These 4 Texas state parks are ranked among the best state parks in the nation

Brazos Bend State Park
Brazos Bend State Park

Want to breathe in the fresh air, stretch your legs, and rejuvenate in the natural world? Consider a trip to one of the Lone Star State’s parks. Vacation rental company HomeToGo recently released its annual list of the 21 best state parks. Four Texas state parks -- Garner State Park (No. 7), Brazos Bend State Park (No. 11), Kickapoo Cavern State Park (12) and Caddo Lake State Park (No. 15)  -- clinched a place on the list.

HomeToGo developed its list using its own search data, taking account six particular factors: The number of annual park visitors, the size of each park in acres, the number of activities on offer, the species diversity of plants and animals, the number of offers available nearby on HomeToGo and the average nightly price for accommodation.

The Texas parks featured on the ranking are listed below with brief descriptions provided by HomeToGo.

7. Garner State Park, Texas

In the southern region of Texas Hill Country is the scenic Garner State Park that features 2.9 miles of Frio River that wind through 1,774 acres of land. Visitors can swim in the Frio River or float its waters on an inner tube or paddle boat, as well as hike 16 miles of scenic trails. There are even jukebox dances held nightly during the summer for the young folks and for the young at heart!

11. Brazos Bend State Park, Texas

Just a 45 mile drive from downtown Houston, Brazos Bend State Park gives visitors a glimpse of Texas’ wild side. The park is home to a diverse mix of wildlife including deer, armadillos, birds, river otters, and, most notably, alligators! With nearly 5,000 acres of land, this park has plenty of nature to explore on foot, bike, or horseback.

12. Kickapoo Cavern State Park, Texas

Located in the southern range of Texas Hill Country, Kickapoo Cavern State Park is a quiet and remote park that is ideal for those who are ready to dive into adventure. This park has 20 known caves; the two largest are Kickapoo Cavern and Stuart Bat Cave and chronicle roughly 4 million years of nature’s handi­work.

15. Caddo Lake State Park, Texas

While at Caddo Lake State Park, visitors can explore Caddo Lake’s grand maze of slow-moving bayous, wetlands and backwaters. The fishermen in the family will enjoy the more than 70 species of fish that the lake is home to. Visitors are also welcome to rent a canoe in the park or bring their own canoe or kayak to paddle through the waterways underneath towering bald cypress trees.

View HomeToGo’s list of the top 21 state parks in its entirety here.

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Searching for more things to do in and around Houston? Visit our Things To Do page.

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Don’t get caught off guard. Before venturing out, familiarize yourself with adjusted hours and follow guidelines around social distancing and other COVID-19 safety measures required by the destinations you visit.


About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.