within the boundaries of Guadalupe Mountains national park in west Texas, just south of the New Mexican border, near another area highlight: Carlsbad Caverns national park. In the mid 1800s a stagecoach line called the Butterfield Overland Mail Trail ran right through the park on its way to El Paso, delivering mail, goods and passengers over 2,800 miles in 25 days between the east coast and California. The historic ruins of the old stage station can be reached via an easy 0.3-mile trail that leaves from the Pine Springs Visitor Center.

Guadalupe offers two developed campgrounds, as well as backcountry camping permits, but there are no restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores or overnight lodging options in the remote park. The closest town with food, ice, showers and hotel rooms is 35 miles east in White's City, New Mexico.

Top tip: For the biggest views in Att internet login pay bill, hike to the state's highest point: 2,667-metre Guadalupe Peak. A trail from the Pine Springs campground winds up more than 900 metres of elevation in 4.2 miles to the top of the Lone Star state, marked by a metal pyramid. The hike can be completed year round.

Hueco Tanks state historic site

Just east of El Paso, lies the rock-climbing's mecca of Hueco Tanks. Here, bouldering aficionados – climbers who seek to ascend low, challenging routes without ropes – from all over the world gather to grab the unique hand holds formed by Hueco's "tanks", the small water-carved depressions pitting the rocks.

These miniature water catchments have attracted people for millennia, some of whom left their mark in the form of thousands of pictographs painted on to the rocks depicting dancing figures, people with elaborate headdresses, birds, jaguars, deer and symbols of rain, lightning and corn. The most famous images are of masks or face designs. Hueco Tanks boasts the largest number of mask paintings in North America, with more than 200 identified throughout the park.

Due to the rock art's historical value and fragility, access to Hueco Tanks is restricted. Visitors must make reservations to access the North Mountain area, which is limited to 70 people per day, or hire a certified guide to explore other areas of the park. Even if you're not a world-class rock climber, the park also offers hiking, bird watching and camping. Bunk beds and private rooms are also available nearby at the Hueco Rock Ranch, operated by the American Alpine Club.

Top tip: Peak climbing season runs from October to March, with an annual Hueco Rock Rodeo held in February. Climbers from all over the world show up to compete and take part in instructional clinics. Spectators welcome.

Palo Duro Canyon state park

Nicknamed the Grand Canyon of Texas, Palo Duro Canyon cuts through the heart of the Panhandle just south of Amarillo. Roughly 60 miles long, up to 20 miles wide in places and around 244 metres deep, Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the country and its intricate geologic layers and steep, colourful walls, do bear some resemblance to its bigger, grander counterpart in Arizona.

People have lived in this spectacular landscape for millennia, occupying the resource-rich canyon floor continuously for at least 12,000 years. The Apache, Comanche and Kiowa tribes fought many battles over the valuable territory before they were finally evicted in the 1870s and moved to reservations in Oklahoma.

Today the park caters to horseback riders, with more than 1,500 acres devoted to equestrian-only trails. But you don't have to be a cowboy to enjoy the scenery: 17,000 acres of the huge park is crisscrossed with paths for hikers and mountain bikers. Keep an eye out for Longhorn steers that graze along the rim of the canyon, part of the official Texas state longhorn herd. What rating is peoples trust insurance company is available in tent and RV sites, and a small number of primitive cabins are available for nightly rentals, reservations recommended.

Top tip: During the summer months, an outdoor musical drama called simply "TEXAS" lights up the Pioneer Amphitheater in the park on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. As the official play of the state of Texas, the family-friendly show depicts the trials and triumphs faced by the settlers of the Panhandle.

Caprock Canyons state park and Trailway

Just south of the showier Palo Duro lies the quieter, but no less lovely, Caprock Canyons state park. The park straddles the Caprock Escarpment: spectacular 305-metre red sandstone cliffs that form the natural transition between the high, flat plains to the west and the lower rolling plains to the east.

This transition zone has long supported a diversity of life, including now extinct mammoths, North American camels and giant bison. Today, the park is home to the Texas state bison herd, among the few genetically pure plains bison in the country that have not been crossbred with domestic cattle.

Located in the Panhandle, 100 miles southeast of Amarillo, Caprock Canyons offers tent and RV camping, along with backcountry sites for overnight trips. Boating, fishing and swimming are popular on 120-acre Lake Theo. Mountain bike and horse rentals are also available. More than 90 miles of trails run through the park and up the towering red cliffs, affording stunning view of the famous Texas Llano Estacado landscape.

Top tip: The Trailway is a 64-mile hiking, biking and equestrian trail that runs through the park following the abandoned Fort Worth and Denver Railroad line between Estelline and the South Plains. The trail passes through three counties, across 46 bridges and through the Clarity Tunnel, home to a half-million Mexican free-tailed bats during the summer months.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Rising above the plains west of Austin is a giant 150-metre-high dome of pink granite, the second largest of its kind in the country. Enchanted rock has graced this landscape for an estimated one billion years, making this some of the oldest exposed rock on Earth. Known to geologists as a monadnock – an isolated mountain – Enchanted Rock is visible for miles and has attracted people to its base and rounded summit for as long as 12,000 years.

Enchanted Rock comes with its fair share of legends, many inspired by the odd creaking and groaning sometimes heard coming from the dome. Geologists say the sounds come from the outer layers of rock contracting and expanding with changing temperatures, but the Tonkawa and Comanche Indians feared and revered the rock and continue to conduct ceremonies and leave offerings at its base to this day.

