A Good Week Exploring Texas State Parks

It’s been a very good week to be on the road exploring Texas State Parks.  

Steve and I visited Stephen F. Austin State Park, Colorado Bend State Park, San Angelo State Park, and Caprock Canyons State Park. 

Here are a few notes and pictures from our trip so far.  (There will be a separate post with birding notes and photos.)

The trails at Caprock Canyons are beautiful. We had two clear and cool days where the red rock canyon, purple cactus, and mint-green vegetation popped against a startling blue sky.

The third day turned cloudy and cold, but the hiking was still good.

Caprock Canyons is an open range for the official Bison herd of the State of Texas. Hikers share the trails with bison, who leave their marks behind everywhere. We came across them on several trails, but fortunately, there was always room to steer clear of each other. 

The bison liked to use the hikers’ bench as a scratching post. You can see tufts of fur that snagged on the wood.
This historical marker at Caprock Canyons brings together many things I’m learning in the book I’m reading: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Dimond.

In San Angelo State Park we struggled with poorly marked maps and trails. We determined that the park’s official cartographer was Jeffey from the Family Circus. His map might make sense if you’re simply following the animal tracks.

Racoon tracks
Javelina tracks

In Colorado Bend State Park we hiked to Gorman Falls.

What impressed me most about the hike were the birds. My head kept turning to follow flashes of red, yellow, and orange flicking across the trail against a crisp blue sky. At one point, Steve pulled off the trail and said “This is a good tree.” We sat down under the cedar trees with a round of robins. The photos didn’t turn out, so I drew a picture in my journal.

Our next stop, Palo Duro State Park, will be delayed a day because of a winter storm. As I write this, we are holed up in a cozy Airbnb in Quitaque, Texas. Here’s what it looks like outside our window:


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