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20 Best State Parks in Texas

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Texas is home to some of the country’s most breathtaking natural landscapes. The Lone Star State boasts more than 8,000 miles of coastline and more than 10,000 inland lakes and ponds. These astonishing natural features make for some of the best state parks in the country. With so much natural beauty to explore, it’s no wonder that Texas is home to so many outstanding state parks. From nature trails for hiking and bird-watching to campgrounds for RV camping and cabins for cabin getaways, these state parks offer something for everyone and every season. Whether you love exploring the outdoors with family or want to set aside some time alone to appreciate nature’s peaceful splendor, these state parks are sure to satisfy your needs.

1. Big Bend Ranch State Park

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK
BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK

For those who love exploring the outdoors, Big Bend Ranch State Park is a classic. Set in the Chihuahuan Desert, with mountains looming in the distance, this park offers visitors a rare glimpse of desert ecology and wildlife found in no other part of the world. A network of hiking trails winds through the desert, offering views of Joshua trees and various cacti. The desert’s pale sandstone cliffs and rock formations provide a stunning backdrop for exploring the park’s desert wildflowers and abundant wildlife. Big Bend Ranch is also home to the Big Bend National Park, Mexico, making it a fantastic place to combine nature and history. If you visit during summer, be sure to bring insect repellent—the desert’s temperatures can soar above 100 degrees.

2. Palo Duro Canyon State Park

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While the state’s central plains and western high plains are home to many wheat fields and cattle ranches, the far eastern part of the state boasts some of the most naturally beautiful landscapes in the country. The Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas is a perfect example of what lies east of the mighty Texas Hill Country. The park’s towering limestone cliffs and rugged hills offer stunning views of the canyon. Within the canyon, secluded pools offer swimming and fishing opportunities. In addition, the park also offers hiking and biking trails, a campground, archery, and kayak tours down the canyon. Visitors can also choose to stay in a state park cabin or lodge while they explore the park’s abundant natural beauty.

3. Colorado Bend State Park

If you’re looking for a treasure trove of natural beauty, the Colorado River offers the perfect setting. Colorado Bend State Park, located in Texas on the banks of the Colorado River, is a great place to explore the park’s stunning landscapes. The park is home to numerous waterfalls, lazy rivers, and canyons that have been carved out by the Colorado River. The park also offers a variety of recreational activities, including river rafting, rock climbing, hiking, swimming, and fishing. Visitors can also choose to stay in a state park cabin or lodge while exploring this beautiful park.

4. Franklin Mountains State Park

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The state’s southwest corner is home to some of the most rugged and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the country. The Franklin Mountains State Park in Texas is one of the very few parks in the country to be situated entirely within a national forest. The park is home to several remote canyons and alpine lakes. Many of the park’s waterfalls and rivers are only accessible via hiking or by way of a backcountry canoe trip. The park is also home to the highly popular Texas Forest Trail, which offers a 9-mile loop hike through a variety of landscapes. Visitors can also choose to stay in a state park cabin or lodge while they explore the park’s abundant natural beauty.

5. Guadalupe River State Park

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The state’s southwest corner is home to some of the most rugged and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the country. The Franklin Mountains State Park in Texas is one of the very few parks in the country to be situated entirely within a national forest. The park is home to several remote canyons and alpine lakes. Many of the park’s waterfalls and rivers are only accessible via hiking or by way of a backcountry canoe trip. The park is also home to the highly popular Texas Forest Trail, which offers a 9-mile loop hike through a variety of landscapes. Visitors can also choose to stay in a state park cabin or lodge while they explore the park’s abundant natural beauty.

6. Dinosaur Valley State Park

Dinosaur Valley State Park is a state park located in the city of Glen Rose, Texas. The park, which was created in 1975, preserves and protects an important part of the rich history of the Texas Hill Country. The park is home to many different dinosaur species, including horned dinosaurs, T.rex and Triceratops, as well as giant sauropods such as Apatosaurus and Brachiosaurus. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the park’s fossil exhibit or enjoy other activities in the area, such as hiking and biking. Dinosaur Valley State Park is a great place to visit if you’re interested in learning more about prehistoric creatures!

7. Longhorn Cavern State Park in Texas

If you love exploring natural wonders, then you’ll love looking for Longhorn Cavern State Park in Texas. Located in the Texas Hill Country, the park is home to a spectacular limestone cave system. Within the cavern system, visitors will find a series of underground lakes, waterfalls, and caverns. The lakes and waterfalls create a spectacular natural oasis. In addition to being a fun place to explore, the park is also a great place for camping, fishing, and boating. Visitors can also choose to stay in a state park cabin or lodge while they explore this park’s abundant natural beauty.

