20 February, 2023

5 Texas State Parks on my Travel wishlist #WriteAPageADay

 I love making these wish lists for any state. I do a lot of research and note down important information in the Evernote app. It's easy to refer to these notes both on my laptop and my mobile.

Texas has 89 state parks. Wow! I didn't know that before we came here.

This is the state parks map. 

When I searched for the best state parks to visit in Texas, I got many recommendations. But, the criteria to visit differs for everyone right? 

My Criteria are this:

- Within 5 hrs of Austin

- Lot of hiking options

- Scenery with mountains/ rock formations/lake/beach

- Kid-friendly and easy hikes

- Availability of food options and not very remote

Here are the best 5 state parks which meet the above criteria for me and they are on my travel wish list.

Pin it for later!

1. Dinosaur Valley State Park, Glenrose


1629 Park Rd 59Glen Rose, TX 76043

Hours: 8 am to 5 PM
Online reservation needed

There are multiple things to do. Dinosaur tracks, hiking, fishing, paddling, swimming, mountain biking, etc., $8 is the entry fee. We can easily spend one day, checking the dinosaur tracks and walking along the river. There is also a safari park near Glenrose. The Park is around 3hrs from Austin.


2. Caddo Lake State Park

245 Park Road 2
Karnack, TX 75661

Hours: 8.15 to 4.45 PM
Online Reservations needed

Entry is $4 

The scenery amazed me when I saw the state park photos on Instagram. The bald cypress trees and Spanish moss make this lake look misty and surreal. There are boating tours as well. We can fish, paddle, hike, or stay in a cabin. The park is around 5 hrs from Austin.


3. Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Address: 11450 Park Road 5Canyon, TX 79015

Hours: 7 am to 9 pm
Entry is $8

This is the second-largest canyon in the USA. There are 30 miles of hiking and biking trails. This park reaches an elevation of 3400 ft. above sea level. 


This is the only exception in my criteria as it's around 8 hrs from Austin. But, This is one of the not-to-miss places on my list.

4. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Address: 16710 Ranch Rd. 965Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Hours: 6.30 am to 10 pm
Entry is $8

Fredericksburg is a nice charming town with many wineries. This massive pink granite dome is beautiful with hill country views. We can hike, bike, rock climb, star gaze or bird watch here.

There are 11 miles of hiking trails. It takes around 45 mins to climb to the top. This  Park is around 2 hrs from Austin. 

5. Colorado Bend State Park

Address: 1201 Colorado Park RoadBend, TX 76824
Hours: 6 am to 10 pm

Entry is $5

We can hike, fish, paddle or take a cave tour here. The hike to Gorman falls is popular. It is a 3-mile round-trip hike on rugged terrain. 

This park is around 2 hrs from Austin.


There are many other parks on my wish list including Pedernales Falls state park, Mckinney falls state park, and Inks Lake state park. 

Waiting for the spring and summer for more outdoor time. What about you?

Until next time,

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