Archive for the 'State Parks' Category

Improvements at Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Monday, January 16th, 2017
Enjoying the amenities at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

Enjoying the amenities at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

This is Passport to Texas

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, one of the crown jewels in the Texas State Park system, just got a little polish.

If you haven’t been to Palo Duro in a while, consider getting out there to see what’s new. Because—like all Texas state parks—it’s getting better all the time.

Last fall, Texas Parks and Wildlife unveiled comfort and safety improvements at the park, made possible through a joint effort with the Texas Department of Transportation.

The more than 27-thousand acre park got a new camping loop with some sweet amenities, as well as a series of bridges constructed to provide safe passage across flash-flooding hazards on some of the park’s roadways.

The new Juniper camp loop features 20 rebuilt campsites, a group camp area, an indoor group hall and comfort stations with bathrooms and showers.

In addition, six bridges were constructed over water crossings on Palo Duro Canyon’s main roadway to enhance park visitor safety by providing access to higher ground areas of the park during flash flooding events.

Palo Duro Canyon State park offers camping, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, and equestrian trails. And for lovers of musical theater, there’s the summer production of the musical Texas!

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Barrington Living History Farm Goes Whole Hog

Friday, January 6th, 2017
Butchering and curing workshop at Barrington Living History Farm.

Butchering and curing workshop at Barrington Living History Farm.

This is Passport to Texas

They’re going whole hog at Barrington Living History Farm January 14 & 15. That’s when they’ll present a hog butchering and curing program to the public.

Butchering is just one part of many things that we do seasonally throughout the year.

Barb King is a park interpreter at the farm, located at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. The program takes place outdoors in January just as would have happened in 1850s rural Texas.

So, all the meat that will be produced, and the sausage and the fat that we will save for soap or cooking all needs to be at a constant temperature, which is cold—like your fridge. So that we can start the curing process without worrying about it spoiling.

Staff will dispatch a heritage breed hog before visitors arrive. Barb says the rest of the process is for public view, which is mostly a demonstration…

People are able to do a tiny bit if they choose—like helping us scrape the hogs. But cutting up the carcass into specific portions of meat is only done by staff. A lot of people come right at 10, and we normally have a big group waiting. And then on Sunday, we focus on more of the preservation aspect.

Visitors who return Sunday will observe how staff cures the meat for storage. The butchering and curing program at Barrington Living History Farm is January 14 & 15, from 10am – 4pm both days. Admission fees apply. Find complete details at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

First Day Activities in State Parks

Thursday, December 29th, 2016
Palo Duro Canyon First Day hike, Upper Comanche Trail.

Palo Duro Canyon First Day Hike, Upper Comanche Trail.

This is Passport to Texas

As another New Year draws near, we make resolutions to do better and to be better. Increasing our physical activity rates high for most of us. Texas State Parks are stepping up to help you reach your goals with First Day Hikes and other outdoor fun beginning Day One.

That’s right. New year new goals.

That’s Aaron Friar with Texas State Parks.

We have a lot of cool first day hikes, where folks can come out on New year’s Day… on the trails…or we even have biking seminars…or even paddling events. Our parks really embrace the whole New year, new you, new goals and getting people out using the parks. If you’re doing something that’s fun, and you enjoy it—you forget about the work side of it. So, I think when you’re out in the parks and you’re being active, you enjoy it a lot more, and are more inclined to do it again—and make it a habit. If you go to, we have an events page; our parks are constantly posting events on that page. And our first day hikes [and other first day activities] will definitely be on there. The parks really embrace it and have a lot of fun with it.

Find all first day activities at

We record our series at The Block House and Joel Block engineers our program.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Holiday Gifts for the Nature Lovers on Your List

Monday, December 12th, 2016
Anderson Ranch in the Texas Panhandle

Anderson Ranch in the Texas Panhandle

This is Passport to Texas

Holiday gift giving season is upon us, and if you have nature lovers on your list—the giving is easy—and twice as nice.

A seventy-dollar Texas State Parks Pass is a thoughtful gift for your outdoor enthusiast. Pass holders enjoy twelve months of unlimited visits to more than ninety state parks and historic sites. They also get discounts on camping and recreational equipment rentals. Money spent on the pass supports your Texas state parks.

For thirty dollars each, you can give the drivers on your list a conservation license plate. Twenty-two dollars from every sale goes directly to help fund conservation efforts in Texas.

Give every outdoor lover on your list access to more than a million acres of public land—with the Limited Use Permit—for the ridiculously reasonable price of twelve dollars.

Permit holders receive twelve months of access to Texas’ wildlife management areas, where they can fish, hike, bird watch, cycle, and camp.

When you give one of these gifts, you delight the receiver, and help support state parks and conservation in Texas.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation supports our series and helps keep Texas wild with support of proud members across the state.

Find out more at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW Magazine’s Year of State Parks

Friday, December 9th, 2016
Palo Duro Canyon Glow

Palo Duro Canyon Glow

This is Passport to Texas

Of Texas’ more than 90 State Parks, some stand out as iconic. And others not so much.

I think like Ray Roberts might not be one of those iconic parks like Enchanted Rock or Garner State Park—even though it’s huge and a lot of people use it.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine Editor, Louie Bond says, Lake Ray Roberts State Park still made it into the publication’s yearlong celebration of state parks. While iconic sites got top billing, Bond says most parks got some love.

We tried to include everyone; we almost got them all. But, we included them in groups, like parks with great swimming holes, parks where you might want to take a hike, parks where you could ride a bike. And then grouped some parks by interest, like parks where you could take a photo of a great view—and just let people have a broader scope of what’s available in a state park system.

To close out 2016: one of the most iconic parks of all.

It’s Palo Duro. And, interestingly enough, as we went to press, the Washington Post ran an article on Palo Duro, and they said: you know, that canyon in Arizona may be larger, but Palo Duro ranks right up there with it.

You can read all the articles on state parks from this year online or when you download the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine APP from iTunes or the Apple Store.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.