Featured HIKING TRAILS
Southwest of Houston and south of Richmond, the 4,900 acre Brazos Bend State Park is one of Texas most beautiful parks. Situated along the Brazos River, there are 25 miles of hiking trails through bottomland-hardwood forest and past lakes. There are gravel and paved trails. Keep an eye out for aligators in the lakes!
Northeast of Dallas-Fort Worth, the Rowlett Creek Trail is a 14 mile hiking route through the Rowlett Creek Preserve running from Centerville to Castle. The trail has some rock strewn sections that can be challenging. In case you are not up to the 14 miles, you can form loops of varying length.
In the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park, the South Rim Trail runs above 7,000 feet and offers views that reach far into Mexico. The 13-mile loop begins in the Basin, a mountain valley walled in by reddish-brown igneous rock. While you can hike in either direction, the Laguna Meadow Trail climbs less steeply on the outbound leg. Don't pitch your tent right on the rim, especially if its windy. On the return, descend the Boot Canyon and Pinnacles Trails. Plan on at least two days.
Southwest of Ratcliff and Kennard in the Davy Crockett National Forest, the Piney Creek area has a 46 mile network of trails through piney woods. There are 5 color-coded hiking trails, which can be combined to form loop of varying lengths.
Between Houston and Austin, Lake Somerville State Park consists of two sections. The Birch Creek area has 19 miles of hiking trails and the Nails Creek area has 13 miles. The 21 mile Main Trail connects both districts by following the western shores of Lake Sommerville and Flag Pond.
Southeast of Dallas and north of Ratcliff in the Davy Crockett National Forest, the Four C Hiking Trail is a 20 mile route beginning at at Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area and ending at the Neches Bluff Overlook. A portion of the trail traverses the Big Slough Wilderness Area. The trail passes along or close to man-made ponds that may have catchable fish and continues to the scenic overlook at Neches Bluff, offering a panoramic view of pine-hardwood forests above the Neches River bottomland.
Southeast of Amarillo, the Caprock Canyons State Park has 65 miles of trails. About 25 miles of the trails are located in rugged terrain with cliffs and drop-offs.
East of El Paso, the Franklin Mountains State Park has 51 miles of trails. This is the longest mountain range in the state with a ridge at about 7,000 feet. It is important to note that there is limited water and also campfires are not permitted.
Southeast of Austin, the 3,500 acre Bastrop State Park has 12.5 miles of trails. One of the more scenic trails is the 8 mile Lost Pines Hiking Trail that passes large lobolly trees and giant pines.
Southwest of Dallas near Glen Rose, the Dinosaur Valley State Park has 7 miles of trails that meander through forests of Texas red oak, ash and mesquite, and wind over bluffs then past ancient river beds with unearthed dinosaur tracks. The challenge is accessing the trails which are on the other side of the Paluxry River from the parking area -- be ready to swim it!
Southwest of Houston and south of Richmond, there is a new trail system at Possum Kingdom Lake. The hiking trail system is currently 5 miles long through timbered terrain with panoramic views. It has a vertical climb of 200 feet. There are a total of 20 miles planned.