Web Extra: The Texas Pineywoods Experience
In the April 2011 issue of Texas Highways, writer Jennifer Babisak explores new ecotourism opportunities in East Texas, including kayaking along the 9.2-mile Neches-Davy Crockett Paddling Trail, which hugs the Davy Crockett National Forest and is part of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s rapidly expanding paddling trails program.
In her story, Babisak shines a spotlight on an initiative by the Conservation Fund (an organization that works to preserve land across the United States) called the Texas Pineywoods Experience, whose goal is to protect the forests and ecosystems of the Pineywoods region of East Texas and to promote economic growth and tourism in the area. For visitors, the Texas Pineywoods Experience’s Web site, www.texaspineywoodsexperience.org, offers numerous itineraries divvied up into three areas of interest —“nature & outdoors,” “arts & culture,” and “history and heritage.” Each category allows you to expand or narrow your search according to your particular interests.
A click on the “Arts & Culture” button, for example, leads to brief descriptions and links to performing arts centers, interesting architecture of the area, museums and exhibits, crafts, antiques, and festivals. “Nature & Outdoors” leads to such categories as birding and wildlife; hiking, biking, and horseback riding; boating, fishing, swimming, camping, pick-your-own farms, and wineries. Once you’ve settled on a basic itinerary, the Web site allows you to find maps, and pick accommodations and restaurants near your destination.
Consider it your personal East Texas concierge.