Texas outdoor sports culture is rich and developed. Learn about Texas destinations and fun things to do .At the outbreak of the pandemic, we found ourselves trapped in our homes, feeling sicker each day of the sedentary lifestyle we had to lead because of the restrictions. The new circumstances prompted some of us to look for ways to escape that hell. Outdoor sports activities became salvation because social distancing here isn’t an issue and the effect of physical activity is genuinely restorative to both body and mind.
The outdoor industry exploded. Wholesale and retail sales increased by tens of percent, while clubs and communities saw a substantial increase in participants. Our outdoor sports store located in North Richland Hills, Texas, wasn’t an exception. So we’ve decided to conduct a small research and collect information on the most fun things to do outside in Texas.
Hiking and Birding
You can think hiking combined with birding or birding combined with hiking – it’s all about your preferences. Anyway, combining several outdoor activities is always rewarding. Hiking trails that cross several habitats contain more bird species than you would see in one spot. Both your inner hiker and birdwatcher win. Of course, you have to sacrifice pace and focus more on observation and listening to bird songs.
Texas offers plenty to hiking birdwatchers and birdwatching hikers thanks to a large territory with diverse landscapes varying from hot deserts and steep mountains on the west to coastal plains on the east.
Biring in Texas is interesting since the state has 613 bird species registered. South Padre Island near the Mexican border is of particular interest to savvy birders because it serves as a place for birds to rest and gain energy for further migration to the south or north. Also, consider Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, formerly known as Aransas Migratory Waterfowl Refuge. It’s one of the most popular locations within the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail and the largest wildlife refuge in Texas that offers lots of easy hiking trails on which you can observe ducks, egrets, herons, and such endangered species as a whooping crane.
If you want to explore the desert wildlife, try Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Those adventurous and experienced hikers seeking a challenge must hike up Guadalupe Peak. It’s a beautifully dangerous destination with trails home to such species as rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and coyotes, and cliffs dropping more than 1,500 feet.
Lake Somerville State Park offers as many as 40 miles of hiking trails varying from easy to challenging. The Trailway is the largest (13 miles long) and hardest hiking trail in the system that crosses ponds, meadows, and creeks home to many bird species.
If you think fishing is a boring, expensive, and brainless activity, you’ve never tried fly fishing. Though very beginner-friendly in terms of gear, fly fishing requires deep knowledge and physical activity. You should store and analyze lots of information about the river and its dwellers, bug life cycles, and feeding patterns and activity periods of the species you want to catch. Also, fly fishing implies a considerable amount of exercise, especially if you wade up a river or a creek waste-deep in the water, which is the most fun. So if you like challenges and aren’t afraid of failures, you should definitely try fly fishing in Texas.
Having over 80,000 miles of rivers and streams, Texas offers many opportunities to fly anglers and other fishers. More than 70 Texas State Parks allow license-free fishing, and some of them even provide loaner gear, so you can try fly fishing without buying your own equipment.
Guadalupe River is ideal for fly fishing. The river is full of bass and sunfish, but the real draw is the year-round rainbow trout populating the Canyon Tailrace. It’s the only place in Texas cool enough to support trout. Such other locations fly anglers should consider Blanco, Pedernales, San Gabriel, Llano, and Lamparas Rivers.
Mountain climbing is a great sport that requires excellent physical fitness, strength, and balance. Obviously, it’s not for complete beginners. Before heading out on expeditions, you may want to polish your climbing techniques on the walls of a climbing gym.
Mountain climbing is liberating and rewarding and offers a thrilling experience few get to go through and unbelievably beautiful landscapes few get to enjoy. It also teaches you patience and persistence, while the thrill of climbing rocks and the feeling of being small, the constant companions of many mountaineers, foster a healthy attitude towards the world and positive thinking.
North-West Texas has plenty of mountain systems for you to test your climbing skills. Beginners can start with Hueco Tanks. This area of low mountains is ideal for transitioning from gym wall climbing to bouldering rocks. Numerous artifacts of Native Americans and rich wildlife make climbing and exploring even more interesting.
Lake Belton is best known for bouldering areas like Roger’s Park, but lately, the routes for sport climbing have seen a new development. The Reimers Ranch climbing area near Austin is full of mountains with sharp holds and will be ideal for enthusiasts of top rope and sport climbing. Trad climbers will appreciate Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.
This type of cycling implies riding a mountain bike off-road. Since the introduction of the first mountain bikes in the 1970s, the industry has come up with several bike constructions designed for optimal performance in a particular terrain. There are several mountain biking disciplines, like cross-country or enduro, but we’re going to focus on trail riding.
Trail riding is the most popular type of cycling in Texas and beyond. Jack of all trades, the trail mountain bike covers a vast array of off-road applications. Generally, trail riding is a choice for those outdoor enthusiasts who want to combine exercise and scenery observation.
Texas biking culture is very developed, with a strong network of trails and numerous communities and clubs. If you want to have a fun time and enjoy nature in all its forms, you should pick a trail in one of Texas State Parks. For example, birdwatchers will appreciate Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and Brazos Bend State Park. Cyclists who seek balanced but interesting tracks are welcome in Cedar Hill State Park with 12 miles of trails designed by the Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association. Want to explore canyons? Government Canyon State Natural Park and Palo Duro Canyon State Park will definitely impress you with their breathtaking views.
Kayak design makes kayaking a versatile sport, which means more opportunities to accelerate your experience. Its nibble nature allows you to sail through all kinds of water, from narrow rivers testing your body and mind to lakes and oceans fostering peace and calmness. Kayaks allow you to do all kinds of crazy-cool stuff like jumping over waterfalls, sneak up on birds and animals, and explore crevices otherwise inaccessible.
Fifteen rivers, a long shoreline along the Gulf Coast, and numerous lakes and streams offer lots of opportunities for both whitewater and flatwater kayaking in Texas.
Every self-respecting kayaker should visit Siloam Springs Kayak Park. The park boasts its engineered rapids ranging in speed from 200 to 600 cubic feet per second. Kayak fishers should consider places like Lady Bird Lake, Toledo Bend Reservoir, Caddo Lake, Guadalupe River, Neches River, and Blanco River.
Now that you’ve read the article, you know what opportunities for outdoor adventures Texas has to offer and what places are best for the novice and experienced. We hope this top list of outdoor activities will motivate you to spend more time outdoors because few things in our life can offer as much as mother nature can. Good luck with your adventures!