Big Bend National Park
Located in West Texas, Big Bend National Park offers expansive views of mountains, canyons, and ancient limestone. One of the largest national parks in the United States, there are plenty of things to do. The best roadside and primitive camping in Texas, there are three campgrounds and numerous backcountry spots to set up camp if you prefer to be nestled in a more secluded area. With over 800,000 acres of beautiful views, visitors will find a range of outdoor activities to indulge in, from kayaking the Rio Grand to backpacking and mountain biking to fishing, and nature watching. Home to over 4,000 species of animals, wildlife viewing is also a popular pastime.
Big Thicket National Preserve
Part of the Piney Woods region of Southeast Texas, Big Thicket National Preserve is a must-see for nature enthusiasts. Nicknamed by man as “America’s Ark,” a trip here can be spent canoeing, hiking, biking and horseback riding, while primitive campsites are spread across the sprawling 112,500 acres of land. Big Thicket was the first such preserve in the United States and is where to go to find a diverse group of plants and animals, from longleaf pine forests to cypress-lined bayous. Perfect for an overnight adventure, you can pitch a tent and wake up to this incredibly diverse stretch of land.
Colorado Bend State Park
One of the biggest outdoor attractions in Texas, Colorado Bend State Park is the perfect combination of scenic vistas and outdoor activities. Located just a short drive from Austin, it also a go-to destination for Texas campers, where group primitive campsites, backpack camping sites and drive up sites are available. The highlight of the park is Gorman Falls, a 65-foot cascading waterfall that cascades into a lush fern-coated grotto. Visitors will also find plenty of scenic swimming holes to cool off in hot summer days, in addition to a variety of opportunities to go fishing, paddling, caving, and birding.
Article by CHARITY DE SOUZA
Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, Charity been traveling with her battered backpack full-time for over a decade. Exploring close to 60 countries, her favorite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland, getting lost in Japan, road tripping through Iceland, snorkeling with turtles in Indonesia and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert. She currently resides in Porto, Portugal with her husband.