Texas is a beautiful state that most people will visit for its big cities like Dallas, Austin, and Houston. However, did you know that it actually is home to several national parks as well? You might not think about hiking when you think about Texas, but we’re here to show you why that needs to change. Here are some breathtaking locations that will help you see Texas in a whole new light.
Amistad National Recreation Area
The Amistad National Recreation Area includes the Amistad Reservoir that comes together with the Rio Grande, the Devils River, and the Pecos River. Amistad means friendship in Spanish and refers to the friendship and history shared between Ciudad Acuña and Del Rio, the border between US and Mexico. You can go fishing, swimming, boating, scuba diving, and water skiing in the area year round.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
This UNESCO World Heritage Site preserves four out of five Spanish frontier missions in San Antonio. Originally created by Catholic religious orders to spread Christianity, these missions were a key part of Spanish colonization in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The fifth mission, which is not a part of the park, is the Alamo.
Padre Island National Seashore
If you’re a lover of beautiful seashores, then Padre Island National Seashore should not be missed. Located on the coast of South Texas, its beaches are beautiful, especially since the nature surrounding it is preserved. You can also camp here, but just know that the beach can only be accessed by four wheel drive cars.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Located in the Guadalupe Mountains, this national park is found in El Paso, Texas. The mountain range is perhaps best known for its El Capitan peak, which is especially known for climbers trying to conquer it. You can take the McKittrick Canyon trail that will take you to a 1930s stone cabin that once belonged to petroleum geologist Wallace Pratt.
Big Bend National Park
Located in West Texas, Big Bend National Park is actually the largest protected area of the Chihuahuan Desert topography in the US. It is home to over 1200 species of plants, 450 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles, and 75 species of reptiles, all of which are protected. You can take guided river tours and hike along the Rio grande. Notable trails include the Chimneys Trail, Marufo Vega trail, the South Rim trail, and the Outer Mountain Loop trail.