Archive for the 'Biking' Category

Mountain Biking in Texas State Parks

Thursday, July 18th, 2019
A barrel cactus looks on as a mountain biker passes by.

A barrel cactus looks on as a mountain biker passes by.

This is Passport to Texas

With busy schedules and our increasing dependence on technology, we can become disconnected from the natural world. One way to reconnect… is on a mountain bike.

Doing a little wheel true here. Somewhat of a science, somewhat of a art.

Shane McAnally of Canyon Cycles has raced mountain bikes competitively. His love for riding started early.

As a kid in Austin you know having a mountain bike was awesome because I would spend all day down on the Barton Creek Greenbelt. It was the best thing ever. People that are into mountain biking, if there’s a place to create trails, the community will rally, and they’ll get trails built and volunteer all the efforts and it’s really cool to see that kind of thing.

That’s exactly what happened at Pedernales Falls State Park.

The sport of mountain biking has grown exponentially in the last few years.

Park Superintendent John Alvis.

Probably about 5 years ago we partnered with Austin Ridge Riders mountain biking group and they helped up build approximately 14 miles of new mountain biking trails. Mountain bikers are a really great use group. The trail that they created follows contour lines in the park, minimizes erosion. So they do as a whole, have a real keen interest in maintaining the resource here at the park.

Life’s better outside, especially on a mountain bike. For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

New Park Reservation System: Save the Day

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

Visitors to Enchanted Rock SP, relaxing because they “saved the Day”.

This is Passport to Texas

Ditch the “will I or won’t I get in” guessing game that often comes with visiting Texas’ most popular state parks. Now parkgoers can “Save the Day”. Thomas Wilhelm is the marketing and branding manager for Texas State parks.

[Thomas] So, what we’re calling “save the day” is essentially paying your entrance fees in advance. And by doing so, you’re guaranteeing access to a park. We have some parks that are super popular in that they fill up and we have to turn people away because of the limitation of the number of people allowed in a park. So with the Save the Day pass, you essentially pick a time slot that you are going to arrive at the park, pre-pay your entrance, and you’re guaranteed access to the park. So, you don’t have to worry about showing up and being turned away because the park is full.

[Cecilia] Well, you know, you might get there, but you might be behind a line of cars. Will there be another entrance for these people who have their pass?

[Thomas] We’ll have to work through those. Depending on the site, we may be able to create dual entrance lines. There will be a learning curve for both our employees and our customers. But, I think, in the long term, it will really speed up the process. Not just for guaranteed access, but also for getting you into the park faster and onto the fun.

Make your reservations on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. Tomorrow: Buying and managing your Texas State Park Pass online.

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

Get Dad Outdoors on Fathers Day

Friday, June 8th, 2018

A dad and his son jetty fishing at sunrise.

This is Passport to Texas

My father was not what you’d call an outdoorsy guy, but I do have some outdoor memories of him.

I remember Dad took us kids to the nearby forest preserve and taught us how to ride bikes. We had room to wobble and wipe out on the trails until we became proficient thanks to his encouragement. And once we could stay upright, he’d find a shady place to sit; he wore a big smile as he watched us zip around with abandon.

Or in summer when my mom had to work late, dad would have us kids pack up some food while he put a couple of bikes in the back of the station wagon. He’d take us to our local state park for an evening picnic that always ended with us chasing lightening bugs at dusk.

These are small moments with my father that I cherish. My dad’s gone now, but if yours is still with you, perhaps this Father’s Day—June 17—you can share the magic of the outdoors with him.

Take your dad to a Texas state park for a picnic, or a day of biking, hiking or paddling. Maybe you can do an overnight campout, or just hang out on the bank of a lake with a line in the water, and enjoy one another’s company. If you are a dad—spend time with the kiddos outside.

The great Texas outdoors and father’s day equal sweet memories.

That’s our show…. brought to you in part by Ram trucks: built to serve.

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

Bust a Move Outdoors for Better Health

Monday, May 15th, 2017
Getting outdoors does a body good.

Getting outdoors does a body good.

This is Passport to Texas

We have more than a million acres of parks and outdoor spaces in Texas, which means recreational opportunities abound, as do the health benefits of being active outside.

It’s recommended adults get a full 30 minutes a day … and children a full hour. Benefits of regular activity include: better overall bodily health as well as improved mental health.

Local and state parks offer something from everyone: from hike and bike trails, to swimming, rock climbing, paddling, and geocaching.

The opportunity for outdoor play is limited only by your imagination!

Being outside means breathing fresh air… and the varying terrain offers challenges to a workout you can’t get from a treadmill at home.

Side stepping puddles, leaping up rocks, and traversing up and down hills exercise your balance and stability in addition to the cardiovascular system.

The outdoor alternative is also more affordable than the gym, as many state parks offer low-cost admission. So go ahead and get out, because life’s better outside.

Find a park or scenic trail near you at texasstateparks.org.

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

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

Government Canyon: The Nearby Wilderness

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
Government Canyon

One of the many wild spaces at Government Canyon State Natural Area.

This is Passport to Texas

Comprised of more than 12-thousand acres of mostly undeveloped land, Government Canyon State Natural Area, outside of San Antonio, is not a state park.

Although we’re part of the Texas State Park system—we’re actually a natural area. So, our focus is primarily natural and cultural resource management. However, we do provide recreational opportunities here. We have about 40 miles of hiking and biking trails.

Superintendent Chris Holm says guests experience something entirely unique when they visit the site.

It is a unique experience, as we’re so close to the city of San Antonio. But yet, when you get out here and start hiking or biking into what we call the backcountry area, you think you’re out in the great wilderness of the North or something.

Open for visitation Friday through Monday only, Government Canyon frequently reaches maximum site occupancy on weekends.

Almost every weekend we’ll have a capacity closure because we get too many people coming out. We want people to experience Government Canyon. We want them to develop a love of the place. Stewardship. But at the same time we don’t want it to be destroyed [from overuse]. And, so, there’s a balancing act.

Tuesdays through Thursdays, site staff focus on resource management. There’s more info on Government Canyon at texasstateparks.org.

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