Archive for the 'Hiking' Category

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.

Matt Morris Will Not be Tamed

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

Matt Morris will not be tamed. Image:

This is Passport to Texas

Matt Morris grew up in the Chihuahuan Desert, exploring the Franklin Mountains.

I’ve been exploring the mountains since I was a child. It was just always a very calming experience for me.

Matt is standing up for the wild places of Texas; sharing his story through Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s We Will Not Be Tamed Campaign. He says he found healing in nature.

At 25 years old, I was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease; I wasn’t able to keep any food in my system. Medication wasn’t really helping out. And around that time that I was diagnosed, the surgeons were recommending that I remove those infected portions of my intestines. And I refused to get the surgery. A friend of mine got me into the mountains, and we started doing some running. All of a sudden I started noticing the more I pushed myself, the next few days I was feeling a little bit better. And so I started putting two and two together, and just started really pushing my body. The more I was pushing my body, the better I was feeling. Because it’s an autoimmune disease I felt like maybe I’m at this point where I’m suppressing the immune system to a point where my body’s saying, like, okay, we’re actually getting some time to calm down a little bit and to heal. And then I jumped into yoga. And the yoga was what really catapulted me to almost feeling 100%. Today I am off all my medications; I recently had a colonoscopy and there was no sign of the disease. So, it’s a possibility to heal yourself taking a natural approach to life.

Find more stories of outdoorsmen and women standing up for Texas wild places at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti