Along the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail by RV

RV travelers who enjoy good wines simply must make the trip to Texas Hill Country. That’s where you’ll discover more than two dozen wineries that call this scenic region home. You’ll also find warm Texas hospitality waiting at RV resorts and campgrounds near towns like Fredericksburg, Kerrville and Boerne.

Grab your corkscrew and travel along as we journey the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail by RV.

Where to Find Texas Hill Country Wineries

Picture a circle that begins west of Temple, TX at San Saba and then swings south and east to encompass Austin and New Braunfels, west to pick up Kerrville and Fredericksburg and then back north to its starting point. That’s a rough approximation of the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail.

It leads to vineyards and tasting rooms in the towns we just mentioned, plus those in Hill Country burgs like Stonewall, Tow and Dripping Springs. The vineyards stretch out for miles, offering spectacular views that invite Texas RV travelers to stop and drink in the beauty unfolding through their windshields.

The vineyards that dot the countryside offer award-winning vintages for visitors to sample in their tasting rooms. Surrounded by historic buildings, state-of-the-art winemaking technology and beautifully groomed grounds, Hill Country wineries invite you to stay and sip awhile before choosing which wines to take home with you.Temecula Wine Vineyards

Here’s a small sampling of the amazing establishments RV travelers to Texas will enjoy while visiting Hill Country. Be sure to use the link above to learn more about what’s waiting for you there.

  • Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, a small boutique winemaker near New Braunfels, pioneered the ‘Black Spanish’ wine explosion in Texas. Beautiful grounds and one heck of a survival story make them a favorite with Wine Country visitors.
  • Chisholm Trail Winery just west of Fredericksburg is famous for its free-roaming livestock as well as its wide selection of award-winning wines.
  • Perissos Vineyard & Winery near Burnet, TX is not only scenic, it’s a friendly, family-run place that’s been built on a tradition of excellence.
  • Fredericksburg Wine Road 290 is a collection of fifteen wineries along US Hwy 290 east of Fredericksburg. If you’re limited on time and would like to visit as many Hill Country wineries as possible on your RV camping trip, this is the place to be. From Grape Creek Vineyards to Lost Draw Cellars, the tasting rooms along US Hwy 290 are sure to offer a new favorite. 

Where to Camp in Texas Wine Country

Once you’ve settled on the wineries you’d like to tour, it’s time to book the campsites that suit your style and budget. Texas Hill Country campgrounds run the gamut from a small but scenic golf and RV resort on the Llano River to an urban RV campground just south of Austin. You’ll also find numerous Corps of Engineers campgrounds at area lakes and an impressive number of affordable, well-maintained campgrounds in towns like Kerrville, Bandera and Spicewood.

Whether you’re planning to meander your way through Hill Country, visiting one winery at a time, or to book a chauffeured Wine Country tour, complete with guide, your RV trip to visit Texas Hill Country vineyards will be remarkable. Be sure to check the websites of the ones you’d like to visit, as many of them host special events that will add even more enjoyment to your trip. And don’t forget, El Monte RV Rentals in Dallas is just three hours north of Hill Country wineries and always happy to help with your travel needs.

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Paddling and RV Camping Expedition to Bastrop, Texas

Bring your kayaks and canoes to Bastrop, Texas, RV travelers, for some stellar paddling action on the Colorado River. This beautiful waterway provides year-round recreation in the Austin area, whether you like to fly fish, paddle, hike a trail or simply set up camp nearby and watch the sun rise over the river.

If you’ve never traveled to this stretch of Texas, your best route from the north is I-35 from Dallas to Austin, then thirty miles southeast to Bastrop via TX-71. Once in Bastrop, you’ll find the perfect launch spot for the six-mile El Camino Real Paddling Trail at the city’s Fisherman’s Park.

Take a few minutes before you launch to enjoy Bastrop’s Riverwalk that links this park to Ferry Park just down the river. When you’re done admiring the view, head back to the boat launch and paddle downstream toward Lost Pines Recreational Trails. The Colorado makes a big loop around the city of Bastrop, but you won’t know you’re close to town once you get out on the water.

