outdoors

Fireflies Set Independence Creek Preserve Aglow

March 28, 2024 | By

Exploring the Sky Islands of the Trans-Pecos

March 25, 2024 | By W.K. Stratton

Meet Spike, the Toughest Tortoise in Texas

March 19, 2024 | By

A Texas Bouquet

February 27, 2024 | By TH Staff

This article is from the Texas Highways archive. It first appeared in the June 1974 issue.

Embracing the Wild Side Through Glamping

February 5, 2024 | By Jennifer Stewart

Recovering Lost Memories at Brazos Bend State Park

January 29, 2024 | By Meghan Beaudry

Glamping Hits a High Point Along the Colorado River

December 15, 2023 | By Melissa Gaskill

The best thing about AMANI, a cushy glamping site in Shaffer Bend Recreation Area, is the view.

Hiking Through Houston’s Wild Frontier

November 21, 2023 | By Dina Gachman

27 Hours Lost in Big Bend Ranch: How One Man Survived a Hike Gone Wrong

November 13, 2023 | By Emily Brindley

Trail Blazing in Wild Texas

October 24, 2023 | By Robyn Ross

Flock to Brazos State Park for Birdwatching this Fall

October 11, 2023 | By Melissa Gaskill

The Texas State Parks system marks its 100th anniversary this year. With 89 parks, natural areas, and historic sites to choose from, visitors can experience all kinds of outdoor activities.

How Three Men in Wheelchairs Summited Guadalupe Peak in the Early 1980s

May 30, 2023 | By Andrew Stuart

Get Cooking Around the Campfire with These Tips and Tricks

May 2, 2023 | By Abigail Rosenthal

Why We Should Care About Public Land

May 2, 2023 | By Rick Bass

In Search of Texas’ Reptilian Riches and Abundant Amphibians

March 28, 2023 | By Asher Elbein

How Texans Reconnect Children With the State’s Natural Wonders

March 28, 2023 | By Rubén Degollado

Texas offers a wealth of opportunities for kids to put down their screens and dial in to nature

How to Escape Noise Pollution in Texas

January 24, 2023 | By Jennifer Stewart

Your Beginner’s Guide to Hiking in Texas

October 27, 2022 | By Amelia Nonemacher

Hiking the Summit Trail at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

April 28, 2022 | By

Where to Scuba Dive in Texas

March 24, 2022 | By Melissa Gaskill

A Mother’s Quest to Give Her Autistic Son an Untethered Childhood

November 24, 2021 | By May Cobb

What Lurks in the Dark at Texas Parks?

September 23, 2021 | By Pam LeBlanc

East Texas’ Swampy Wetlands Wouldn’t Exist Without Beavers

June 24, 2021 | By Julia Jones

Tawa Threads’ Texas-Inspired Designs Give Back to the Outdoors

April 9, 2021 | By Kimya Kavehkar

Williford, now based in Austin, designs and sells outdoors-inspired bandanas and runners via Tawa Threads, and donates 20% of proceeds to organizations that promote diversity and inclusion in outdoor spaces, including San Antonio-based Black Outside, Native Womens Wilderness, and Outdoor Afro.

Forest Bathing Doesn’t Require Soap or a Towel, Just an Open Mind

March 25, 2021 | By Sarah Bird

Local Groups Work to Reconnect the Black Community to the Joy of the Outdoors

March 25, 2021 | By Kayla Stewart

Expert Tips for Camping With Your Family, Backpack, or RV in Texas

February 25, 2021 | By

The first time I seriously considered buying an RV was in the aftermath of a family tent camping trip to Kerrville-Schreiner Park …

Texans’ Love of the Outdoors Has Blossomed During the Pandemic

November 26, 2020 | By Asher Elbein

Find Elusive Nilgai Roaming at King Ranch in South Texas

September 24, 2020 | By Asher Elbein

“Plogging” Might Be the Next Outdoorsy Trend in Texas

June 5, 2020 | By Amanda Ogle

“Plogging” has been gaining popularity in the U.S. within the last few years. The term comes from the Swedish word plocka upp, meaning “pick up,” and “jogging.” Plogging isn’t limited to jogging—people can plog while walking, hiking, cycling, and kayaking. Cities such as Galveston, Dallas, Austin, and Houston have already seen organized plogging events over the last couple of years.

