Texas State Parks is celebrating 100 years this year with programs and events throughout the state. The parks cover some 630,000 acres, protect rivers and reservoirs, and provide habitats for threatened and endangered wildlife. From hiking and biking to fishing and kayaking, the parks offer outdoor adventures and peaceful retreats for nearly 10 million visitors each year. There are 89 parks across the state—find some centennial events at three of the most popular parks below.
Pedernales Falls State Park, located in the Texas Hill Country just west of Austin, is home to a popular but strenuous quarter-mile trail that leads to the swimming, wading, and tubing area of the Pedernales River. As part of its centennial celebration, Pedernales Falls State Park will host an evening event in April to encourage families to get outdoors. Activities include stargazing, a camping demonstration, and a nighttime testing station to compare your senses to those of nocturnal wildlife.
Brazos Bend State Park in the Coastal Prairie region is a popular destination among Houston residents who enjoy the park’s 37 miles of trails and lush landscapes. To commemorate the centennial, the park will host the Brazos Bend Expo in May. The expo will feature a full day of programming that will help the community around the park celebrate the milestone.
Big Bend Ranch State Park in West Texas is known for its remote location and rugged beauty with canyons, mountains, and a lack of light pollution for stargazing. Archaeological sites and towering canyon formations keep visitors coming back. As the largest state park in Texas, Big Bend Ranch State Park will celebrate the centennial by hosting Airstrip Astronomy, a night of stargazing, astrophotography, and astronomy-based oral history at the Sauceda Airstrip inside the park, in April.