20 Beautiful Texas Parks San Antonians Should Escape to This Fall 

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Texas is so beautiful, but many San Antonians just know what's in our backyard. We picked out our favorite local parks, as well as badass parks that are totally worth more of a drive. Whether you're an amateur hiker, experienced biker or just like a leisurely stroll on a scenic trail, we've picked out some of the most beautiful nature trails you can enjoy within the great state of Texas this fall.
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Daingerfield State Park
455 Park Rd 17, Daingerfield, (903) 645-2921, tpwd.texas.gov
Get your hike on at this northeast Texas park, or even just walk the perimeter of the lake for some seriously natural views. You can also boat on the water, which sounds hella relaxing.The foliage here is said to absolutely beautiful, but you’ll just have to see for yourself.
Photo via Instagram / urtinkerbell1
Guadalupe River State Park
3350 Park Rd 31, Spring Branch, tpwd.texas.gov
Not too far from San Antonio, this state park is a known swimming hole. But during the fall, Guadalupe River State Park still gets plenty of visitors for its awesome trails. Making up 13 miles in trails, you’ll be able to choose between long and short options, and whether you want a route less traveled or on that offers killer views.
Photo via Instagram / https://www.instagram.com/mauldin_uncharted/
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
16710 Ranch Rd 965, Fredericksburg, (830) 685-3636, tpwd.texas.gov
The massive pink granite dome here is popular for a reason. Though a solid choice any time of year, Enchanted Rock is hands-down the most comfortable to visit during the fall. There’s nearly 11 miles of hiking trails, all of which have incredibly beautiful views. But if you’re looking for something extra special, be sure to try your hand at rock climbing. There’s specific routes you can try, just remember to do your research to ensure safety.
Photo via Instagram / moun10man
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
400 Pine Canyon, Salt Flat, (915) 828-3251, nps.gov/gumo
Taking up a massive area in Texas and up to the New Mexico border, this national park should definitely be a bucket list item for true Texan explorers. Perhaps surprisingly, you’ll be able to see fall colors here. And you’ll also be able to hit up the sand dunes if you go further inside the park (it’s seriously that huge). Of course, there’s plenty of land waiting to be trekked. Wilderness awaits you here.
Photo via Instagram / tomhamiltonphotography
Caprock Canyons
850 Caprock Canyon Park Road, Quitaque, (806) 455-1492, tpwd.texas.gov
Here’s another road trip idea for ya. Way up in the Panhandle, you’ll be able to explore Caprock Canyons, where there’s miles and miles of open land. As far as things to do, there’s plenty. From hiking and mountain-biking (trails collectively make up nearly 90 miles!) to horseback riding and camping, you won’t be bored for a second here. Just as entertaining will be watching the bison roam free. You’ll feel like you’re in an old Western, it’s just that real.
Photo via Instagram / jhumphries__
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
11450 State Hwy Park Rd 5, Canyon, tpwd.texas.gov
Though quite a ways from San Antonio, Palo Duro should definitely be on your Texas bucket list – so why not this fall? Not too far from Amarillo, this Panhandle state park is the second-largest canyon in the U.S., so yes, it’s massive. Visiting during summer can be brutal with the heat, so now is really the best time to visit.
Photo via Instagram / shutter_knight
Huntsville State Park
565 Park Road 40 West, Huntsville, (936) 295-5644, tpwd.texas.gov
Mostly wooded, this Huntsville park is filled with plenty of trees that are still guaranteed to take you aback. Hikers will love exploring the 21 miles of trails, and there’s also playgrounds and a nature center. You can also camp overnight, just beware of alligators.
Photo via Instagram / kimberlyn_pace
Big Bend National Park
Hwy 385, Panther Junction, (432) 477-2251, nps.gov/bibe
Sure, it’s hella far all the way out there in West Texas, but Big Bend is a national park and attracts visitors from all over the world. Make it a point to visit this year (or at least some point in your life), and you’ll understand what all the fuss is about. From dayhiking and biking to stargazing and backpacking, you’ll want to set aside more than a few days to explore the massive park.
Photo via Instagram / parksproject
Buescher State Park
100 Park Rd 1-C, Smithville, (512) 237-2241, tpwd.texas.gov
Located not too far from Bastrop State Park, Buescher has scenery that’s worth the drive out there. While hiking is definitely an option here, those who prefer wheels will definitely want to hit up eight miles dedicated to mountain bikers. And if you’re thinking of going two-for-two, the drive to Bastrop State Park is absolutely beautiful, too.
Photo via Instagram / cafejax
Bastrop State Park
100 Park Road 1A, Bastrop, (512) 321-2101, tpwd.texas.gov
West of Austin, Bastrop State Park is a great spot to take the family. Camping, picnicking, biking and hiking – it’s all here. Oh, and plenty of wildlife for you to check out. Though there’s only seven miles of trails, there’s also the 12-mile ride between Bastrop SP and Buscher SP. Now that’s a ride for seasoned bikers (or anyone with a car).
