Get Out! Find an Adventure

Chicas, now that the weather is beautiful it’s time to get out of the house! Seriously, go, play outside, take a bike ride or a hike, or jump into a pool (with a natural rock bottom, por supuesto). Summer is almost here and you don’t want to be sitting at home. Explore the great outdoors!

In Austin, you don’t have to go far to find an area friendly to outdoor activity. Check out these places for some fun close to home.

The greenbelt at Zilker Park is a great place to spend the afternoon. For that matter, the same trail is also a good place for a walk or run if that’s more your style. You can’t skip the Zilker pool either, with its refreshingly cool water and its natural rock bottom. You can get a great taste of the outdoors without leaving the city. Really, it’s not that far from downtown.

McKinney Falls State Park is another Austin outdoor wonder. The park has paved trails for walking and road biking, and unpaved trails for mountain biking and hiking. Onion Creek runs through the park, and depending on the water level, you can swim and fish in the creek, if that catches your attention. They have campsites, and a sponsored youth group camping area, so plan a trip with your friends.

Texas has a lot of gorgeous outdoor areas, if you want to check out places outside the Austin city limits, look into these.

Perdanales Falls State Park is definitely worth a trip. It is right outside Johnson City, and has a little bit of everything. In one place you can find almost 20 miles of hiking and biking trails, and 14 miles of backpacking trails, plus river swimming and tubing, and a covered bird viewing station where you can watch the pajaritos picnic and play in bird baths. Make it a day trip, or stay overnight. They have picnic areas for humans too, and campsites with water and electricity, or primitive campsites, for people who think they don’t need those little extras.

The Dinosaur Valley State Park, one of my favorites, is in Glen Rose, near Cleburne. It’s like a history lesson but so much more fun. The park has dinosaur tracks all throughout its land, including some in the riverbed. Just think, you could be retracing Dino’s steps while you swim in the river, hike through the 7 miles of hiking trail or mountain bike over the 12 miles of biking trail. The park also has campsites, and don’t worry, the guys who left those prints are long gone, the wildlife now is much smaller.

Check out the Texas Parks and Wildlife website, www.tpwd.state.tx.us. The Texas State Park Guide has information on the all the parks. If you are planning a trip, the site has a map of Texas divided into regions where you can click on icons for the parks in that area. All the information on the site is in English and Spanish, so look something up, and then go out and do it!

By Marcela Evans

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