The unspoiled, backwoods beauty of this paddling trail makes it popular for kayakers, fly fishermen and the well-run paddling tours led by local outfitters. If you don’t have your own watercraft, be sure to book a tour as you plan your RV camping trip to Bastrop. For paddlers who want to drop a line while on the water for Guadalupe bass, smallmouth bass or channel cats, the El Camino Paddling Trail offers excellent prospects.

Entrance to Bastrop State Park

When you decide to take a break from the water, head over to Bastrop State Park  to enjoy the beauty of the ‘Lost Pines’, a remnant of loblolly pines found only in this section of Central Texas. You’ll also find RV campsites there, so if you like the idea of camping in a deep, green forest, by all means set up camp there for the night.

Another popular way to get out on the Colorado River while camping near Bastrop, Texas involves a visit to the Colorado River Refuge. Accessible right in town in the Tahitian Village Subdivision, the Refuge offers not only hiking trails and nature talks led by local volunteers, but also a launch point to yet another scenic stretch of the Colorado.

If you’d like to paddle a little longer on the Colorado near Bastrop, why not take the Wilbarger Paddling Trail? Put in at the bridge north of Bastrop on Farm-to-Market Road 969 and float fourteen miles past sandstone cliffs, hardwood forests and plenty of birds and wildlife, all the way down to Fisherman’s Park.

Bonus Bastrop Travel Tip: Don’t leave this Texas small-town gem without experiencing the charm of Bastrop’s Main Street. Maxine’s on Main is known throughout Texas for rib-sticking eats and the homes and shops around town represent with flair one of the Lone Star State’s earliest settlements.

With several campgrounds located along the river in the Bastrop area, including the Colorado River KOA, there’s no obstacle to an extended RV camping and paddling expedition to Central Texas. Get in touch with us for a Texas RV rental and plan to spend time on the Colorado River soon.

Image attribution: Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Tee Off with Texas RV Camping & Golf

Deep in the heart of Texas there are hundreds of public golf courses just waiting to rev up your RV camping vacation. With more than seven hundred courses to choose from, you could golf and camp full-time, or simply set up an impressive golfing itinerary for a shorter vacation. Here are top picks for Texas public golf courses situated near excellent RV camping.

Texas Star Golf Course – Euless

Located on the north side of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Euless, Texas is home to top-ranked Texas Star Golf Course. RV travelers who love to play golf will enjoy the woodsy feel of this par 71 course featuring several natural rises in elevation, creek-side play and expansive greens. The DFW area offers dozens of RV camping choices, from high-end RV resorts to cozy campgrounds on the banks of one of the area’s many lakes.

The Golf Club at Fossil Creek – Fort Worth

Another highly-rated golf course in the DFW area is Fossil Creek, designed by Arnold Palmer. Park your RV at a Fort Worth campground and then come play 18 holes on this par 72 course. It’s blessed with enough challenge to keep every golfer in your foursome paying attention. Rolling hills, a scenic creek and lush, Texas-sized trees make playing a round on Fossil Creek a memorable experience.

Tribute Golf Club – The Colony

The Colony, on the shores of Lake Lewisville north of Dallas, is home to two outstanding courses. Book a site at your favorite DFW RV resort and then book a tee time at Tribute Golf Club, named #1 by Golf Digest for three years in a row. Golfers who enjoy Scottish style golf will be thrilled to discover the rugged, picturesque beauty of one of the best courses this side of Scotland.

Old American Golf Club – The Colony

Adjacent to The Tribute on the shores of Lake Lewisville, the Old American Golf Club was designed to offer a classic American golf experience. Windswept greens and natural bunkers are just two of the ways the course designers worked to create golf as it was played in the early 1900s. Old American is a semi-private course, so check the website for dress code and tee time opportunities.