Photo via Instagram / truemarmalade
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Garner State Park
234 RR 1050, Concan, tpwd.texas.gov
While Garner is a favorite during summer days of floating the Frio River, it’s also a solid getaway for fall. With a decent amount of fall foliage, you’ll be in awe of the ground during the cooler season. Walk around the park and take in nature’s beauty, and if you’re so tempted, book an overnight cabin or set up a tent for the weekend.
Photo via Instagram / texasproud1845
Pedernales Falls State Park
2585 Park Rd 6026, Johnson City, (830) 868-7304, tpwd.texas.gov
Right in the heart of Central Texas, Pedernales Falls offers plenty of ways to experience the beauty of nature – especially in the fall. In addition to camping, picnicking, geocaching, bird-watching and riding horses, there is, of course, plenty of fun to be had on these trails. Ranging from easy to challenging, you can choose a route that works for you. Each trail has something extra to offer, like scenic views or a hell of a challenge.
Photo via Instagram / da_bray_bray
Lost Maples State Natural Area
37221 FM 187, Vanderpool, (830) 966-3413, tpwd.texas.gov
If you’re a sucker for fall foliage, Lost Maples is one of the for sure spots in Central Texas where the scenery looks like you’re in the northeast. This natural area is perfect for hiking, so grab your camera (or selfie stick, we won’t judge) and let the views here take your breath away.
Photo via Instagram / https://www.instagram.com/christyacrossamerica/
Big Thicket
FM 420, Kountze, (409) 951-6800, nps.gov/bith
Heavily forested, this national park in southeast Texas offers an intimate look at natural life. You’ll love learning about the carnivorous plants, most species in the U.S. are all found within Big Thicket. And with more than 40 miles of trails, you can choose the one right for you based on what plant life you’d like to see, or what activity you want to take part in, or just by distance.
Photo via Instagram / coffeeintrees
Blanco State Park
101 Park Rd 23, Blanco, tpwd.texas.gov
Sitting along a mile of the Blanco River, this park offers camping, picnicking, nature trails and even a wildlife viewing station. If you don’t mind exploring your seasonal water options, throw on a sweater and spend a few hours fishing or boating.
Photo via Instagram / txparksccc
Cedar Hill State Park
1570 FM1382, Cedar Hill, (972) 291-3900, tpwd.texas.gov
It’s not often we’ll throw out suggestions near Dallas, because, well… Dallas. But if you’re so inclined to head way up north, be sure to put Cedar Hill on your itinerary. This North Texas park is ideal for biking and hiking, and makes it a point to bring nature to the forefront. The park also lets you tour an old farm, so agriculture is also really essential to the vibe here.
Photo via Instagram / theraputicnature
McKinney Falls State Park
5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, tpwd.texas.gov
With Austin city limits (see what we did there?), you’ll be able to explore McKinney Falls. Located at the confluence of Onion Creek and Williamson Creek, this spot is truly an escape from city life without being out in the sticks. There’s a hard-surface trail that’s perfect for wheels (especially strollers), or you can opt for a traditional, rugged hike. Though you won’t swim, the beauty of the waterfalls are worth checking out, too.
Photo via Instagram / krl_photo
Padre Island National Seashore
20420 Park Rd 22, Corpus Christi, nps.gov/pais
A beach might sound like a weird place to visit during fall, but just trust us on this one. This nationally-owned seashore is nothing like its neighbor of South Padre Island. The seashore is preserved, so nature is abound here. While you may not want to go swimming, Padre Island will be less crowded than summer, allowing you to take in the beauty here.
Photo via Instagram / ourlifewithporter
Inks Lake State Park
3630 Park Rd 4 W, Burnet, (512) 793-2223, tpwd.texas.gov
If you’re looking for hills, Inks Lake is worth the visit. With a variety of trees and plants – cedar, live oak, prickly pear cacti and yucca – the landscape here is absolutely gorgeous. North of Austin, Inks Lake is a prime spot for appreciate nature, which you can do while camping, backpacking, picnicking and hiking. Just make it a point to swing by the Devil’s Waterhole.
Photo via Instagram / jilliantownson
Colorado Bend State Park
2236 Park Hill Dr, Bend, (325) 628-3240, tpwd.texas.gov
There’s plenty of wilderness to explore here – from Gorman Falls to Spicewood Springs. Though great for summer activities, cooler weather is the best time to test your limits across the 35 miles of trails that you can choose to either bike or hike. There’s also the chance to go camping the old-school way. Primitive or bust, y’all.
Photo via Instagram / margeauxferreiraphoto
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Daingerfield State Park
455 Park Rd 17, Daingerfield, (903) 645-2921, tpwd.texas.gov
Get your hike on at this northeast Texas park, or even just walk the perimeter of the lake for some seriously natural views. You can also boat on the water, which sounds hella relaxing.The foliage here is said to absolutely beautiful, but you’ll just have to see for yourself.
Photo via Instagram / urtinkerbell1