A Tradition of March Family Campouts

Submitted by Gloria Rainwater

Every March my siblings and our respective families leave Houston and Dallas behind for 3 days and 2 nights of camping bliss in a Texas State Park. Rising at dawn to the sounds of birds singing on a March crisp morning in a Texas campsite is nothing short of pure heaven.

Our favorite camping hiking memories are:

  • Dinosaur Valley State Park - our kids squealing with delight at the sight of dinosaur tracks in the water. 
  • Brazos Bend State Park – the unexpected sighting of an alligator sunning itself near the trail.
  • Garner State Park - skimming rocks with the kids in a stream off the Frio River. 
  • Lost Maples State Natural Area - Hiking up far above the trees and looking look down into a stunning valley. 
  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area - huffing and puffing and crawling my way up. Just Kidding. Waking up in the middle of the night to the scratching noise of a small animal trying to open a cooler we foolishly left on the picnic table. Not Kidding! 
  • Pedernales Falls State Park – early morning sightings of deer outside our tents. Hiking down to the stream to cross the cool clear waters and closing our eyes and listening to the soothing sounds of water running over the rocks. 
  • Galveston Island State Park - my son excitedly leaving our shelter before dawn to go fishing with his Uncle in the Gulf of Mexico. 
  • Buescher State Park - falling asleep to the calming sounds of light rain outside our tent and then waking up to a sunny morning and hiking in a dewy beautiful piney woods setting. 
  • Lake Mineral Wells State Park - the year a conscientious Ranger warned us that a storm was brewing and would hit by nightfall. That year we became supermen & women and were packed and out of there in less than 30 minutes! 

I grew up in the 50s and 60s and spent summers on my grandparents’ small central Texas farm. I wanted my children and grandchildren to experience what I experienced as a child. I wanted them to see rural Texas up close. In short, I wanted to give them the same gift my grandparents gave to me---the gift of Texas.