Archive for the 'Hiking' Category

Start the New Year with a First Day Hike

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019
2019 First Day Hike at Davis Mountains State Park

2019 First Day Hike at Davis Mountains State Park

This is Passport to Texas

If one of your resolutions is to sit less and move more in the New Year, may I suggest a First Day Hike to start things right.

First Day Hikes is a nationwide initiative that Texas State Parks has been participating in for the last several years.

Thomas Wilhelm is with state parks. He says many Texas state parks host First Day Hike Events. First day hikes have become a positive way for Texans to begin the New Year on the right foot…and left foot.

Essentially, it’s the concept of getting outside on January first, and doing something to kick the year off right. So, almost all of our parks have some sort of first day hike. A few of our parks take it a unique way. But many of our parks do have those first day hikes. And they’re, of course, guided hikes with a park ranger. And it’s just a way to start the year off right on the good foot. Literally.

You don’t have to go on a guided hike …or hike at all. How about a first day sunset stroll, or bike ride or paddle on a paddling trail or a first day birding outing? Make the first day of January the start of your best year.

Find a First Day Hike near you at While you’re there check out other opportunities like Dutch oven cooking, stargazing, hikes with shelter dogs and more.

From everyone at Texas Parks and Wildlife and Passport to Texas—we wish you a Happy New Year!

And remember: Life’s Better Outside. I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Hikes and Walks in Texas State Parks

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

Takings a perky pup for a walk with the family in a state park.

This is Passport to Texas

Hiking opportunities at Texas state parks are varied. There are 1100 miles of trails and dozens of daily organized treks. Some of them have added elements to intrigue and delight.

Show up at the Davis Mountain State Park Interpretive Center on Thursday mornings and hike with a homeless dog. Help these hopeful rescues enjoy the trail as they await a forever home; you’ll get some puppy love and exercise.

Exercise caution before nibbling native plants. Although many are edible, a lot are not. Find out which native plants are nibble-worthy on ranger-led hikes, available in some of our state parks.

Does tippling interest you more than nibbling? Dinosaur Valley State Park provides the perfect place to explore how early Texans distilled, hid and sold moonshine during the Prohibition-Era.

If exploring is your thing: become a Galveston Bay explorer. Scout the salt marsh wetlands with naturalist guides and investigate the critters, fish and birds that inhabit Galveston Bay. The hike includes a hands-on-seining opportunity.

Visitors to Estero Llano Grande State Park have an opportunity to take part in their Friday butterfly and dragonfly walks. Some of these beautiful insects are found nowhere else but South Texas.

For a comprehensive list of all state park hiking opportunities go to our website, click the calendar tab and then choose Hikes and Nature Walks.

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

The Right Shoe for Outdoor Adventures

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019
A family hike at Garner State Park.

A family hike at Garner State Park is more fun when your feet don’t hurt from ill-fitting shoes.

This is Passport to Texas

Your feet take you on outdoor adventures. And the greatest kindness you can show them is to wear shoes that fit properly.

Sean Bibby is the community outreach coordinator for Whole Earth Provision Company in Austin. Before that he was one of their shoe guys. He shares tips on getting the right fit for your adventurous feet.

[Sean] All size tens are going to fit differently from brand to brand, for example. You can feel the difference when you’re walking five miles in them. And that is a big deal. So, you want to pick something that fits right at first and that consistently supports your foot in the arch, the heel the width of the toe box, the height of the toe box…the ankle support.
[Cecilia] And so how should a well-fitted shoe feel on one’s foot?
[Sean] Combined with the right socks—that’s a huge part of this—you don’t want to have any slipping around. You don’t want you heels sliding up and down too much. You don’t want your toes moving forward when you’re going downhill. Hiking downhill is often what gets people in trouble in a new pair of shoes. And so you want your foot to be generally locked in with not too much movement. You want to make sure you find a brand that works with the volume of your foot. Um, you want to be able to take your shoes off after four hours of wearing them the first day and not have any big hot spots.

Time spent outdoors is more fun when your feet don’t hurt.

That’s our show. We receive support in part from RAM Trucks…built to serve.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Resolving to Spend More Time Outdoors in 2019

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018
First Day Hike

First Day Hike at Pedernales Falls State Park.

This is Passport to Texas

Whether you make official New Year’s resolutions or not, it never hurts to have a plan going into the next 365 days. Kevin Good with state parks offers suggestions for your consideration.

Get outdoors more and take advantage of all of the opportunities that we have in Texas: from paddling trails to hiking trails to nature viewing… It’s too easy to get stuck in your routine and not take advantage of those opportunities. And I’d suggest that folks start of their New year with a First Day Hike.

Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website to find a First Day Hike opportunity near you.

First Day Hikes vary between sites, but typically, they are guided hikes led by a staff member or knowledgeable volunteer that will point out some of the best recreational aspects of a particular park. There may involve hand-on experiences, as well as educational activities along with the hikes. So, you’ll have folks not only to show you where to go and lead you on the trail, but also point out some of the topics of interest that you might see on that hike. It’s a great way to start off your new year with a healthy habit.

Find more outdoor activities on the Texas parks and Wildlife website.

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

Fresh Air for All

Monday, December 17th, 2018
Family hike at Inks Lake State Park.

Family hike at Inks Lake State Park.

This is Passport to Texas

Kids aren’t the only ones who benefit from fresh air and sunshine. People of all ages can achieve a better quality of life by spending time in the wide open spaces–as well as the forested spaces–or watery spaces. Former Texas Parks and Wildlife Outreach and Education director, Nancy Herron, shares  some thoughts.

When you spend time outdoors you can be healthier, happier and smarter. Those are some big claims there, Nancy. What do we mean by that? Actually there is a lot of research that’s out there that shows that people of all ages actually do have benefits from being outside in nature, and that does include improvements to your health, your stress level, your sense of self esteem and confidence. Even being more
cooperative. Can you believe that? Communities are more cooperative; families bond better in the out of doors. These are interesting things that we now know that we took for granted, and we just didn’t realize. That there’s a whole bevy of benefits from being outdoors.

Get healthier, happier and smarter in the New Year ahead when you spend time outdoors. Because, Life’s Better Outside’.and so are you.

Our show receives support from RAM Trucks: Built to Serve.

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