Texas State Parks

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Starry Nights

McDonald Observatory

See the night sky like never before at one of our Dark Sky Parks. Four state parks are certified Dark Sky Parks: Big Bend Ranch, Copper Breaks, Enchanted Rock and South Llano River. Devils River State Natural Area is a Dark Sky Sanctuary. These sites offer stargazing programs and have taken steps to minimize light pollution for better night sky viewing.

Learn more about stargazing at Texas State Parks:

Hike Pick: Lake Whitney State Park

Two Bridges Trail

Two Bridges Trail in Lake Whitney State Park

Looking for an easy way to get outside and enjoy nature? Take a short road trip from DFW or Waco to beautiful Lake Whitney State Park and try our Two Bridges Trail.

This family-friendly hike is an easy one-mile loop with an abundance of natural beauty. Wander beneath giant post oaks on this shaded path and take in great lake views from the lake shore. Stop and enjoy the scenery from two wooden bridges that cross small creeks. Look for wildflowers, white-tailed deer, and a stunning variety of birds.

Discover Texas' natural beauty with the whole family at Lake Whitney State Park!

TPW Magazine: Park News

Endangered Aplomado Chicks Banded at Mustang Island

Mustang Island Aplomado Falcon Chick

On June 1, researchers put leg bands on fuzzy Aplomado falcon chicks at Mustang Island State Park. A pair of adult falcons occupy an artificial nest structure there, one of 67 maintained along the Texas coast.

The nonprofit Peregrine Fund, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began the Mustang Island project in 2012. Controlled burns and other work to restore native coastal prairie have been essential to the reintroduction.

Aplomado falcons are some of the world's fastest and most agile fliers. Aplomado is a Spanish word for dark gray, the color of the bird's back. The northern Aplomado falcon landed on the federal endangered species list in 1986. This was mainly because of loss of grassland prairies where they hunt.

Read more in TPW Magazine

Activities and Programs

Summer Fun

Summer Fun

Sun's out, fun's out! Swim, paddle and explore at a Texas State Park.

  Top Summer Happenings

Spotlight on Texas Parks & Wildlife

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