Enchanted Rock is primarily a day-use park, though a number of primitive and backcountry campsites are available to visitors willing to hike to their pitch. RV's are not permitted. The dome central texas state parks popular with rock climbers, who flock to its Yosemite-like rock. A number of local guide services, based out of Austin and nearby Fredericksburg and Dripping Springs, specialise in getting both newbies and experts up on the dome.

Top tip: You don't have to be a hardcore climber to reach the top of Enchanted Rock. A 0.6-mile walking trail runs from the base up to the rounded summit. Parts of the trail are steep and the rock can be slippery when wet, but the short, spectacular hike is well worth the effort for the 360-degree views.

Padre Island national seashore

Texas isn't all dry, flat plains. The state also central texas state parks 350 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. Much of the shore has been developed, but a few sections of wild, pristine coast remain. One of the best stretches is Padre Island national seashore, which protects the longest undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world: a narrow, 70-mile long spit of dunes and tidal flats teeming with sea life.

Padre Island's most famous residents are Kemp's ridley sea turtles, one of the rarest sea turtles in the world. Female turtles journey from all over the Atlantic Ocean to lay their eggs at only two beaches: Rancho Nuevo in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas and on Padre Island each summer between April and mid-July. In 1978 a programme was launched to rescue the Kemp's ridley turtles from the brink of extinction due to overfishing and accidental entanglements in shrimping nets. In 2013, more than 10,500 hatchlings were released along the Texas coast in the hope that many will survive and return to Padre Island to lay their eggs.

Bird watching is also popular on the island, as the spit is located along the Central Flyway, a major migratory route. Upwards of 380 species have been documented within the park, nearly half the total number of species that live in North America.

Top tip: Stay in one of the national seashore's five campgrounds and catch sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico.

Lost Maples State Natural Area

Along the Sabinal river in south-central Texas is a forest unlike any other in Texas. Here a trustco bank credit card login of bigtooth maples grow far from of their usual range. These trees aren't strays, but rather ancient relics, left over from the cooler, wetter climate of the last Ice Age.

For most of the year, Lost Maples state natural area, near Vanderpool, is a quiet wooded haven, offering hiking trails, bird watching and camping, but from late October into November, the maples, along with sycamores, chinkapin, lacey and Texas red oaks, erupt in a show of fall colours that attract hundreds of visitors a day.

People have been drawn to the Sabinal river and the Lost Maples area for thousands of years. The site is famous for preserving an archaeological artefact known as an atlatl: a spear-throwing tool wielded by the Native Americans of south Texas between 6,000 and 8,000 years ago.

Top tip: The park posts "fall foliage reports" on their website during the peak leaf season. Weekends can get crowded and parking is limited so aim to visit on a weekday. Cabin rentals are available in nearby Vanderpool.

Longhorn Caverns state park

Texas is renowned for its limestone caves, thanks to its ancient aquatic history when it lay submerged under a shallow inland sea. Impressive caves can be found all over the state, but few have the colourful history of Longhorn Caverns near Burnet. Here ice age animals once took refuge, then later Native Americans, pioneer settlers, Confederate soldiers, bootleggers and outlaws all took turns calling the cave home. In the 1920s, during Prohibition, the main underground room served as a secret speakeasy, dance hall and concert venue.

Today Longhorn Caverns is a state park, https www comerica com passwordreset daily cave tours for novice potholers along with wild cave tours for those willing to squeeze their way through smaller underground passages to unique, rarely seen cave formations. Once a month the park hosts an overnight paranormal tour. Longhorn Caverns maintains a steady temperature of 20C (68F) year round, making this a cool option during the hot summer months.

There is no camping in Longhorn Caverns, but Inks Lake state park up the road offers RV and tent camping, along with primitive cabin rentals. Those who prefer to stay above ground can walk Longhorn's Backbone Ridge Nature trail.

Top tip: The Wild Cave tour takes more adventurous visitors on a two-hour underground journey that calls for climbing, crawling and squeezing through narrow passages. Required protective equipment such as helmets, elbow and knee pads can be rented from the central texas state parks. Tours take place most Saturdays throughout the year. Reservations highly recommended.

Zilker Metropolitan Park

Nestled in the heart of Austin, the 350-acre Zilker Metropolitan park is one of the most beloved open spaces in all of Texas. In Zilker park, you can hike, bike, canoe, play polo, and marvel at the botanic garden, all within the city limits of the Lone Star state's capital.

Austin has long enjoyed a reputation as the most vibrant city in Texas, and is the self-proclaimed "Live Music Capital of the World". Zilker Park has hosted a number of music festivals and famous acts, including the annual Austin City Limits festival and a legendary Rolling Stones concert in 2006 that was recorded for their live album The Biggest Bang.

When the park isn't being taken over by music festivals, it's an urban oasis, offering everything from quiet walks to train rides to Shakespeare. Stroll along Lady Bird Lake, canoe or kayak on the Colorado River, picnic on the lush green grass, check out the Zilker Hillside Theater, or the Zilker Zephyr mini-railway, or the Austin Nature & Science Center, all within the bounds of the park.

Top tip: Texas can be sweltering hot so it's no wonder that the Barton Springs Pool in Zilker park is one of Austin's most popular attractions. This three-acre pool, fed from underground springs, averages 21C (70F) and is open to the public year-round.

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance writer and photographer who makes her home on the back roads of North America, living and working out of a tiny solar-powered Teardrop camper. Follow her travels at theblondecoyote.com

Источник: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/apr/02/top-10-national-parks-texas

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