Pedaling adventures await in Texas state parks

Monday, February 11, 2013 - 1:00am

Hundreds of miles of dirt, caliche, crushed granite and paved bike trails wind through Texas State Parks, offering both easy and challenging rides in safe and scenic environments. February is a great time to join a scheduled ride, tackle an ambitious biking event, or better yet, take an unguided cruise on your own schedule with your family and friends.

Last year, dozens of miles of new bike-friendly trails were added to an already extensive state park trail system in such places as McKinney Falls State Park in Austin and Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Canyon. Near Gonzales, Palmetto State Park has added roughly two miles of trails, featuring bridges and boardwalks, to its existing three miles of trails.

To find out skill ratings and trail descriptions, you can visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Biking activity page. Cyclists also can check out a video roundup of what it's like to bike in a variety of state park settings, including this featured video from Brazos Bend State Park.

Trail levels range from easy, such as Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park's flat and paved park roads in Mission to the most challenging tracks -- hilly, twisting, rocky mountain trails found at places like El Paso's Franklin Mountains State Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park near Presidio.

Park rangers suggest these destinations for a sampler of biking trails across the state:

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