State parks to check out

Spring Break is right around the corner and what better way to spend that time than connecting with the great outdoors? According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website, there are over 100 state parks in Texas. With so many state parks to choose from, it may feel overwhelming deciding which parks to visit. We at The Courier have narrowed the list to four state parks. Pick one from the list, grab your friends and experience the natural wonders available in Texas this Spring Break.

Rosa Poetschke, Editor-in-Chief

Illustration of Colorado State Park
Eriana Ruiz

Colorado Bend State Park

Latitude: 31.022965

Longitude: -98.442401

Entrance fee: $5 daily for adults

Gate hours: open daily, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.

If you are not ready to commit fully to camping, check out Colorado Bend State Park. 

The park is located less than 100 miles northwest of Austin, so you could split your Spring Break in two parts: a few days in the park among the great outdoors and some in Austin. 

While in the park, be sure to check out Gorman Falls, Spicewood Springs or the 35 miles of hiking and biking trails. 

The park is situated along the Colorado River. Bring your own kayak or rent one at the park. To find additional activities at Colorado Bend State Park visit the park’s website: 



Illustration of Garner State Park
Eriana Ruiz

Garner State Park

Latitude: 29.598887

Longitude: -99.743981

Entrance fee: $8 daily for adults

Gate hours: open daily, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Garner State Park is located five hours south of Dallas and northwest of San Antonio. This state park is also a great option if you are looking to add a city visit to your Spring Break plans.

Situated in the Texas Hill Country, the park provides easy access to the clear waters of the Frio River. 

Float on the river or hike along the 16 miles of scenic trails. Equipment rentals are available at the Garner State Park Concessions, making it easy to travel without loading up your car.

In addition to hiking or enjoying the river, be sure to check out White Rock Cave and Crystal Cave while visiting the park. The caves are marked with signage and are easy to explore.



Illustration of Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Eriana Ruiz

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Latitude: 34.984709

Longitude: -101.701867

Entrance fee: $8 daily for adults

Gate hours: open daily, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park boasts the second largest canyon in the country. Located five hours from North Texas, it is a much closer drive than the Grand Canyon but still provides breathtaking views.

You can explore the 30 miles of trails on foot or mountain bike. The  park allows horseback riding along certain trails and guided tours are available. If you are worried about roughing it, Palo Duro Canyon offers glamping options. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website, options include fully furnished, air-conditioned sites for those looking for a little more luxury when camping. Camping reservations are encouraged as spaces fill up during busy seasons.




Illustration of Big Bend State Park
Eriana Ruiz

Big Bend Ranch State Park

Latitude: 29.470458

Longitude: -103.957922

 Entrance fee: $5 daily for adultsr

Gate hours: open daily, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The trip to Big Bend Ranch State Park is longer road trip but has must-see stops along the way.

You can stop in Marfa, Texas and check out their well-known Prada art installation, Chinati Foundation or the Marfa lights phenomenon. Another sight to see along the way is the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool located in Balmorhea, Texas.

Big Bend Ranch State Park, has 238 miles of multi-use trails to explore. The Rio Grande river snakes through the park and provides relief from the Texas heat. 

Big Bend is designated as an International Dark Sky Park so you can also spend time stargazing without interference from artificial lights.