8. Pedernales Falls State Park

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The state’s far eastern region is home to some of the most rugged and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the country. The Franklin Mountains State Park in Texas is one of the very few parks in the country to be situated entirely within a national forest. The park is home to several remote canyons and alpine lakes. Many of the park’s waterfalls and rivers are only accessible via hiking or by way of a backcountry canoe trip. The park is also home to the highly popular Texas Forest Trail, which offers a 9-mile loop hike through a variety of landscapes. Visitors can also choose to stay in a state park cabin or lodge while they explore this park’s abundant natural beauty.

9. Brazos Bend State Park in Texas

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The state’s central plains and western high plains are home to many wheat fields and cattle ranches, but the far western part of the state boasts some of the most naturally beautiful landscapes in the country. The Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas is a great example of what lies east of the mighty Texas Hill Country. The park’s towering limestone cliffs and rugged hills offer stunning views of the canyon. Within the canyon, secluded pools offer swimming and fishing opportunities. The park is also home to hiking and biking trails, a campground, archery, and kayak tours down the canyon. Visitors can also choose to stay in a state park cabin or lodge while they explore the park’s abundant natural beauty.

10. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

For those who love exploring the outdoors, Big Bend Ranch State Park in Texas is a classic. Set in the Chihuahuan Desert, with mountains looming in the distance, this park offers visitors a rare glimpse of desert ecology and wildlife found in no other part of the world. A network of hiking trails winds through the desert, offering views of Joshua trees and various cacti. The desert’s pale sandstone cliffs and rock formations provide a stunning backdrop for exploring the park’s desert wildflowers and abundant wildlife. For those who love nature but also want to explore a bit of history, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is a great place to visit. The rock formation is over 1 million years old, making it one of the oldest rocks in Texas.

11.Hueco Tanks State Park

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Hueco Tanks State Park is an oasis in the desert. The park is notable for its rugged terrain and towering saguaro cactus. It’s a true natural wonder, with hundreds of species of plants and animals thriving in the park’s unspoiled environment. At the park, visitors can enjoy boating on the Frio River, nature trails, and camping. There are also several historic sites and a variety of interpretive programs. The park is also a top spot for finding wildflower species and gathering information on desert plants. The Frio River is a great place for recreational activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, fly-fishing, and wildlife viewing. The park offers a variety of nature trails for hiking and exploring. The park also offers a wide variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. There’s a swimming beach, boat ramps, and a golf course to enjoy.

12. Garner State Park

The state park is named after John Garner, a former Texas governor who was known as the “Cactus Cowboy” due to his love of the Texas Hill Country. The park features hiking trails and 19 miles of marked scenic roads. It also offers camping, fishing, boating and swimming. The park was originally established in 1933, but has been expanded several times since then. It now consists of 2,974 acres.
The park does not have any amenities such as restrooms or showers. There are no gas stations nearby and no restaurants or grocery stores nearby. Visitors should bring plenty of water with them when they visit the park as there are no stores nearby to purchase bottled water or food.

13. Caddo Lake State Park

Caddo Lake State Park is a jewel in the Texas Hill Country. At just over 30,000 acres, the park is the largest state park and the largest lake in Texas. The park is situated in a beautiful, rolling hill country covered with dense forests of oak, magnolia, and pine trees. Caddo Lake is fed by the Salt Fork of the Red River, which winds through the park. At night, the water is lighted up like a big inland sea with millions of stars reflecting off the water. The park offers a variety of recreational activities including boating, swimming, fishing, and camping. The park has more than 100 campsites, most of which offer lake views. There are also several RV campgrounds and cabins, which are available on a daily or seasonal basis. There are also numerous hiking trails in the park, many of which wind through forests or along the lake’s shores.

14. Lake Mineral Wells State Park

Mineral Wells State Park is a state park in Texas, United States. It is located in the Mineral Wells area of Parker County, 15 miles west of Fort Worth. The park covers parts of the Elm Fork and Pedernales River watersheds.
Its 7,000 acres (28 km2) include a lake, a dam, and an 18-hole golf course. The park was established in 1971 by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The park includes one of the largest native prairie collections in North America.
It is home to over 400 species of plants, including Wild Indigo and Prairiecress.
The park is part of the Elm Fork Creek watershed.
The river flows through Elm Fork State Park before emptying into Lake Mineral Wells.
Lake Mineral Wells was created in 1929 by damming a spring-fed tributary of the Elm Fork River.
It is a popular year-round recreation area with swimming, boating, fishing, and camping facilities.

