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May 13, 2009
Texas State Parks To Host National Trails Day Events June 6
BASTROP, Texas — Bastrop State Park will join eight other Texas state parks on Saturday, June 6, in suggesting you "go take a hike" to commemorate National Trails Day.
Jennifer Bristol, Bastrop State Park’s resource manager, says the park will have a trail work party and guided hike on a portion of the more than 10 miles of hiking trails that traverse the park’s hilly, pine forest. Bristol was involved a few years ago in updating the accuracy of the park’s hiking trail map through the use of Global Positioning System technology.
"We have one of the larger trail systems in central Texas," Bristol said. "Few realize that part of the frontier-era Gotier Trace — a trail that connected several of the original Texas colonies — exists within the park."
For more information about Bastrop State Park’s planned activities, call (512) 321-1673.
The American Hiking Society-sponsored National Trails Day comes on the heels of a momentous victory for hikers who can access thousands of miles of trails in the United States. On March 25, Congress passed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act that protects 2 million acres of wilderness, 1,000 miles of rivers, more than 5,000 miles of trails and affirms the 26-million National Landscape Conservation System.
National Trails Day is held the first Saturday in June to inspire the public to seek out their favorite trails to discover and celebrate while participating in educational exhibits, trail dedications, trail work projects, gear demonstrations, instructional workshops and planned hikes.
Other Texas state parks paying tribute to National Trails Day on June 6 are: Brazos Bend, Caddo Lake, Daingerfield, Franklin Mountains, Lake Texana, Mother Neff, Seminole Canyon and Stephen F. Austin.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Brazos Bend State Park in Needville southwest of Houston, visitors can take guided trail hikes focused on bird watching and alligator sighting to general nature hikes through Brazos River bottomland forests. This will be the park’s sixth commemoration of National Trails Day. There also will be an introduction to orienteering, a photography hike and programs on reptiles, birds and more. For more information, call (979) 553-5101.
Among events planned from 9 a.m. to noon at Caddo Lake State Park in Karnack are nature hikes, workshops, and guided canoe trips (bring your own or rentals available). Call (903) 679-3351 for more information.
Daingerfield State Park in east Texas will be offering an 8:30 p.m. event titled "Hiking 101 — Discover Hiking!" Participants will join a member of the park staff at the amphitheater and learn what to bring along to travel safely on a hiking trek. For more information, contact the park at (903-645-2921).
Reservations are required to join in a three-mile, sunset walk from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the Tom Mays Trail at Franklin Mountains State Park in El Paso. Call (915) 566-6441 at least a day in advance to reserve your spot to trek the trails of the nation’s largest urban wilderness park.
Lake Texana State Park in Edna will host both a morning hike (9 a.m.-10:30 a.m.) and evening hike (7 p.m.-9:30 p.m.) on park trails to celebrate National Trails Day. Hikers will meet at the Nature Center and should bring insect repellent and a flashlight for the night hike. It is accessible for the mobility impaired. Call (361) 782-5718 for more information.
One of Texas’ most historic state parks, Mother Neff State Park near Moody will welcome hikers to three miles of woodland trails from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. After the hike, record your memories on video and bring any pictures or park memorabilia for scanning into the park’s database. Call (254) 853-2389 to learn more.
Out west in the Pecos River Valley, Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site near Comstock will be offering a 10 a.m. guided hike to see the ancient pictographs at Fate Bell Shelter. The two-mile trip takes 90 minutes and is classified as moderately strenuous. Visitors also may take two other hike/bike trails at their leisure. The .33 mile Windmill Trail features a natural water spring and great bird watching. The Rio Grande Trail is a tougher six miles to the point overlooking where the Rio Grande and Pecos rivers meet. For more information, call (432) 292-4464.
For the first time, Stephen F. Austin State Park near Sealy will host a National Trails Days event. Trail Day kicks off at 10 a.m. with a one-hour ranger-led trail hike. Guided hikes also are scheduled for noon (1.5 hours) and 2 p.m. (2.5 hours). Call (979) 885-3613 for details.
While there’s no charge to attend the National Trails Days activities, regular Texas state park entry fees will still apply.
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