Active Athlete presented by Sun & Ski: Hiking Trails
There is nothing better than hitting the hiking trails in Texas on a beautiful fall day.
The weather is finally getting cool enough where going on a hike for a few miles sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday or the weekend for that fact. So, where should you go hiking in the Lone Star state?
We're here to help. For those of you who love to hike, the following trails are some of the best that you can find from all across the state.
So, strap up your boots, because it's time for an all-out excursion.
Big Bend National Park - South Rim
The most notable hiking trail in Texas is famous for a reason. Located in Big Bend National Park 70 miles southeast of Marathon, the South Rim trail offers you a stunning portrait unlike anything else in Texas. There is spectacular scenery here, including the largest protected area of diverse cactus and wildlife filled Chihuahuan desert.
A staple of "Texas-hood", Enchanted Rock should be on every Texan's bucket list, regardless of whether you are a hiker or not. Just north of Fredericksburg in the Hill Country, Enchanted Rock gives you one of the best panoramic views you can find in Central Texas. That is if you can make the 1.2 miles trek up the large pink granite batholith. You also have the option to make the 4-mile loop trail to the summit. Whichever you choose, make sure you bring lots of water and are ready to mingle with your fellow Texans! It's a popular spot. Enchanted Rock state park also offers camping but we advise you arrive early because the park fills up quickly on a daily basis.
Caprock Canyons Trailway
Head up towards the Lubbock area and find Caprock Canyon. It is beautiful for hiking and photography along the way. The Caprock Canyons National Park and Trailway is home to bison herds. There are 13 hiking trails, but six follow the trailway, which is where you can have the best chances of seeking bison roaming like they would have in the 1800s.If you want to stop and fish along your hike, fishing poles are loaned out for free by the park and bait can be purchased.
Galveston Island State Park
Surprised? You may not think of Galveston Island as the ideal "hiking spot," and no, this trip won't offer you mountain or canyon views, but with over 2,000 acres of marshland, dunes and inlets, the hike in Galveston Island State Park offers something different. If you are a photography or bird enthusiast, GISP can be your hiking paradise with herons, egrets and other sea-faring avians a plenty. Make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen though, as Galveston Bay is right along the trail.
The Smith Spring Loop
Strap on the hiking boots and head out to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. In the fall this is a must-hike area when the leaves change. Head into the woods and enjoy the landscapes of the Chihuahuan desert and lush woods. There is 80 miles of hiking trails in the Guadalupe Mountains and the Smith Spring Loop is only 2.3 miles round trip.
Big Sandy Trail - Big Thicket National Preserve
If you want to learn about East Texas ecology, there's no better place than in the Big Thicket National Preserve, which holds 40 miles of hiking trails. The Big Sandy Trail is the only trail that also allows horseback riding. Not only can you immerse yourself in deep forest, but you'll experience a departure from most Texas landscapes. The bogs (or baygalls) are filled with foliage that you can't find anywhere else while the trails loop you through the wet, humid park. There are no established campgrounds here but camping is permitted to allow a full day of hiking, horseback riding, kayaking and sleeping under the stars.
Other Top Spots: Guadalupe Peak, Lost Maples, Lost Pines, Palmetto State Park So, if you find yourself looking to explore the great state of Texas and all of its diverse geo landscapes, make sure you gear up with Sun & Ski Sports. With five locations in the Houston area and low prices, Sun & Ski Sports has everything you need to turn your hiking ex