21 of the Best Texas State Parks to Put On Your Bucket List

Although Texas is home to two National Parks and various regional, city, and county parks, the outdoor spaces managed by Texas Parks and Wildlife are some of the state’s most beautiful and historic spots.

1. Bastrop State Park

The city of Bastrop and Bastrop State Park is located 35 miles from downtown Austin. It is the site of the famous “Lost Pines,” an isolated region of Loblolly pines and hardwoods. Forest fires and floods have ravaged the park recently, but nature bounces back.

2. Guadalupe River State Park

A short, easy drive from San Antonio and Austin, Guadalupe River State Park is a popular swimming spot for south and central Texas residents. With four miles of river frontage, the Guadalupe River is the star of the show, but there are other things to do, too.

3. Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Located near Amarillo, Palo Duron Canyon is the second-largest canyon in the United States. Texas Parks and Wildlife manage half of the canyon, and the other half is private land.

4. Caprock Canyon State Park & Trailway

The bison roaming free throughout the park makes this lesser-known Texas State Park really special. Check with the ranger station and read the posted signs for wildlife safety tips.

5. San Angelo State Park

San Angelo State Park is located just outside San Angelo, Texas. The park converges on the banks of O.C. Fisher Reservoir and the Concho River, which runs through the nearby city.

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