Take in the Beauty of the Night Sky at the The Texas Star Party

April 30, 2020 | By Asher Elbein

This Wilderness Survival Course Teaches Beginners How to Navigate an Outdoor Emergency

October 28, 2019 | By Robyn Ross

Earth Native founder Dave Scott grew up tagging along with his father and uncle on volunteer search-and-rescue missions in Colorado. After six years in the military, he began studying wilderness survival techniques. In 2011, he launched Earth Native, one of a handful of schools in Texas that meld advanced outdoor skills like backcountry navigation, shelter building, and plant medicine with nature appreciation. Scott says he’s noticed an uptick in people’s interest in these types of skills because of survival-oriented reality TV shows. But the majority of his students tend to be less extreme. They mostly want to get into backpacking or spend more time outside with their kids.

Gallery: Reader Photos from Texas Highways’ Big Bend Experience

September 24, 2019 | By TH Staff

To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Big Bend National Park, Texas Highways partnered with the park and Big Bend Conservancy to host a special experience for 50 readers this weekend on September 20-22. The experience included guided hikes, expert photography tips, a night sky party, welcome dinner, and more.

Frio 101: Everything You Need to Know for a Trip to Texas’ Favorite River

July 8, 2019 | By Joe Nick Patoski

If you love Texas outdoors, how could you not know the Frio?
Well, maybe you’re one of the millions of newcomers who just got to Texas. Or perhaps you’ve lived in Texas your entire life and, unlike all those people whose families have been vacationing on the Frio for generations, you have no clue what or where they are talking about. Never stepped foot in Garner State Park? Think Concan is in Mexico? Well, pull up a chair and scoot closer.

Escape to the Mother Lagoon for a Quiet Coastal Getaway

May 30, 2019 | By Joe Nick Patoski

There are few places in and around Texas where the visible fish—plus dolphins, peregrine falcons, and brilliant-pink roseate spoonbills—outnumber the people viewing them. The Laguna Madre is one of those places, the only body of water in the state that truly qualifies as extreme.

One Man’s Half-Century Project to Heal a Hill Country Landscape Created a Legacy Reaching Far Beyond His Fenceline

May 10, 2019 | By Andrew Sansom

In 1969, a San Antonio fried-chicken tycoon was struck by a life-changing idea: He would find, buy, and heal “the sorriest piece of land in the Hill Country.”
Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Bamberger Ranch Preserve sprawls across 5,500 acres of grassy hills and wildflower meadows in Blanco County. When visitors arrive May 5 for the annual family day and picnic, they will repeatedly drive across a perennial stream that cascades through a series of waterfalls and d

Beginner’s Guide to Camping Gear Guide

May 1, 2019 | By

Start your camping experience off right with Texas-made products and equipment, from a sturdy cooler to a lightweight blanket

Field Guide to Camping Dangers

May 1, 2019 | By Kimya Kavehkar

One of the things that keeps potential campers in the great indoors is all the unknowns…out there. From unforgiving weather to creepy-
crawlies to vines with a vengeance, danger can seem to lurk around every tree trunk in Texas. And while nature is naturally unavoidable, being armed with knowledge—and a first-aid kit—will alleviate some fears. Kimberly Sorensen, a Houston-based outdoor education specialist with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, shares her knowledge of some common dangers in state parks.

The Beginner’s Guide to Camping in Texas

May 1, 2019 | By Kimya Kavehkar

I’d never understood the allure of camping. Perhaps it’s because my family was never very interested in spending time in the wilderness. We traveled quite a bit, but our destinations were always big cities with the inescapable smell of car exhaust and neon signs lighting up the night sky. In the outdoors, there were bugs, critters, and uncontrollable temperatures—and why would we voluntarily sleep on the ground when my parents worked very hard to put a roof over our heads? Whether due to nature or nurture, I knocked at the door of my 30s with no basic outdoor survival skills or knowledge.

Atta Girl: Lucy the ‘Bark Ranger’ Completes Quest to Visit All 95 Texas State Parks

April 24, 2019 | By Dale Blasingame

The title of “bark ranger” comes with great responsibility and even greater dedication. Lucy, my 5-year-old rescue dog, knows this better than most.

Where to See the Most Historic Bat Roost in Texas

April 15, 2019 | By Asher Elbein

On summer nights in the Hill Country, rivers of Mexican free-tail bats stream out of caves and abandoned buildings, spiraling up to hunt in the skies. One colony of bats emerges from a strange, 30-foot-high structure that resembles a church steeple on stilts, with pyramidal shingles, and is visible from a public road in the Kendall County town of Comfort.