Brackenridge Park – San Antonio

Not only will RV campers in San Antonio love the wide range of campgrounds available, they’ll also love the golfing experience at Brackenridge Park. Part of the Alamo City Golf Trail, this historic course gives golfers the feel of a city park combined with the thrill of championship golf.

Quarry Golf Club – San Antonio

With the back nine set in a one-hundred-year-old rock quarry, this San Antonio course offers Texas campers a unique golfing experience. Plan to play at least one round on the Quarry when you’re camping in San Antonio—it’s known among top golfers as one of the most memorable courses in Texas. Use this guide to book your San Antonio area campsite now.

Starting to get the picture that RV camping in Texas can include great golfing adventures? These are just six of the courses that top golfers have named best in the state. Book your Texas RV rental soon, pack your favorite clubs and get ready to play at the best courses the Lone Star State has to offer.

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Take Off Through Texas Hill Country in an RV

An RV trip through the rugged landscapes of the Texas Hill Country will put a refreshing twist on your vacation.  This is not just the colorful hills of the Lone Star State but an enchanting land of palm trees, cowboys, and German culture to explore.  Texas Hill Country isn’t just a vacation; it is an experience!

Natural Bridge in Texas Hill Country

Natural Bridge in Texas Hill Country

Starting out in Austin is the best plan, and there are many sights to see in that city, too.  But you will want to move on as there is a lot to see on this Hill Country tour.  Stop at Johnson City, Texas with its fascinating history and attractions for young and old.  The grownups might enjoy a guided hunt.  The whole family will love the Exotic Resort Zoo.  There are more than 500 types of animals to see here, many endangered.

Next stop can be beautiful Fredericksburg with its historical heritage, lovely galleries and delicious German food.  Drink up the great beer and then arrange a tour of the Admiral Nimitz Museum and the National Museum of the Pacific War.  The kids and adults will find the Japanese midget submarine an awesome exhibit indeed.

Then move on to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, the ideal place to have a picnic and hike to the top of a pink mountain.  The granite is pink, and yes, you’ll need your camera gear so you can take a photo.  You might catch a shot of some of the wildlife that make this area their home.

Visit the town of Kerrville for an introduction to some wonderful home cooking and plenty of live music.  Continue on and loop around to Bandera, Texas.  This is another spot where you can find great country home cooking and a lot of country music to boot.  Relax and enjoy the ambience of the Texas Hill Country.  You’ll want to visit the Frontier Times Museum for another view of the history of this region.  You may be surprised to also see a shrunken head.  Wait a minute!  How did that get here?

At the Hamilton Pool Preserve you can go hiking and study nature, then drive to the Guadalupe River State Park to paddle on the river.  The next stop on your trip is New Braunfels, a German community that welcomes visitors and shows everyone a wonderful time.  This town was founded by a German prince and the town has followed German culture throughout the years.  Ride a miniature train, take a paddle boat on the river, and shop for creative gifts to take back home.  The Hill Country RV Resort is a great place to stay.

Grounds at the Alamo in Texas

Grounds at the Alamo in Texas

Final stop on this RV trip in Texas Hill Country is San Antonio.  Naturally, you’ll want to experience the River Walk and take in the beauty of the Alamo, but you will also love visiting the San Antonio Zoo.  There are always things happening in San Antonio.  Plan ahead by checking online for dates of fun-filled events going on during your RV trip in town so you won’t miss a thing.  This would be the proper ending to a well-planned, well-executed RV Texas Hill Country trip!

For information on renting an RV in Texas, CLICK HERE or to rent a motor home outside of the state of Texas,  CLICK HERE.

Picture credits:  Top photo of the natural bridge by Nick Cobb and the bottom photo of the grounds at the Alamo by C. Thomas Caldwell are licensed under the Explore/Creative Attribution Commons license on Flickr.
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Vacation this Winter in Galveston, Texas

An RV vacation to Galveston, Texas, can be the ideal winter getaway for the whole family.  Start the New Year out right with an adventure on the Gulf Coast.  Southern Texas has it all!

