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Texas State Parks

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Texas State Park
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Texas State Park © Mildred Tee Hempel
Yellow Waterlily Taken at Fairfield State Park
Texas State Park Monarch and Winter Web © Allyson Ricketts
Texas State Park Mom and tree babies © Mildred Tee Hempel
Fairfield State Park Was bless to see a Mom and Tree fawns The password for site is john316
Texas State Park © Mildred Tee Hempel
Mom and tree babies
Texas State Park Foliage © Allyson Ricketts
Texas State Park Pileated Woodpecker © C M Prince
Taken at Brazos Bend State Park on Oct, 15 2011
Texas State Park Scissor-tailed Flycatcher © C M Prince
Taken 6/27/12 at Lake Arrowhead SP
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The Texas State Railroad (TSRR) dates back to an 1881 purchase of land dedicated to building a spur track. The purpose of the track was to connect the state owned prison iron smelting facilities, then under construction, with the Kansas and Gulf Shortline railroad. The K&G was being built from Tyler to Rusk at the same time. This connection would provide the prison iron foundry with rail service to bring in raw materials and ship products out. Increased need for rail service soon led the state to build its' own railroad that eventually extended from Rusk to Palestine, providing local communities with freight and passenger service. Today, the historic state railroad is still maintained as a fully self-contained railroad system. Its train crews maintain and operate four steam engines, four antique diesel locomotives and a complete steam-engine restoration shop, while its track crew maintains over 25 miles of track and 24 bridges.

Passengers may board the historic trains at either Rusk or Palestine. Both ends of the line have Victorian-style train stations. The trip takes 1 and a half hours to reach the opposite station. Once visitors have arrived, they have 1 and a half hours to enjoy lunch, browse through the depot's train store or take a short nature hike. Passengers then re-board for the return trip home. The State Park's 50-mile round-trip steam-engine excursions take four and a half hours.

The Texas State Railroad is known as one of the nation's largest and most unique steam-train operations. The TSRR is the only steam railroad that runs two steam trains simultaneously each day of operation. The eastbound and westbound trains meet twice daily at the mid-point of the run. This gives rail enthusiasts a rare chance to see two historic steam engines switch and pass.

State Park camping and picnicking facilities are adjacent to both depots. Rusk State Park offers shaded picnic tables, a scenic 15-acre lake, group picnic pavilions and full-hookup camping. Palestine State Park has shaded picnic tables and water-only camping sites.
1. Garner State Park offers a refreshing Frio River for swimming, tubing and canoeing.
2. Inks Lake State Park has designated swim areas in the lake with sandy beaches.
3. Pedernales Falls State Park provides river access for swimming and wading along its scenic shores.
4. Guadalupe River State park features four miles of river frontage perfect for cooling off by swimming or floating tubes.
5. Balmorhea state park boasts world's largest spring-fed pool where visitors can enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving besides regular swims.
6. Cleburne state parks' Cedar Lake is great spot to cool down during summer months.
7. Lake Corpus Christi allows you to take dip into their large reservoirs while enjoying fishing as well.

Numerous parks offer fishing opportunities in Texas. You can catch catfish, bass, trout and crappie among others.

At Lake Corpus Christi State Park, you'll find largemouth bass and bluegill fish species.

Inks Lake State Park is known for its abundance of sunfish along with white crappie and channel catfish.

Garner State Park offers a chance to hook the Guadalupe Bass - an endemic Texan freshwater fish species.

Lake Tawakoni's park provides excellent spots for catching hybrid striped bass or flathead catfish.

Fishing at Ray Roberts Lake yields large-mouthed black-bass as well as spotted gar fishes.

Galveston Island has saltwater fishing where red drum and speckled sea-trout are common catches.

Texas State Park is located near Brownsville, Los Fresnos and Port Isabel

1. Enjoy a family picnic at Garner State Park's scenic riverside spots.
2. Dinosaur Valley State Park offers shaded picnic tables near dinosaur tracks.
3. Picnic under the towering trees in Caddo Lake State Park for an unforgettable experience.
4. Relax with a lakeside picnic at Inks Lake State park, known for its clear blue waters and stunning sunsets.
5. Enchanted Rock provides unique picnicking options atop massive pink granite dome offering panoramic views of Texas Hill Country.

Bicycling is a popular activity within the park, with numerous trails available for different skill levels.

Some paths are paved and suitable for casual riders or families.

Others offer more challenging terrain, ideal for experienced mountain bikers.

Always wear helmets while biking to ensure safety on these routes.

Check trail conditions before setting out as weather can affect their state significantly.

Certain areas may restrict bicycling during certain seasons due to wildlife conservation efforts.

Be aware of other users; hikers also frequent many of these trails so caution is advised when passing them.

Remember that some parts might be remote; carry water and emergency supplies just in case.

Avoid cycling at night since visibility reduces drastically increasing chances of accidents happening.
Birding options abound in Brazos Bend, home to 300 species including the American Alligator and Roseate Spoonbill.

In Big Bend National Park, birders can spot Colima Warbler and Lucifer Hummingbird among its over 450 species.

At Guadalupe River State Park, look out for Golden-cheeked Warblers or Black-capped Vireo during spring migration periods.

South Llano River State Park is a haven for Rio Grande Turkey as well as Northern Bobwhite Quails.

Galveston Island offers sightings of Reddish Egrets while Aransas Wildlife Refuge hosts Whooping Cranes every winter season.

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley has Green Jays and Altamira Orioles amongst other unique birds native to South Texas region.

Huntsville's Jones Forest attracts Pineywoods birds like Brown-headed Nuthatches along with Bachman's Sparrows throughout the year.

Resaca de la Palma boasts Buff-bellied hummingbirds plus Great Kiskadees within their subtropical woodlands habitat.

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Area Campgrounds
South Padre Island KOA Holiday
1 Padre Boulevard
South Padre Island, TX
Port Isabel Park Center Inc
702 Champion Street
Port Isabel, TX
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Texas State Parks