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The Best National Parks in Texas

Texas is home to more than 100 renowned national and state parks. The state is surrounded by wonders such as historic sites, memorials, monuments, leisure areas, and national parks. The Lone Star state is well-known for its abundant landscapes and picturesque backgrounds, which attract tourists from all over the world.

This article highlights and appreciates the best national parks in Texas.

Big Thicket National Preserve

With more than 100,000 acres of forested terrain and wetlands, the Big Thicket National Preserve is acclaimed as one of the most bio-diverse regions in North America. At some point, its woodlands and bayous were home to more plant species than anywhere on the continent. Today, there are over a hundred different species burgeoning from its rich soil.

 

Padre Island National Seashore

The state boasts 350 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. While much of the shore has been commercialized, a few areas remain unspoiled.

Those who enjoy nature and the wildlife couldn’t dare miss the Padre Island National Seashore, which protects several species of sea turtles. Some of the most famous species in Padre Island are Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, which are considered as one of the rarest sea turtles species in the world.

Another attraction that draws tourists to Padre Island is bird watching. The island is a major migratory route for birds as there are over 380 species flying around the island, which is almost half the total number of species that exist in North America.

 

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Situated on the very roof of Texas, the magnificent peak of Guadalupe captures the eyes, ascending more than 8,000 meters high. The grand silhouettes of the Guadalupe Mountains spread out westwards, captivating hikers with a classic view of the Texan outback. This mountainous national park is widely known for its vast trails and elegant view, being regarded as one of the country’s most pristine wilderness regions.

 

Big Bend National Park

Texas’s renowned first national park is surrounded by 8,000 acres of protected land. Big Bend is a hiker’s paradise with over 200 miles of trails providing options from single day hikes to multi-week treks.

Other popular activities in this national park include horseback riding and kayak trips down the Rio Grande to let you discover some of the most beautiful views Texas has to offer.

Similar to Padre Island, Big Bend is also a major migration passage for hundreds of species of birds. Many species coming from the north fill the park during winters, while tropical birds flock to the Rio Grande in the spring to breed and nurture their young. Big Bend also houses some large predators, particularly Mexican black bears and about two dozens of mountain lions.

 

Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

Right up to the Mexican border, Palo Alto Battlefield is the site of the first battle in the Mexican War in 1846, where General Zachary Taylor — who would ultimately become president, actually fought.

Visitors can take a look at the preserved armory such as cannons and trenches that represented the 1846 combat. Also, a comprehensive exhibition center details the tactical outcome of the war as a whole.

Palo Alto is more than a battleground. The national park also protects a variety of plant and animal life. Moreover, it constantly adds programs that aim to connect with the millennials.

 

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Get attached with the past by taking a trip to the San Antonio Missions National Park, a collection of four missions built by Spanish missionaries along the San Antonio River in the 18th century. The missions preserve the old adobe and limestone church compounds and interpret their impact on religion, farming, irrigation, and livestock. This national park is full of rich Texas history and is a great destination for educational field trips.

 

Amistad National Recreation Area

Branched along the Rio Grande, Lake Amistad is a large reservoir formed in 1960 by the construction of a dam near Del Rio. A spring in the desert, this national recreation area is best known for its excellent water-based activities, camping, hiking, trekking as well as its rich cultural history. Amistad is also home to a wide variety of plant and animal life below and above the water.

Texas has a lot more to offer. If you are considering going out on vacation to experience nature, find out more about our rich history and culture, or want a memorable getaway with your family and friends, don’t miss to add Texas on your bucket list. Before you take your Texas vacation, don't forget to install Alpenglow Marine Lights in your boat or RV.

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