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Outdoor Recreational Activities in Texas

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Texas is a big state known for its wide open spaces. Within these wide open spaces -- as well as on the hundreds of miles of water within the Lone Star State -- Texas visitors and residents have a myriad of outdoor recreational opportunities. From rock climbing to fly fishing, camping to kiteboarding, if it can be done outside, it can be done in Texas.

1. Camping

Texas offers visitors a variety of ways to spend time outdoors. For those visitors who never want to be indoors, Texas has a number of excellent spot to pitch a tent and spend the night under the stars. Whether it is a state park, national park, a sandy stretch of beach or a natural reserve, Texas offers campers a vast variety of areas to choose from.

2. Hiking

Outdoor recreation is big in Texas. If it can be done outside, it can be done in the Lone Star State. Among the best outdoor recreational activities available in Texas is hiking. With wide expanses of open spaces, Texas has a number of locations which are ideal for hiking. And, because of its varied geography, Texas offers hikes ranging from deeply wooded trails to mountain peaks to sprawling dunes and beaches. Spring and fall, because of the mild temperatures, are the best seasons for hiking in Texas. These two seasons also offer hikers an opportunity to see Mother Nature in transition.

3. Birding

Recent years have seen an increase, to say the least, in ecotourism activity in Texas. Although the Lone Star State has always had plenty to offer nature lovers, in past years most of these activities were "do-it-yourself" types. However, recently several public and private entities have taken measures to make ecotourism activities more accessible to tourists.

4. Saltwater Fishing

With hundreds of miles of coastline bordering the Gulf of Mexico and dozens of inshores bays and rivers, Texas has perhaps the most diverse saltwater fishery in the nation. From the semi-tropical waters of the Lower Laguna Madre on the Mexican border to the saltwater marshes that surround Sabine Lake on the Louisiana border, Texas encompasses an amazing array of marine ecosystems. As a result, Texas has numerous species for anglers to target. Among the most popular Texas inshore saltwater species are speckled trout, redfish, flounder, snook, tarpon, sheepshead and black drum. Popular offshore species include kingfish (king mackerel), blackfin tuna, yellowfin tuna, sailfish, wahoo, blue marlin and ling.

5. Freshwater Fishing

Texas has literally hundreds of lakes and reservoirs, as well as dozens of rivers and untold thousands of ponds, creeks and bayous which combine to give the Lone Star State an outstanding freshwater fishery. As is the case in most states, black bass dominate the freshwater fishing scene in Texas - and for good reason, Texas routinely produces as many or more trophy largemouth bass as any state in the nation. But, beyond largemouth bass, various areas of Texas have outstanding fisheries for species such as rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, white bass, striped bass, channel catfish, yellow catfish, blue catfish, crappie, bluegill, walleye, and more. And, some lakes, such as Braunig and Calaveras outside of San Antonio, also have a fishable population of saltwater redfish which were stocked for the purpose of giving freshwater anglers yet another target species.

6. Kiteboarding

Thanks to its consistently strong and steady winds, South Padre Island has developed into one of the top kiteboarding destinations in the United States. Due to its mild weather, South Padre Island is a true year around kiteboarding destination, attracting kiteboarders from across the country who often find ideal conditions in both the shallow Laguna Madre Bay and the beachfront waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
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