Galveston Island, Texas

Galveston Island, Texas

Instead of shoveling snow, you can sit on a beach and enjoy the gorgeous sunsets.  Instead of slipping and sliding around on frozen streets, you can travel the highways in style in an RV motorhome.  You have a wide choice of places to stay in Galveston.  The Jamaica Beach RV Park is one of the top choices for RV camping enthusiasts.  You will be near the beach, and have easy access to all sorts of fun activities, including watching dolphins play, taking a boat tour, and much more.

One of the most exciting things about Galveston is that you can enjoy playing in a water park, even in winter!  The Schlitterbahn Water Park is the only indoor waterpark in the state where you can have swimming fun like you wouldn’t believe.  You won’t freeze – the waters are heated!

History plays a large part in your Galveston experience.  You must take in some sights which give you the opportunity to tune-in to some of the Texan past.  Bishop’s Palace is one place to visit, an ornate mansion on the National Register of Historic Places.  The very first brick home in the state was Ashton Villa, built in 1859.  Stop by here to see the museum housed within.

And speaking of museums, there are others around Galveston that you shouldn’t miss.  One is the Railroad Museum with its fascinating railcars, artifacts, and even a ride on the Harborside Express.  The model trains thrill “kids” of all ages.  Another museum which is a must-see is the Texas Seaport Museum.  You will enjoy a self-guided tour of the numerous exhibits found there.

All aviation enthusiasts who enjoy viewing aircraft of early days will love the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame.  Some of the best displays in the nation are available here.   Some are permanent and some are rotating, but whichever it is, you should not pass up this chance to see aviation at its finest.

Kids and adults alike love heading over to Moody Gardens where you’ll see the animals and birds that thrive in a tropical rainforest.  Visit with “happy feet” in the Aquarium Pyramid – yes, penguins!  Also see some happy seals as well.  Fit in a science lesson or two at the Discovery Museum.

Before you pack up and head home, you will want to take the family to Galveston Island State Park.  You can enjoy the mild climate as you go hiking on trails, fish the waters, or watch the numerous species of birds.  This is a wonderful way to top off your RV vacation activities.  The weather should always cooperate with your time in Galveston, Texas.  And if it doesn’t, you will have a nice, warm motor home to retire to.

This winter head for southern Texas and all the sights and sounds of the Gulf to make your vacation the best it can be.

Galveston, Texas

Galveston, Texas

For information on renting an RV  near Galveston, Texas – CLICK HERE or if you need to rent a motor home outside of the state of Texas, – CLICK HERE.

Picture credits: The photo of Galveston, Texas, (top) was taken by Todd Carr and the photo (right) by Drew Mark on Flickr Commons. It is licensed under the Explore/Creative Commons Attribution license.
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A Corpus Christi Winter RV Vacation

Southern Texas offers a wonderful escape from the harshness of winter up north. Driving an RV to Corpus Christi is the best place in Texas to head to experience some of the mildest weather.  Besides beachcombing, you can visit some of the amazing collections within Corpus Christi museums and discover historic sights that intrigue and enlighten.

Corpus Christi - Bird's Eye View

Corpus Christi – Bird’s Eye View

Birders love Corpus Christi!  Making your way over to the Padre Island National Seashore means there are miles and miles of coastline where you can study the varied species of birds. The Port Aransas Birding Center is an island sanctuary where you can wander along the boardwalks and view Bitterns, Least Grebes or the unusual Black-bellied Whistling Ducks.  To get more viewing in, you can take off on a hike along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Truly, Corpus Christi is known for its fabulous birding opportunities.

On the western shore of Oso Bay, visit Hans A. Suter Wildlife Area. You will find birds as well as wildlife around this tidal pool area. Want to see some marine life while you are here?  The Texas State Aquarium is the place for you!  You get a glimpse of sea life of the Gulf as well as the beautiful Caribbean and more birds, sea turtles, and sting rays.

