Cattail Marsh3

The 900-acre Cattail Marsh is a wildlife refuge established by the City of Beaumont Water Utility Department. (Photo by Kevin Stillman)

So, the time has come at the beginning of the year when we weigh (pun intended) our physical fitness levels. More often, than not, we’re not especially happy with what we see, so we set out to make changes. (Yes, those resolutions we forget to keep). That’s the bad news.

Feel the Big Bend Burn

10 Top Hikes Exploring the Mesa de Anguila: Big Bend’s Ultimate Backcountry Getaway is Packed with Gorgeous Views High Above Santa Elena Canyon

Hidden Canyons of Big Bend: Formed over vast spans of geologic time, the canyons of Big Bend region are treasure chests of desert beauty

My Favorite Hikes: Photographer Laurence Parent shares fave hikes around state

Hike for Your Health

Trail Mix: Hike and Bike the Wilds of San Marcos

Urban Scapes: Seeking natural serenity in the Texas big city

The good news is if you’re not a fan of gyms, intentional exercise or resolutions, you can burn a lot of calories and get in some great cardio by simply exploring Texas. Maybe you don’t even like the word “Hike.” Then don’t use the word, but take a walk, rest when you need to, but push yourself to enjoy more and more of some great landscapes.

Big Bend is hugely popular for hiking because the scenery is so different from what most of us can experience in our daily lives. It’s the mountains, deserts and vast open spaces minus the big-box stores, traffic and noise. It’s a true escape that keeps our minds focused on soaking in the wonder of it all and losing track of the ground we’ve actually managed to cover. Now, that wasn’t so bad, was it?

Of course, a trip out to Big Bend isn’t always accessible to everyone. Still, if distance or time is an obstacle, then think closer to home. There may be a state park closer to you. Or national parks and spaces, even.

And even closer, there are plenty of urban scapes condusive to moving at any pace you want to push yourself –– hiking trails, greenbelts, large parks, beaches and more. Just surround yourself in Texas’ natural beauty and move through it.


From the January 2016 issue

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