National Parks in Texas
There are different national parks and other national sites located in the state of Texas.
Fort Davis National Historic Site is famous for the Buffalo Soldiers (all-black regiments) who were stationed at Fort Davis from 1867 to 1885. Big Thicket National Preserve is another important site, with a rare reserve of flatland palmetto hardwoods, Savannah, floodplain forests, mixed hardwood, and pine forests.
The preserve is a habitat for the red cockade woodpecker, speckled snake, American swallow-tailed kite, four types of North American carnivorous plants, black buffalo fish, marbled salamander, and the hairy woodpecker.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is yet another fascinating site in Texas and houses six Spanish colonial missions, irrigation canals, and architectural sites from the 18th century.
How Many National Parks are in Texas?
There are two national parks in Texas, which are Big Bend National park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park. However, Texas has 14 protected areas that fall under the National Park Service. This includes parks, historic sites, and preserves. From the vast wilderness of Big Bend to the scenic dunes of Padre Island, landscapes throughout the Lone Star State (Texas) are unmatched.
|1||Guadalupe Mountains National Park||86,367 acres (34,951 ha)||Sep 30, 1972||Culberson County and Hudspeth County, Texas, USA|
|2||Big Bend National Park||801,163 acres (324,219 ha)||Jun 12, 1944||Brewster County, Texas|
|3||Amistad National Recreation Area||58,500 acres (23,700 ha)||Nov 11, 1965||Val Verde County, Texas, USA|
|4||Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park||1,570 acres (6.4 km2)||Dec 2, 1969||Blanco County, Texas and Gillespie County, Texas, USA|
|5||San Antonio Missions National Historical Park||826 acres (334 ha) 460 acres (190 ha) federa||Apr 1, 1983||San Antonio, Texas, USA|
|6||Padre Island National Seashore (PAIS)||130,434 acres (527.85 km2)||Sep 28, 1962||Padre Island, Texas, United States|
|7||Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park||3,357.42 acres (1,358.70 ha) ,1,039.62 acres (420.72 ha) federal||Nov 10, 1978||Cameron County, Texas, USA|
|8||Big Thicket||106,305 acres (43,020 ha)||Oct 11, 1974||Southeast Texas, U.S.|
|9||San Ford National Recreational Area|| || || |
Top National parks to visit in Texas and things to do there
Big Bend National Park Texas: Big Bend is the largest national park in Texas. It is situated adjacent to the US-Mexico border on the large bend in the Rio Grande River. The landscape is diverse.
It ranges from desert land to deeply carved river canyons to towering mountain peaks. One can spend the day hiking, biking, or fishing, take a river trip or go horseback riding.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park: This national park protects the world’s most extensive fossil reef. The landscape is wide from mountains and canyons to deserts and dunes.
The park is also home to the state’s four highest peaks and 80 miles of hiking trails. Striking vistas throughout this park have made it a hiker’s paradise. Backcountry camping in Texas’ the Guadalupe Mountains affords an amazing stargazing opportunity.
Padre Island: Padre Island National Seashore (PAIS) stretches for 70 miles and is the world’s longest undeveloped barrier island. It protects the important ecosystem including the world's most endangered sea turtle species, the Kemp’s ridley. One can indulge in activities such as relaxing on the beach, swimming, fishing, camping, Kayaking, biking, picnicking and bird watching.
Big Thicket: This national preserve protects the incredible diversity of life found where multiple habitats converge in southeast Texas. Hiking trails and waterways meander are there, from longleaf pine forests to Cypress-lined bayous.
Amistad National Recreation Area: An oasis in the desert, Amistad National Recreation Area consists of the US portion of the International Amistad Reservoir. It is best known for its excellent water-based recreation, camping, hiking, rock art viewing, and its rich cultural history.
Best Time to Visit National Parks in Texas
The Best time of the year to visit National parks and recreation areas in Texas in the spring season ( March-April) or the fall season (October-November). Spring season as winter’s chill is gone throughout much of the state, wildflowers are in bloom, and summer’s scorching temperature hasn't arrived yet. The fall season is also the best time to visit as visitors are treated to cooler temperatures and vibrant fall colors in Mckittrick Canyon and more.
|National Parks ||Location|
|Alibates Flint Quarries - National Monument||Fritch, TX|
|Amistad - National Recreation Area||Del Rio, TX|
|Big Bend - National Park ||Along the Rio Grande, TX|
|Big Thicket - National Preserve||Beaumont, TX|
|Chamizal - National Memorial ||El Paso, TX|
|El Camino Real de los Tejas - National Historic Trail ||Across TX and LA|
|El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro - National Historic Trail||Across TX and NM|
|Fort Davis - National Historic Site||Fort Davis, TX|
|Guadalupe Mountains - National Park||Salt Flat, TX|
|Lake Meredith - National Recreation Area ||Fritch, TX|
|Lyndon B. Johnson - National Historical Park||Johnson City, TX|
|Padre Island - National Seashore ||Corpus Christi, TX |
|Palo Alto Battlefield - National Historical Park ||Brownsville, TX|
|Rio Grande - Wild & Scenic River ||Southwest Texas|
|San Antonio Missions - National Historical Park||San Antonio, TX|