The best way to appreciate the sheer volume of Texas’ tremendous, natural beauty, is by taking a good long walk. Next time you’re looking to get outside with the family on a nice day, consider navigating one of the Lone Star State’s many easy but satisfying hiking trails. Here are five great ones!
Head to the Barton Creek Wilderness Park for a shot at the Sculpture Falls hike. Offering five solid miles of trail, in both heavily-trafficked and back trail varieties, you'll get a little taste of everything on this trek. The Sculpture Falls hike is considered a “moderate” hike, which is accessible year-round and open to hikers, walkers, mountain bikers, and even dogs. The high point of the trip is the beautiful Sculpture Falls.
This trail, located in the Davey Crockett National Forest, will do a fine job of evoking history thanks to its famous namesake. This trail carries on for 20 miles, so be sure to prepare accordingly. The 4C Hiking Trail—named for the Central Coke and Coal Company, which operated in the region—will show off old tramways that were part of a large-scale logging project, as well as the 100-foot-tall pines that actually survived the logging effort.
For most people, maple trees conjure images of fall color tours and the northern United States. Texas has its share of maples as well, as evidenced by the Lost Maples State Natural Area not far from Vanderpool. The big selling point of this trail is the maple trees, which put on an annual show in the fall showing off an impressive range of colors. Naturally, there's more around here than just fall color, as it also boasts canyons and the Sabinal River. The area features over 10 miles of trails, including a loop that takes hikers along a 2,200-foot cliff, so keep the little ones close by.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park offers a staggering array of features. Perhaps biggest of all is the fact that this is referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” and with good reason. A picture from Palo Duro Canyon might look almost indistinguishable from one taken at the Grand Canyon, perhaps except only to truly trained eyes. Beyond that, the park offers a wide variety of amenities ranging from horse rentals to picnic tables to RV parking facilities, allowing visitors to experience the full range of parking. Palo Duro boasts 30 miles of trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians.
One of the most popular areas to explore in Texas, the Barton Creek Greenbelt is almost eight miles long and covers just over 800 acres. Experience the lush forestry and immaculate limestone cliffs as your traverse the area with your family. Many consider the Barton Greenbelt to be one of the best hiking trails in the state.