History of the region is fascinating and you can start out by seeing the aircraft carrier by the name of USS Lexington, a ship that was highly decorated during World War II.  Explore and try the new flight simulator so you can pretend you are a jet fighter pilot.  More history awaits you at the Christopher Columbus ships:  replicas built of these famous sea-going vessels.  Britton-Evans Centennial House and Heritage Park should also be added to your itinerary for more historical sites.

For those of any age who want a nice break from an active vacation, the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center is a great spot to relax and calm the mind.  See native flora and fauna; take a self-guided tour of all 180 acres.  Breathe in those exotic fragrances.  The Bird and Butterfly Trail is something you absolutely can’t miss at these gardens.

A few more choices in arts, sciences and history!  Be sure to stop by the South Texas Institute for the Arts for a view of gorgeous artwork and the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History for exhibits of archeology, science and natural history.  If you are a surfer at heart, you’ll love the Texas Surf Museum with an array of surfing memorabilia.

Get back to the water now and drive the Beach Loop.  Stop along the way to do some beachcombing and fit in some more bird watching at Indian Point Pier and Bob Hall Pier.  This is one winter RV vacation that will go down in your book as one of the best!

For information on booking an RV Trip in or near Corpus Christi, TX – Click Here or if you need to rent a motor home outside of the state of Texas, CLICK HERE.

Picture credits: The picture of the Bird’s Eye View of Corpus Christi is from the Boston Public Library on Flickr Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

 

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An RV Trip to Tour Texas Festivals for November

Texas is a great place to travel in an RV this November! The festivals held throughout the state offer a wide variety of fun for all ages, and there’s nothing like making a tour of all the best ones for a vacation of a lifetime.

In Terlingua, Texas you can visit the Terlingua International Chili Championship on the 2nd of November if you would like to taste some amazing chili. Every year folks come from all over to enjoy this celebration of delicious chili. And this is not just a day of eating, but a four-day festival which is known as the “granddaddy of all chili cook-offs.” The scenery is worth the trip alone.

If you would rather avoid a feasting celebration, you might prefer music. The Pearl Bluegrass Festival in Pearl, Texas is held on 2 November, and here you will discover a whole “menu” of bluegrass to stimulate your musical appetite. RV sites are available too! No admission fees are an additional bonus, and you can listen to music the whole day through and enjoy some home cooking.

If you can’t make it to either of the above events, you can at least try to go to George West, Texas to hear storytellers entertain with wonderful cowboy tales, legends and fables. The George West Storyfest occurs on 2 November and celebrates 25 years of this western storytelling tradition. The Texas State Liars’ Contest is also held so you can try out your ability to tell a whopper!

You may have time to head to Austin for the Austin Celtic Festival that occurs on the 2nd and 3rd of November. There are more than 200 musicians, artists and more that provide a huge amount of music and dance for those of all ages. This happens at Fiesta Gardens downtown. You really shouldn’t miss this one.

Then another festival that is simply a must-see is the Wurstfest in New Braunfels, Texas. This lasts from 1 November to the 10th, so you have plenty of time to make it there on your Texas festival tour. If you love beer, you are in luck! Texan and German beer flow freely, and the special events will have you entertained to the nth degree. This is Bavarian style entertainment at its best. Dance the polka until the stars come out!

From 6 to 10 November, the RGV Birding Festival in Harlingen is a wonderful option for nature lovers. This is a real educational festival with guided field trips and youth activities. Then head to Fredericksburg for the Art Past Dark that is happening from November 12 through the 14th. With gallery shows and artists welcoming you in the celebration of fine art, this is an inspirational experience.

Welcoming in the holidays does not just occur in December. Texas has holiday celebrations that everyone can enjoy early in the year. The HEB Holiday Parade takes place in Houston in November as well as the Chuy’s Christmas Parade on 30 November in Austin. Kids love seeing Santa, who is sure to make an appearance.

Yes, Texas is the place to go on a thrilling RV trip to November festivals. Enjoy yourself and travel the Lone Star State this coming month.