Hike, Fish, and Play—but Watch Out for Bigfoot—at the Mineola Nature Preserve

March 28, 2019 | By Jennifer Babisak

Past the sign for a wastewater treatment plant on the southern edge of Mineola, one of the largest municipal parks in the nation awaits. The Mineola Nature Preserve sprawls 2,911 acres across garden trails, forests, wetlands, grassy fields, and river. More than 193 species of birds roam here, as well as delicate butterflies, roly polies, thundering buffalo, and Longhorn cattle.

Film Tour Focuses on Texas Wildlife, Adventure, and Conservation

February 11, 2019 | By TH Staff

Looking to enjoy the Texas outdoors from the comfort of the indoors? Look no further than the Wild Texas Film Tour, which is again rolling across the Lone Star state following its debut in 2017.

The tour showcases short films about Texas wildlife, adventure, and conservation—including the reintroduction of desert bighorn sheep to West Texas, following their elimination from the region more than half a century ago; and a journey on the Rio Grande, the state’s only federally designated wild and scenic river.

Guadalupe Mountains Landmark Designated As Endangered

July 9, 2018 | By Julia Jones

Framed by a dramatic mountain backdrop, not far from the Texas-New Mexico line, is a building made of stone, steel, and stucco—an early modernist piece of architecture that seems to have gotten lost on a desert trail on its way to a more urban setting elsewhere.

Make a Date with Mother Nature on the Pecos River

June 26, 2018 | By Pam LeBlanc

For nearly a week, an unspooling ribbon of greenish-blue will carry you down frothy rapids, alongside towering escarpments, and into deep, fish-filled pools. You’ll tangle with tall reeds that line the banks, drag boats through a section of bony limestone channels called The Flutes, and camp on rocky riverbanks.

Paddling the Devils River in Southwest Texas Offers High Risks and High Rewards

March 21, 2018 | By Matt Joyce

You find two kinds of paddlers on the Devils River: those who come out here whenever possible and those who will never do it again. Or so the saying goes.

I was pondering this thought one morning on the river as I clambered out of my kayak to perch on a boulder and peer 100 yards downstream at a serene pool flanked by sloping slabs of limestone. In between lay Dandridge Falls, a series of cascading rapids that coursed and swirled through chutes, over small ledges, and around protruding boulders and brush.

4 Voluntourism Options in Texas to Combine Your Passions for Travel and Doing Good

March 19, 2018 | By

Research shows that giving time to others can make you feel as if you actually have more time for yourself. Volunteering also reduces stress, improves health, and fosters personal satisfaction. Such benefits match up with many of the reasons that people travel. What if you could combine the two—volunteering and traveling?

Editor’s Note: More Reasons to Get Outside this Spring

March 19, 2018 | By

Americans are spending less and less time outdoors.
According to recent studies, we spend an average of 93 percent of our lives indoors, and children today spend half as much time playing outside as their parents did.

It’s Hard to Be Stressed-Out in a Hammock

February 8, 2018 | By Susan L. Ebert

The sky’s a bruised black and a north wind scatters leaves as I step inside the Kammok Gear Shop at the corner of E. 7th Street and Navasota in Austin. I’m a devoted hammock-camper, and I’m here to accessorize for the elements. Glancing around the shop is like doing a face-plant in a rainbow: Hammocks of several sizes hang vertically against the wall in neon streams of electric orange, turquoise, gold, and purple. Against the back wall, I spot just what I need: a Koala underquilt to sling below my hammock and a Firebelly trail quilt to keep me toasty on top.

Second Spring

September 9, 2014 | By Lori Moffatt

We Texans are accustomed to defending the beauty of the state’s fall color.

Wildflowers of Texas

February 18, 2014 | By

Texas Highways has chosen 30 of Texas’ most common wildflowers to identify and celebrate. It is a brief introduction to the splendor of a Lone Star spring – just a sampling of the more than 5,000 blooming plants in our lush state, so forgive us if we’ve omitted your particular favorite.

Northeast Explorer: Discovering a New Rail Trail From Blackland Prairie to Piney Woods

February 21, 2013 | By Lawrence Parent

AFTER RUNNING ACROSS A BRIEF STORY on a new rail-trail in northeast Texas, I had to investigate.

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