15. Davis Mountains State Park

Davis Mountains State Park is a wonderful place for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. The park features lush forests, rushing rivers, and towering peaks. The park is known for its diverse plant life and more than 600 species of trees and plants which are found nowhere else. The park is also home to more than 400 species of birds, including the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. The park also boasts a large variety of wildlife. There are more than 100 species of mammals and more than 1,000 species of birds. Some of the park’s most interesting wildlife include black bears, mountain lions, and the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Visitors to the park can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities. The park features more than 10 miles of hiking trails and several backcountry campsites. There are also swimming beaches, boat ramps, picnic areas, and playgrounds for the family to enjoy.

16. Lost Maples State Natural Area

The Lost Maples State Natural Area is a must-visit natural wonder in Texas. The park is home to a stunning variety of trees and shrubs, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. The park is also home to more than 200 species of birds, many of which are rare, including the Bald Eagle and the Golden-cheeked warbler. The park is also home to more than 50 species of mammals, including the endangered black-footed ferret. The park is home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the state. The park is located in the Texas Hill Country and features rolling hills, a large lake, and forests. The area is home to a wide range of plant and animal species. The park features more than two dozen hiking trails that wind through forests and meadows. Several of the park’s hiking trails feature interpretive signs describing the area’s natural history. There are also picnic areas and several swimming beaches for visitors to enjoy.

17.Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island State Park is located on the southeastern corner of Corpus Christi Bay, across the bay from Port Aransas in Port Aransas County, Texas. It covers of land, and its waters include Mustang Island and the Mustang Spit. The park offers camping, equestrian trails, a 17-mile bicycle trail, fishing piers, hiking trails, a nature center, and an observation tower. It is an important site for birds migrating along the Central Flyway. The island has been inhabited by Native Americans since at least 9500 BCE. The first Europeans to visit the island were Spanish explorers led by Alonso Alvarez de Pineda in 1519.
The park was established in 1923 as part of a state park system, and it has been open to visitors since 1927. The Mustang Island lighthouse was built around 1848 and automated in 1969. It is currently closed to the public but still operational with a red light visible from shore on clear days.

18. Caprock Canyons State Park

Located in the Texas Panhandle, Caprock Canyons State Park is home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the state. The park features towering sandstone formations, including rock shelters and cliff dwellings, and rock art dating back more than 2,000 years. The park is also home to several model rock climbing sites and more than a dozen waterfalls. The park is known for its diverse plant life and more than 600 species of trees and shrubs, making it an excellent place to explore Texas’s natural flora. Visitors can enjoy bird-watching, hiking, and fishing. The park is also a great place for those who love exploring ancient civilizations. There are several model Indian villages and rock art sites that are open to the public.

19. Monahans Sandhills State Park

Located in the Texas Panhandle, Monahans Sandhills State Park is one of the best state parks in Texas for outdoor lovers. The park features some of the tallest dunes in the state, and it is home to one of these most impressive dunes. The park is also known for its abundant wildlife, including black-footed ferrets, Canada geese, and abundant migratory birds. The park is also home to some of the most interesting geological formations in the state, including honeycomb structures made from soft sandstone. The park features a wide range of outdoor activities for visitors, including camping, fishing, hiking, model airplane flying, and boating. The park is also a great place for those who love exploring ancient civilizations. There are more than a dozen model Indian villages and rock art sites that are open to the public.

20. Seminole Canyon State Park

Seminole Canyon State Park is a state park located in Comfort, Texas. The park contains of land and offers several camping options, including RV parking and tent camping. The park also features swimming, fishing, hiking and biking trails. Visitors can also view the natural landscape and wildlife from the observation tower. Seminole Canyon State Park is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers.
The Historic Mission at Seminole Canyon State Park is located in the park’s historic district. It was built in 1887-1888 by German immigrants to be a Catholic place of worship. It was constructed out of limestone quarried nearby that was transported by oxcart over rough terrain.

Conclusion

If you love exploring nature, there are plenty of state parks in Texas to satisfy your needs. Whether you’re interested in enjoying some peace and quiet by exploring nature’s tranquil beauty or you prefer to immerse yourself in action and excitement, there is sure to be a park that suits your needs. Explore the natural beauty of the Lone Star State with these best state parks in Texas.