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Tour Some Texas State Parks for a Unique RV Vacation

Picture of the Paluxy River in Dinosaur Valley State Park

The Paluxy River in Dinosaur Valley State Park

Just south of the Dallas / Fort Worth area, you can enjoy a short tour of some Texas State Parks for an interesting and unique RV vacation. Outdoor recreation in abundance, plenty of wildlife and lots of sights you will see no place else – this is what this tour is going to offer you. There are numerous RV parks in the area.

If traveling south from Fort Worth, your first stop can be in Acton, Texas at the smallest state park in Texas, the Acton State Historic Site. This is the grave site of Davy Crockett’s second wife and two of her children. Then head south to Dinosaur Valley State Park. You may want to begin by making a home base at Tres Rios RV Park in Glen Rose. Here you will be close to these first few Texas destinations and have three lovely Texas rivers converging at the southern point of the RV park, providing fishing, boating, rafting and swimming.

At Dinosaur Valley State Park you can see dinosaur tracks, models of the huge monsters that ranged our planet millions of years ago and you can find some outdoor fun here too. Swim or fish in the river, picnic or go horseback riding. Additionally, you can download a smartphone app for the park and the Glen Rose area for free. This is how to get a real-time tour and learn of all the points of interest in the area.

Next stop will be the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, further south on your tour route. Stop at the admissions center, get some feed and start your journey into the wildlife arena. You will drive on a 9.5-mile scenic drive to experience the wildlife up close and personal. Watch the zebra, deer and antelope wandering their pastures and forests. Enjoy your own personal safari. Exotic and endangered species are in abundance.

Next head northeast to visit Cleburne State Park. If you brought your mountain bike, you will find more than five miles of trails that offer amazing scenery. The trails can be challenging, so beware! Cedar Lake is the perfect place to fish or boat. Ranger programs are available as well, where you will learn a lot about this region. Another favorite pastime here is birding. There is a long list of birds to view and identify.

Now south again to Lake Whitney State Park! Water sports here attract people from all over. Activities include boating, fishing, scuba diving and water skiing. Of course, the area also boasts hiking, picnicking, and lots of fascinating nature study opportunities. If you are here on the first Saturday in June, you can witness (or your kids can take part in) the annual youth fishing tournament. Wildlife you may see: foxes, deer, bobcats and coyotes.

The last stop will be to the west at Meridian State Park with more boating and swimming. Hike around Lake Meridian and see fossils in the rock outcroppings. Once done here, you may want to head home, but you should be sure not to miss the famous Six Flags over Texas, right up there between Fort Worth and Dallas in Arlington. All the rides, entertainment and events will be the perfect ending to a perfect RV vacation.

Picture credits: The picture of the Paluxy River in Dinosaur Valley State Park is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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An RV Trip into the Wilderness at Davy Crockett National Forest

Picture of the Davy Crocket National Forest Ranger StationExperience some of the beauty of the southwest in Texas by driving an RV to Davy Crockett National Forest. The legendary pioneer would be proud to have this forest district named after him. There are lovely streams, dense woodlands and lots of wildlife around every thicket. The trip to this national forest holds many adventures and it is the perfect time of year to take advantage of the great Texas weather.

The popular Ratcliff Lake Campground offers RV camping in wooded sites, with any size RV accommodated. A few sites have full hookups but more have electrical and water only, which should do you fine. Since the campground is open all year, you can head that way right now with confidence you’ll have a great place to stay. The lake is close by for water fun and there are some tame hiking trails nearby as well.

Wildlife within the forest is abundant. You’ll love the wild turkeys poking around, and the quail are always fun to watch, especially this time of year with the tiny babies following their parents through the tall grass. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker lives within these woods and you may get a glimpse of one.

The Neches River borders the national forest on the northeast. This is the perfect way to enjoy the wilderness, by paddling along the 9.2-mile paddling trail. East Texas has never looked better. This is the ideal way for you to feel like an adventurer and pioneer. Just remember your coonskin cap!

