Texas is home to some of the most diverse landscapes in the United States, spanning from the Rio Grande River and the Gulf of Mexico coast to Lake Texoma and the plains of the Panhandle. With recommendations from Trails.com we've highlighted five of the best hikes the Lone Star State has to offer, so grab your favorite cowboy hat and head out!
Lone Star Hiking Trail
The longest wilderness footpath in Texas is the 128-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail, which runs through four counties and can be broken up into a variety of hikes of several lengths. The Lone Star Hiking Trail takes hikers through mixed hardwood forests, cypress swamps, and the famous Big Thicket area of the Sam Houston National Forest, and it offers wonderful bird watching opportunities all year long.
There are eight trails that allow hikers to explore Enchanted Rock, a large pink granite dome north of Fredericksburg, including a 4.5-mile scenic loop and a 0.67-mile path to the summit. The trails at Enchanted Rock offer views of caves, hills, and vernal pools, and from the top hikers are treated to panoramic views of the rough terrain below.
Guadalupe Peak Trail
The 8.5-mile trail to the “top of Texas” takes hikers to the summit of Guadalupe Peak (8,749 ft.), the highest point in the state. This trail rises 3,000 feet in elevation and passes through several ecosystems to give hikers fantastic views of the surrounding Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Four C Trail
The famous 20-mile Four C Trail leads hikers through the dense pine and hardwood forests of Davey Crockett National Forest. The Four C Trail follows old tramways the Central Coal and Coke Company used for logging and offers hikers views of the Big Slough Wilderness Area, the Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area, and Neches Bluff Overlook.
Lost Maples State Natural Area
There are several miles of well-blazed trails throughout the Lost Maples State Natural Area (Maple Trail is 0.36 mi., East-West Trail is 1 mi., East Trail is 3.08 mi,.West Trail is 3.57 mi., West Loop Trail is 2.57 mi. RT) and each one takes hikers to scenic points of interest like the Sabinal River and Mystic Canyon. Famous for its shady woodlands with stands of bigtooth maple, Ashe juniper, cypress, and sycamore trees, the Lost Maples offers hikers the chance to explore dense forests and rugged canyon country.