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Texas State Parks

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Texas is a large state with a wide variety of geographical features, ecosystems and wildlife. Texas is also home to one of the nation's best state park systems, which offers wonderful public access to these natural resources.

1. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

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Located just north of Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country, Enchanted Rock is one of the largest natural rock formations in the United States, with a dome that rises 425 feet above the ground (1825 feet above sea level). Designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1970, Enchanted Rock is also part of the Texas State Parks System and attracts thousands of visitors annually.

2. Lost Maples State Natural Area

Danno Wise
Most people relate fall foliage and the changing of the leaves to the eastern portion of the United States. However, portions of Texas actually see dramatic changes in foliage coloration as fall draws near. Lost Maples State Natural Area in the Texas Hill Country has the most vivid fall leaf coloration in the state.

3. Palo Duro Canyon State Park

TPW
Known as the 'Grand Canyon of Texas,' Palo Duro Canyon is 120 miles long, 20 miles wide and 800 feet deep. Palo Duro is one of the most popular mountain biking destinations in the country. Horseback riding, mountain climbing, camping and hiking are also popular activities.

4. Garner State Park

Located on the Frio River in Concan, Garner State Park is one of Texas' most popular summer getaways. Whether it's swimming, fishing, paddling, or tubing, most visitors to Garner find a way to get on or in the water. However, there are also "dry" activities such as miniature golf, birding, nature trails, hiking and more.

5. Mustang Island State Park

Danno Wise
Mustang Island State Park includes five miles of beachfront and offers visitors fishing, camping, beachcombing, swimming, surfing, birding, and other outdoor recreation options.

6. Longhorn Caverns State Park

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Longhorn Caverns are a Hill Country wonder that have housed Comanche Indians, Confederate Soldiers and, perhaps, and outlaw or two. Today the site is a state park, offering a number of tours and educational programs.

7. Guadalupe River State Park

Located in Comal County in the Texas Hill Country, Guadalupe River State Park encompasses a nine-mile stretch of the Guadalupe River, offering park visitors plenty of swimming and tubing opportunities.

8. Hueco Tanks State Historic Site

Hueco Tanks offers a variety of outdoor activies, most notably camping and rock climbing. However, one of the biggest draws to this historic site are the prehistoric pictographs that dot the cave walls there.

9. Devil's River State Natural Area

Located just north of Del Rio on Texas' famed Devil's River, the Devil's River State Natural Area offers a variety of outdoor activities in a remote setting. Canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, fishing and swimming are just few of the many activities available.

10. Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site

TPW
Washington-on-the-Brazos is the location where the Convention of 1836 signed Texas' Declaration of Independence from Mexico. The site also served as the Texas Capitol off and on through the early years of the Republic of Texas.
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