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Winter Outdoor Recreational Activities in Texas

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Granted, winter weather is often more conducive to staying inside than heading outdoors. However, each winter Texas sees plenty of beautiful, good weather days as well. When the weather breaks, it is often nice to head outside and enjoy some outdoor recreation. In a state like Texas, there is never any shortage of outdoor recreational activities available -- even in winter. Here are a few ideas for ways to spend a winter day outside and active.

1. Go Birding

As the first few cool fronts of the year enter into Texas, birding is once again on the mind of many visitors to the Lone Star State. Many species of birds ride the northerly winds into Texas, where they will spend the winter months. Among the vast variety of bird species visiting Texas is a variety of waterfowl not seen at other times of year. Much of the waterfowl is on display along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, which stretches from Brownsville to Port Arthur. Also along the Texas Coast, birders will have an opportunity to view the endangered whooping crane around the Coastal Bend. A variety of tour guides are available for whooping crane tours. Do-it-yourselfers can also view them at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. In Deep South Texas, along the Mexican border, there are literally hundreds of seasonal avian species to view during the winter months.

2. Visit the Beach

Although the weather has cooled, there are still plenty of fun opportunities on Texas beaches. Of course, when most people think of Texas beaches, the immediately think of such locations as Galveston, Corpus Christi, and South Padre Island. There is a good reason for this – each of these coastal towns is a year around destination. Of course, each of these three popular Texas beach destinations offer plenty to see and do during the winter. But, there are dozens of other small coastal towns in Texas, each of which offer visitors year around activities such as fishing, birding, shelling, and more. So, regardless of whether you choose a well-known Texas beach destination or a smaller, out of the way locale, you can count on making plenty of pleasant memories during you winter visit.

3. Fish for Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout fishing in Texas? You better believe it. Few folks outside of Texas realize that portions of the Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country offers some excellent rainbow trout fishing on a year around basis. Located a short drive from Austin, the Canyon Tailrace, a stretch of the Guadalupe that extends several miles below Canyon Lake, maintains a low enough water temperature to support a good population of rainbows and a few browns as well. True, there is not a wide variety of trout fishing options available throughout the year. Summertime trout are pretty much relegated to the Canyon Tailrace. However, the winter trout population in the Lone Star State grows rapidly as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department goes about their annual winter trout stocking program from December through February.

4. Run a Marathon

Every January, many Americans have vowed to get in better shape or have set goals for themselves, such as running in their first marathon. For aspiring -- or experienced -- marathoners, winter is the time to be in Texas. There are several marathons held in Texas during January and February. Among the largest and best known are the Houston Marathon, the Livestrong Austin Marathon, and the Cowtown Marathon in Ft Worth. Another popular Texas marathon, Dallas' White Rock Marathon, is held during the early winter -- actually during the peak of the holiday season in December.
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