Hiking through Texas can be one of the most rewarding outdoor experiences in the United States. Whether you prefer to hike through the city, mountains, swamp, or forest, there’s a perfect trail waiting for you. Below you’ll find five of the most beautiful scenic hikes throughout Texas, and even a few dinosaur tracks along the way…
Pedernales Falls State Park is perfect for your next family hike outing. Park trails range from beginner to expert. For beginners, try the .5-mile Twin Falls Nature Trail for exquisite views of the falls. The six-mile Wolf Mountain Trail, on the other hand, provides a much more turbulent hike. Families with young children will love the duck pond, and there is also a wheelchair-friendly wildlife viewing station.
Martin Dies, Jr. State Park near Jasper, Texas, consists of 730 acres across three state park units. Choose from eight miles of hiking trails through the forest. Take a look at the online interactive map or download the PDF for directions to six points of interest, including the Observation Pier, Cypress Forest, Swamp Deck, Sunset Vista, Wildscape, and more.
Hike through downtown Austin along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail. Near Lady Bird Lake, you’ll “meander along the water’s edge and pass by skyscrapers, neighborhoods, ball fields, and cultural attractions.” The trail is 10 miles-long and is one of Austin’s more popular recreational areas. You’ll trade natural vistas for the cityscape, but there’s hardly a better way to get acquainted with Austin, its people, and its culture, than by winding through it along this hike.
Franklin Mountain State Park has almost 27,000 acres to explore and 100 miles of trails. The Sunset Trail is one of the most beatific, offering a 360-degree view of the sunset and El Paso lights. The trail is just over eight miles and can be a difficult hike, but the staggeringly beautiful views at the end of a long day make it worth it.
We’re going to cut right to the chase: The Government Canyon State Natural Area has 110-million-year-old dinosaur tracks. You read that correctly. Kids will go crazy for this hike. The Overlook Trail isn’t too far from the tracks, either. The entire trail is only around three miles with a clearing for the overlook sight. Consider the Joe Johnston Route to view the dinosaur tracks at ground level and avoid the possibility of falling over the overlook.