The center focus of Davy Crockett National Forest is the beautiful Ratcliff Lake. It is 45 acres of sparkling loveliness. A recreation area has been built up around the lake, with picnicking areas, a swimming area and fishing piers. If you have kids with you, they will love to use the playground. The Tall Pines Trail can be accessed from the picnic area. Fishing is great on the lake. You’ll catch catfish, bream and largemouth bass.

While at the lake, you will discover the Four C National Recreation Trail which takes you into the pine forest. You can hike 20 miles or just a little part of this trail. There is nothing like getting out into nature to beat off the big city blues. At the north end of the trail you’ll come to Neches Bluff Overlook. Get a sweeping view of the forests and breathe in that fresh air.

The Big Slough Wilderness Area is up near the northeastern tip of the forest, with a little over 3,000 acres of pine, oak and hickory trees. Fish Big Slough for catfish, watch for those clever little beavers and even perhaps spot an alligator. It is invigorating to be outdoors and get away from the hustle and bustle for a while.

Hiking, fishing, scenic driving, overlooks, boating – this is all part of your fascinating RV trip, viewing different habitats and enjoying the solitude of forest lands and grass lands. There is no doubt you will return once again to partake in all Davy Crockett National Forest has to offer.

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Discover a New World on an RV Trip to Big Thicket National Preserve

Picture of a a freshwater swamp forest in the Big Thicket National Preserve

A freshwater swamp forest in the Big Thicket National Preserve.

The Lone Star State offers so many wonderful vacation destinations that it is hard to pick one. The opportunities for outdoor recreation, visiting historical sites or enjoying nightlife in any of the big Texas cities are abundant. However, if you love paddling, hiking and birding, one of the best places to go is Big Thicket National Preserve in east Texas.

This is an important stop if you love birding. The preserve exists on two bird migratory flyways. You will discover all sorts of incredible bird hot spots in the Big Thicket area. Watch for brown-leaded nuthatches, Bachman’s sparrows and songbirds and waterfowl. This list is long. You may see some herons at Collin’s Pond or some raptors at Cook’s Lake. Definitely check out Kirby Nature Trail where the variety of birds is amazing. Catch sight of vireos, woodpeckers and warblers. Just below the Steinhagen Reservoir at McQueen’s Landing you will likely see a bald eagle (or more than one) during the winter months.

Another favorite activity in Big Thicket National Preserve is to paddle on the Neches River. Those who love to get out on the water in a canoe or kayak love this lovely river. Another place where you can boat or fish is on Village Creek. This is a designated paddling trail. You can fish on any of the lakes or bayous along the river as long as you have a valid fishing license.

There are no developed campgrounds within Big Thicket but you will find plenty of RV camping in nearby communities. In Silsbee, you’ll find Red Cloud RV Park where you will find extra special amenities to make your visit incredible. After you are settled in, plan on getting in some hiking. There are eight trails which range from easy to more challenging hikes. Turkey Creek Trail is fifteen miles along Turkey Creek through pine uplands and forests. Pitcher Plant Trail is a short one over a convenient boardwalk. Take a look at the numerous pitcher plants growing here and the other flora.

View a wide range of habitats when you take the Woodlands Trail, in the northern Big Sandy Creek Unit of the preserve. There are three loops all of different distances. Choose the one that fits your style for the day. For a nice walk along a 1.5-mile loop, take the Beaver Slide Trail. You will see some small ponds that were formed by beavers building their dams.

You can move around the region a bit to visit other great Texas parks such as Village Creek State Park where you can picnic, hike or study nature. Make your way over to Martin Dies Jr. State Park to find great paddling trails to explore the backwaters. Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary is a paradise of nature with numerous species of plants and animals.

Before leaving for home, drop south to visit Beaumont, Texas. You are so close and you wouldn’t want to miss the fine Texas Cajun cooking you can find here. There are museums, shops and friendly folk. Texas has never been better!

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