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A Sampling of Parks in Texas

Texas is home to many state parks, reservations, and other natural areas.  Here are just a few of Texas’s most highly rated state parks and what makes them special. 

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Located in Fredericksburg, Texas, the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area covers 640 acres.  It is noted for being the largest natural rock formations in the country, made from pink granite.  It is knob shaped and rises 425 extra feet above the other elevations on this land.  Evidence from the past indicates that this particular rock area has been around for at least 11,000 years! The name Enchanted Rock is derived from Spanish and Anglo-Texan folklore.  With over 500 species of plants in the area, it is also a key area for bird watchers.  Other popular activities at the area include camping, backpacking, picnicking and hiking on the popular Summit Trail. Squirrels and white tailed deer are also common, as well as rabbits and other small animals.  Open 7 days a week!- http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/enchanted-rock/nature

Longhorn Cavern State Park

Located in Burnet County, Texas, Longhorn Cavern State Park is one of Texas’s National Natural Landmarks.  Named for Longhorn Cavern, a nearby limestone cave, this Park has served as home to some of Texas’s most notorious figures.  During the Civil War, the cavern was used by Native Americans, Confederates, and outlaws, including the famous Sam Bass, a train robber.  During the 1920’s, the Cavern was used by residents as a local speakeasy during Prohibition periods.  Many improvements have been made to this park since its inception.  It is now home to guided tours, exhibits, and the Backbone Ridge hiking trail.  The historic building is where fans of history and Texas culture can experience the ultimate in guided re-creations of the cavern’s history.  Nature lovers can hike, and view the various exhibits located throughout the cavern.  www.longhorncaverns.com

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Located in Canyon, Texas, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in Texas.   Palo Duro Canyon itself is the second largest canyon in the country.  Formed by a fork in the red river, this area is one of Texas’s least populated areas.  The Apache and Comanche peoples lived there before they were driven out by the Spanish. Now, the Park is very popular with outdoor lovers, who enjoy hiking and camping.  Palo Duro Canyon is considered the Grand Canyon of Texas because of its immensity in size. A popular attraction is the Old West Stables, offering a true horseback riding experience over the rugged canyon lands. Experience one of the  most beautiful parks in the entire Southwest! - http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/palo-duro-canyon

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