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Top 10 Best State Parks to Visit in Texas

Big Bend Ranch State Park
Photograph by Surfsupusa, via Wikimedia Commons

Big Bend Ranch State Park

#1 in Best Top 10 State Parks to Visit in Texas

Big Bend Ranch State Park located along the Rio Grande river is the largest state park in Texas. The state park next to to Big Bend National Park features rugged mountains and steep canyons. Big Bend Ranch State Park offers 238 miles of hiking trails. It is known for outdoor recreation including river rafting, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.

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Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Photograph by Sefor4, via Wikimedia Commons

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

#2 in Best Top 10 State Parks to Visit in Texas

Known as "The Grand Canyon of Texas", Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States. It is located in the Texas Panhandle near Amarillo. The 120 miles long canyon is known for multicolored layers of rock and steep mesa walls. The state park features 30 miles of hiking trails. Park activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping.

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Franklin Mountains State Park
Photograph by Larry D. Moore, via Wikimedia Commons

Franklin Mountains State Park

#3 in Best Top 10 State Parks to Visit in Texas

Franklin Mountains State Park located 15 minutes from El Paso is part of the Chihuahuan Desert. The 27,000 acres park offers over 100 miles of hiking trail. Franklin Mountains are 23 miles long and stretch from El Paso into New Mexico. Highest peak is North Franklin Mountain at 7,192 feet. Rock Climbing is permitted at the designated area in McKelligon Canyon. The state park offers many recreation activities including hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, camping, and picnicking.

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Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Photograph by Claygate, via Wikimedia Commons

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

#4 in Best Top 10 State Parks to Visit in Texas

Located about 17 miles north of Fredericksburg, Enchanted Rock is a popular giant granite dome. The rock covers about 640 acres and rises around 425 feet to an elevation of 1,825 feet. It is the largest pink granite hill in the United States. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area includes Enchanted Rock and surrounding scenery. The park features 11 miles of hiking trails. Park activities include hiking, camping, rock climbing, and scenic overlook. The 0.8 mile Summit Trail is the most popular Enchanted Rock summit trail that goes to the top of the rock and offers spectacular views of Hill Country.

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Garner State Park
Photograph by Billy Hathorn, via Wikimedia Commons

Garner State Park

#5 in Best Top 10 State Parks to Visit in Texas

Garner State Park located in Concan, Texas is known for easy access to the Frio River. The 2.9 miles of Frio River offers swimming, float on inner tube, and paddle boat recreation activities. The state park is also popular for camping in Hill Country area. Garner State Park offers 16 miles of hiking trails. Park activities include hiking, biking, swimming, camping, and boating. The park is also known for summer dance at the at the park's concession building and dance pavilion.

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Guadalupe River State Park
Photograph by Larry D. Moore, via Wikimedia Commons

Guadalupe River State Park

#6 in Best Top 10 State Parks to Visit in Texas

Guadalupe River State Park located on Guadalupe River is popular for recreation including tubing, swimming, fishing, and canoeing. The state park offers four miles of river access and 13 miles of hiking trail. Other activities of the park include hiking, biking, camping, bird watching, and picnicking.

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Pedernales Falls State Park
Photograph by Liveon001, via Wikimedia Commons

Pedernales Falls State Park

#7 in Best Top 10 State Parks to Visit in Texas

Pedernales Falls State Park located west of Austin is known for recreation along the Pedernales River. The park is popular for swimming, tubing, wading, and fishing. The state park features 20 miles of hiking trails and huge slabs of limestone. Other activities include hiking, camping, and picnicking. Flash flooding is common in the area and river water can rise in a few minutes.

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Longhorn Cavern State Park
Photograph by Larry D. Moore, via Wikimedia Commons

Longhorn Cavern State Park

#8 in Best Top 10 State Parks to Visit in Texas

Longhorn Cavern State Park is located northwest of Austin in Burnet County. The park is known for limestone cave formed thousands of years ago. It is a popular tourist attraction with pavilions and observation tower. Admission to the park ground is free. However, entry to the cavern require admission fee. Administration building of the state park features exhibit.

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Huntsville State Park
Photograph by John Bonzo, via Wikimedia Commons

Huntsville State Park

#9 in Best Top 10 State Parks to Visit in Texas

Huntsville State Park is located north of Houston in the Sam Houston National Forest. The park offers 21 miles of hiking trails. It is popular for recreation activities on the 210 acre Lake Raven including fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boat. Park activities include hiking, biking, picnicking, camping, and viewing nature.

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Brazos Bend State Park
Photograph by Rickubis, via Wikimedia Commons

Brazos Bend State Park

#10 in Best Top 10 State Parks to Visit in Texas

Brazos Bend State Park along the Brazos River is home to American aligators. The state park is located just 45 miles from downtwon Houston. The state park features 37 miles of hiking trails, wetlands, coastal prairie, and bottomland forest. Nature Center offers exhibits on the three ecosystems in the park. George Observatory located in the park is part of Houston Museum of Natural Science. Recreational activities include hiking, biking, fishing, picnicking, camping, and wildlife viewing.

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