Archive for the 'Hiking' Category

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

Laughter Lifted Spirits on a Mountain

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
Image by Tyler Priest

Image by Tyler Priest

This is Passport to Texas

Tom Harvey had a personal reason for backpacking the rugged Rancherias Loop at Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Well, frankly, I turned 60, and I wanted to do some adventures before I got too old.

Tall, lean and fit, Harvey is deputy communications director at Texas Parks and Wildlife. Joining him on the hike were 10 former state park youth ambassadors, all more than half his age.

It’s really, really beautiful to meet these young people that are just drawn to nature and wilderness. A lot of them are newbies to this—but they’re drawn to it.

Tom shares his experience in the current issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

We settled on this because it seemed like something that was a big adventure, but doable. And the trail had been blazed. There was a clear route. And it was a classic that hadn’t been written about much in the magazine—so I thought: why not? You know, we’ll write about the Rancherias Loop.

No stranger to wilderness backpacking, Tom says the first night they scrambled to set up camp ahead of a storm.

Well, it was scary when it was happening. We barely got those tents up when the rain hit. And it was blowing a gale. It was very tense.

Find out what happened to the backpackers in the January/February of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine; on newsstands now.

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

TPW Magazine: Hiking the Rancherias Loop

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Photo: Emily Lozano

This is Passport to Texas

Tom Harvey, deputy communications director at Texas Parks and Wildlife, planned several wilderness adventures to celebrate turning 60 last year.

Well, I did one. So at least I got something.

That one: backpacking the Rancherias Loop in Far West Texas with alumni from the state park youth ambassador program. He wrote about it for the current issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine. Near the end of the first day, Tom said an approaching storm forced the group to stop, set up camp and take cover.

We barely got those tents up when the rain hit. And it was blowin’ a gale. It was very tense; because the wind was so powerful, it would blow the tent entirely flat, like a giant hand was mashing it down. So, I’d be lying there on my back in my sleeping bag and the tent would come flapping down right onto my face. It was scary. I was really concerned that the wind was so strong that it was just going to peel those tents right off the mountain. And so here I was in my tent—not a happy camper—and what do I hear, but laughter. In the next tent over, there are these three young ladies, and I can hear them giggling. When the big wind would come and blow the tent flat, they would howl with laughter. And it shook me out of my black worry. And I thought to myself, they’re choosing to laugh in the face of this storm. It just lifted my spirits.

Read about the entire three day, two night backpacking adventure in the current issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

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