Where: Colorado Bend State Park
Gorman Falls is truly a gem of the Texas Hill Country. This waterfall is situated in Colorado Bend State Park, one of the most diverse state parks in the area, and is what is considered a “living” waterfall. While most waterfalls will get smaller over time, Gorman Falls gets bigger. This is due to the high concentration of carbon dioxide in the water that runs through the large limestone deposits in the area.
Where: Between Louisiana and Texas
According to Caddo Indian legend, the lake was formed by a giant flood. Other theories attribute the lake’s origin to an earthquake. Caddo Lake is home to one the largest cypress forest in the world.
Covering over 26,000 acres, Caddo is the largest natural lake in the south, and the only natural lake in Texas.
The Caverns of Sonora is internationally recognized as one of the most beautiful show caves on the planet. Visitors come close and personal with this highly decorated cave system on intimate guided tours. The ranch inspired grounds and gift shop offer a place to relax in nature, pan for gemstones, hike, or even indulge in homemade fudge.
Where: Medina Valley
The Medina River is a short, narrow, beautiful river that is reminiscent of the Upper Guadalupe because of the physical nature of its topography. The Medina is a narrow river averaging about 30-40 feet wide and is lined with Bald Cypress trees.
Where: Del Trio
Fed by numerous clear springs within the region’s karst topography, the Devils River is one of the most ecologically intact rivers in Texas. From the hilltops and water’s edge of Devils River State Natural Area, visitors can revel in the sight and sound of the river’s waters tumbling over limestone past rugged ridges, canyons and grassy banks, giving life to diverse plants and wildlife.
Where: Kendall County
The caves were largely undiscovered, except by a bootlegger during Prohibition during the 1920s, until three children happened upon their sinkhole entrance in 1935. These children are believed to be the first who actually entered the main chambers of the cave. After the rediscovery, Jim Horn, the original owner of the property, decided to open it as a commercial venture. The show cave received its name, or non-name, in a statewide contest held in 1940.
Where: Llano County
The massive pink granite dome rising above Central Texas has drawn people for thousands of years. But there’s more at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area than just the dome. The scenery, rock formations and legends are magical, too!
Where: Sabinal River
Lost Maples State Natural Area covers 2,174.2 scenic acres in Bandera and Real counties, north of Vanderpool on the Sabinal River. Acquired by purchase from private owners in 1973 -1974, the site was opened to the public on Sept. 1, 1979. Approximately 200,000 people visit the park annually.
Archaeological evidence shows that this area was used by prehistoric peoples at various times.
Where: Hamilton Pool Road
Hamilton Pool is nestled inside a small canyon that can only accommodate a limited number of people. During summer days and other warm weather days, especially when swimming is allowed, the number of people trying to visit Hamilton Pool greatly exceeds the number of people the canyon can accommodate.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park opened on July 4, 1934 and contains 29,182 acres of the scenic, northern most portion of the Palo Duro Canyon. The Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930’s constructed most of the buildings and roads still in use by park staff and visitors.
The Canyon is 120 miles long, as much as 20 miles wide, and has a maximum depth of more than 800 feet. Its elevation at the rim is 3,500 feet above sea level. It is often claimed that Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States.
This park has an 800-acre equestrian area with no marked trails. A trailer parking area is provided and has a fenced corral where riders can tie and water their horses. Potable water is available in the area. The general terrain is heavy sand, with brush and a few mesquite trees. Visitors must provide their own horses.
Where: Corpus Christi
Padre Island National Seashore separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre, one of a few hypersaline lagoons in the world. The park protects 70 miles of coastline, dunes, prairies, and wind tidal flats teeming with life. It is a safe nesting ground for the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and a haven for 380 bird species.