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 also hosts many national parks? You may not think of hiking when you think of 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, which joins the Rio Grande River, the Devils River and the Pecos. Amistad means friendship in Spanish and refers to the friendship and history shared by Ciudad Acuña and Del Rio, the US-Mexico border. You can go fishing, swimming, boating, diving and water skiing in the area all year round.
San Antonio Missions National Historic Park
This UNESCO World Heritage Site houses four of the five Spanish expeditions to the San Antonio border. 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 part of the park, is the Alamo.
National Coast of Padre Island
If you are a fan of beautiful beaches, then Padre Island National Seashore is not to be missed. Located on the coast of South Texas, its beaches are beautiful, especially since the nature that surrounds it is preserved. You can also camp here, but just know that the beach is only accessible by four-wheel drive.
Guadeloupe Mountains National Park
This national park is located in the mountains of Guadeloupe and is located in El Paso, Texas. The mountain range is perhaps best known for the El Capitan peak, which is especially famous 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 oil geologist Wallace Pratt.
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park, located in West Texas, is actually the largest protected area of the Chihuahua Desert in the United States. It hosts 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 river tours and hike along the Rio grande. Notable trails include the Chimneys Trail, the Marufo Vega Trail, the South Rim Trail and the Outer Mountain Loop Trail.