8 Texas State Parks You Need To Add To Your Bucket List

Texas is home to more than 90 unique state parks, so if you’re planning a camping trip to the Lone Star State, get ready for some amazing outdoor adventures. From beautiful waterfalls and winding rivers to stunning canyons and amazing night skies, here are 8 state parks in Texas you should add to your bucket list.

1. Pedernales Falls State Park: Johnson City

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This beautiful park is a must-see for anyone camping in the area. Visitors can swim in the Pedernales River, go tubing or kayaking, check out the waterfalls, mountain bike, picnic, bird watch, go horseback riding and geocache. There are a number of different hiking trails to choose from including the short half-mile Twin Falls Nature Trail and the challenging six-mile Wolf Mountain Trail. Camp nearby at Granite Rock RV Park.

2. Big Bend Ranch State Park: Presidio

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Big Bend Ranch State Park is the ultimate park for outdoor lovers. Experience rugged mountains, breathtaking views, steep canyons, amazing night skies, and the beautiful Rio Grande River. With 238 miles of multiuse trails, you will never run out of places to explore. You can also bring along your OHV and enjoy 70 miles of dirt roads as well as fish or paddle on the river.

3. Palo Duro Canyon State Park: Canyon

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Palo Duro is the second biggest canyon in America. Visitors can explore this rugged yet gorgeous canyon on 30 miles of biking, hiking, and equestrian trails. Other popular activities include bird watching, geocaching, joining a ranger program, or catching a performance of the outdoor musical, TEXAS.

4. Davis Mountains State Park: Fort Davis

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This remote park is located in the mountains of West Texas. Visitors can explore the park on numerous trails, take a scenic drive, stargaze, discover nearby Fort Davis, or do a little bird watching. If you’re looking for solitude, this is the perfect place to escape the crowds and bask in the awesome mountain views.

5. Colorado Bend State Park: Bend

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This stunning state park has a little something for everyone. Venture through the park on foot or bike on 32 miles of trails, paddle on the slow moving Colorado River, go fishing, explore caves, take a swim, enjoy the wildlife, or take a guided tour. Popular activities include hiking to the beautiful Gorman Falls, and for the more adventurous, Wild Cave tours that lead beneath Colorado Bend. Camp nearby at Scurlock Farms.

6. Dinosaur Valley State Park: Glen Rose

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Located near Fort Worth, visitors can explore the Paluxy River and discover real footprints left by the dinosaurs millions of years ago. There are 20 miles of trails that wind throughout the park as well as a 100-acre Primitive Area that can be explored by horse. After you’re done tracking the dinosaurs, take a swim or spend the afternoon fishing in the river. Camp nearby at Cactus Rose RV Park.

7. Caprock Canyons State Park: Quitaque

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Caprock Canyons is home to 90 miles of trails for biking and hiking, equestrian trails, and hundreds of freely roaming bison. Lake Theo is the perfect place to cool off, go fishing, or paddle. Visitors can also explore Clarity Tunnel and meet some bats or spend a few hours geocaching and enjoying a picnic surrounded by the beautiful canyons.

8. Longhorn Cavern State Park: Burnet

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Located Northwest of Austin, these unique caverns are definitely worth exploring. Visitors can take a variety of guided cave tours including Walking Tours, Wild Cave Tours, Geology Programs, and Photography Tours. After you’re finished in the cave, you can take a hike or have a picnic. Camp nearby at M5 Ranch.


Discover Texas campgrounds on Camp Native or check out these 5 Must-See Places in Texas Hill Country.

Jessica Goehring title: Administrator
Jessica is a freelance writer. She resides in Minnesota with her husband, daughter dog, and 4 cats. In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling, and hiking.