State Parks Getaways – May 2021

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Grab Fun by the Handlebars

hands on handlebars, video link

Cycling in a park means freedom, fresh air and fun. You can go a lot faster and farther on a bike than if you walk, making it the perfect tool for covering distance and exploring your parks.

Trails are as diverse as parks, and they can be paved, unpaved or off-road. State park trails maps include bike trails rated by skill level, or ask a ranger for ride recommendations that suit your ability. Find out more about trails and other cycling options on our biking webpage.

Visit any of these 4 parks to enjoy awesome bike trails:

Make your day pass or overnight reservations early to be sure you can get into your chosen park, follow the biking rules of courtesy, and have a wheel good time!

Elevate Your Camping: Hammocks

girl playing guitar in hammock by tent, video link

Imagine camping in your favorite park, stretched out in a hammock, rocking gently as the breeze and birdsong drift by – so relaxing. But do you know the safe way to hang a hammock in a park? 

In a new video, How To Hammock Safely & Responsibly, Ranger John goes over how to choose a spot, the hanging technique that protects trees, and accessories to help you live your best hammock life (twinkle lights, anyone?). Check out the hammock rules, then take your camping up a notch by adding a hammock. 

Road Trip! 4 Unique Parks Worth a Drive 

Caddo Lake cypress trees, video link

Caddo Lake – Its swamp full of cypress trees, waterlilies, lotus and ancient paddlefish exudes mystery, making this an ideal spot for photos. It also offers primo fishing and paddling. 

Seminole Canyon overlook with green water below, video link

Seminole Canyon – Striking canyons and spectacular views await. But it's the 4,000-year-old pictographs that will take your breath away. Take a tour Wed.-Sat. to view this famous art. 

Palo Duro Canyon with view of Lighthouse rock, video link

Palo Duro Canyon – The 2nd largest canyon in the U.S., this red-rock park is like walking into a Western. Take in the views, hike to the iconic Lighthouse rock formation, or drive the loop. You have many overnight options, including new glamping sites that allow pets.

bats emerge from cavern, video link

Kickapoo Cavern – A lightly-developed wild place, this is a birding hotspot – the endangered golden-cheeked warbler and 239 other species are seen here. Enjoy panoramic views and watch 1 million bats emerge. Cave tours are temporarily unavailable.

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RAWA to Keep Our Wild Places Wild

Bald eagle in nest, calling, video link

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) is now in Congress. If passed, this bipartisan legislation will dedicate $1.3 billion annually to state and tribal wildlife action plans to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered, without increasing taxes. This could have a huge, positive impact on all wildlife.  

Add your voice to help keep our wild places wild – contact your representative in Congress and tell them you expect their support of RAWA. For more information, see our press release, Bipartisan Bill to Help Declining Wildlife Introduced on Earth Day in Congress.

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