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The Holiday Edition of State Parks Getaways is Here!
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sent this bulletin on November 15, 2010 02:50 PM

SP Getaways November 2010

12 Great State Park Walks

Fall HikingThinking of how you will work off that holiday feast while busily entertaining family and friends? Why not do both? Take a walk  --- 
in a state park! You’ll add an adventure for young and old to the holiday weekend, and Nature’s cool fall beauty will add food for the soul.  Everyone can set their own pace, and it’s a great chance to catch up with family.

The state parks of Texas are full of walking opportunities, from easy strolls to rugged ramblings to strenuous hikes. This article from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine offers a dozen park walking ideas for getting yourself and your family outside
for the holidays.

Camping With a Crowd

Bastrop Group CampersTime to celebrate a beautiful Texas autumn. Forget your weekend routine… and take a few friends with you into the great outdoors.

But how to make it all work? With some planning and an appetite for fun, eight families came together this summer to create a campout full of memories. Their story recounted in Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine is loaded with ideas to make a group trip work well for adults and kids alike. Use these tips to create a getaway of the size you’re ready to try: just you and your kids, your household and a couple of added neighborhood friends, or several families looking for a new way to spend time together and get everyone outside … where life really is better.

Featured Park: Resaca De La Palma

Resaca De La Palma VideoMigrating birds and birders from around the world cross paths in the global gathering place that is Resaca De la Palma. Watch a video of this beautiful sanctuary. 

Its 1,200 semi-tropical acres offer a respite for 250 bird species and a delightful experience for people who love to watch them. Etched by ancient curves of the Rio Grande, abandoned coils of river bed, known locally as resacas, create wildlife-attracting ponds when full. Listen to this Passport To Texas radio story  in which Park Specialist Katherine Miller describes the park’s wildlife habitat when it first opened two years ago.

Habitat is the hallmark of this park, one of three state park sites that are part of the World Birding Center along the southern border of Texas. The World Birding Center Visitors’ Center is the portal to over eight miles of trails, four decks that overlook the four miles of resaca, and a 3.2 mile tram loop that winds through the park.

Back From the Storm: Galveston Island State Park

Galveston Island Recovery VideoA near-fatal blow from Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston Island State Park in September 2008. But the predicted “seven years to restoration” was unacceptable to Friends of Galveston Island State Park, Galveston Bay Foundation, school groups, Boy Scout troops, college volunteers and state park employees.

Read how the local community rallied to restore the park in this article from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. Hundreds of helping hands cleared debris from 2,000 acres, built new bathrooms, and restored park headquarters.  In six months, the park reopened.

Watch this video that shows the remarkable progress in the park. The landscape has changed, and the number of shelters is currently reduced, but the phone is ringing and the park is open for business. Anglers, kayakers, birds and fish are returning. With continued help, the park’s future looks ever brighter.

2010-2011 Fall and Winter Birding Calendar

South Llano BirdersWhether you’re in the mood for a migration celebration or a quiet walk in search of your favorite visiting and perennial feathered friends, fall in Texas is the place to be. From the Panhandle to the Gulf coast, it’s a great time to grab your binoculars and join a pastime growing in popularity.

Birding events to match many interests can be found in this calendar story from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. Texas State Parks frequently host additional birding activities such as bird walks, hawk watches, owl prowls and breakfast with the birds.

Are you a fledgling birder? Brush up on the basics with this video, in an introduction to birding brochure, and discover a wealth of information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Web site.

Join the growing flocks of birders who’ve discovered that Texas is the birdiest state in the nation!

Featured Holiday Event: Barrington Living History Farm

Barrington Living History Holiday CelebrationThe Heart of Christmas is the Home at Barrington Living History Farm
December 11

We invite one and all to make special Christmas memories at the home of Anson Jones. Feast on goodies, make surprises to tuck away in pretty packages, sing carols around the Yule Log and dance with your sweetie, with many more surprises to come. Accessible for the mobility impaired.

Fees: $2 Texas State Parks Pass holders, $7 adults and senior citizens, and $5 for children 12 and under. 
Festivities are ongoing from 1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
For more information, call (936) 878-2214.

Explore Texas State Parks on New Paddling Trails

Village Creek PaddlersThe Texas Paddling Trails  program now has 22 paddling  trails throughout the state, including many at state parks! There is no better way to explore the outdoors than from the water – you experience a quieter, more peaceful perspective that allows you to see wildlife more easily, enjoy the sounds of nature and spend time with family and friends away from the faster pace of normal life.

In addition to trails at Mustang Island State Park, Galveston Island State ParkFort Parker State Park, and Goliad State Park, Texas Parks and Wildlife launched the most recent state park trail with the Village Creek Paddling Trail on May 11 during Texas Tourism Week in partnership with the towns of Lumberton, Silsbee and Kountze, The Nature Conservancy, Big Thicket National Preserve and Village Creek State Park.  Enjoy a taste of this new paddling trail when you watch this video of the trail launch and see the beauty that is this stretch of Village Creek.

The next trails to launch in state parks include a series of four trails in the sloughs, rivers and lake around Martin Dies, Jr. State Park and a series of three trails through the creeks and lake of Lake Somerville State Park.

Learn more about the Paddling Trails program with this video or on the Web site, and find paddling clubs, organizations and further information in the Canoeing and Kayaking in Texas brochure.

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