In the past decade, the citizens of San Marcos have built and currently maintain more than 17 miles of trails throughout the city. Here are a few images that did make it into our print edition.
Most of my day trips consist of a handful of museums, a bit of outdoors, and lots of great food. But then there are the trips that take me into the remote reaches of Texas; to places without restaurants and streetlights but riddled with adventure. My recent journey was of this kind, as I set out with friends to summit the highest point in Texas: Guadalupe Peak.
After running across a brief story on a new rail-trail in northeast Texas, I had to investigate. The 130-mile trail—open to cyclists, runners, walkers, and even equestrians—extends from Farmersville in eastern Collin County to New Boston just west of Texarkana. It travels through seven counties and 19 rural towns. Some sections are paved, some are gravel, and some are the original rough railroad bed. As someone who has written a Texas hiking guide and taken photographs all over the state, I wondered why I’d never heard of it.
Travelers on the Caprock Canyons Trailway sometimes feel they’ve tipped time’s arrow on its head. Following the path of an abandoned rail line, the 64-mile trail system takes hikers, cyclists, and equestrians across the region’s halcyon backyard, into the agrarian plains and broken rangeland of caprock country, and out of this century completely.
Take a hike. Rather than a brush-off, to me this sounds like an invitation to have a great time. Hiking offers one of the most accessible and versatile ways to enjoy the outdoors. Naturally, Texas boasts an amazing array of hikes for every taste and ability—from strolls of less than a mile to treks longer than 100 miles, through thick woods or open country, on high mountain slopes or smooth, flat shores. Here’s a selection of 10 of my favorites.
For a relaxing break from city hustle, venture down the following urban trails…and learn about nature along the way. Regulations vary, but everywhere, follow the hiker's credo: Take only photographs and leave only footprints. Stay on marked trails to prevent erosion. Wear sturdy walking or hiking shoes. Carry insect repellent, sunscreen, and plenty of water, plus a camera and binoculars.