Sunday, December 27, 2015

More Texas State Parks First Day Fun!

Martin Creek Lake State Park (Tatum) will hold a Stargazing & Happy New Year Party from 11:30pm, 31 December 2015 to 1am on 1 January, 2016, weather permitting. Enjoy viewing stars through a telescope, and sitting around a campfire while drinking hot chocolate! Bring a flashlight. Cooper Lake State Park (Cooper & Sulphur Springs) will host First Day (1 January) hiking, running, biking, and geocaching activities. Don’t miss Galveston Island State Park's (Galveston) First Day beach combing 101, running/jogging, and Heavenly Night Hike events. Government Canyon State Natural Area (San Antonio) is hosting First Day hikes and a bike ride. Sheldon Lake State Park (Houston) is hosting a First Day bike ride.

Geocaching Lessons  Chase A. Fountain, TPWD Copyright

Goose Island State Park (Lamar & Rockport) is hosting a First Day Bird Walk, and Estero Llano Grande World Birding Center (Weslaco) is hosting dragonfly and butterfly walks!

Great Blue Heron  Rahel Eden Copyright

Take a First Day history tour of the grounds of Davis Mountains State Park's (Fort Davis) Indian Lodge.

Indian Lodge    TPWD Copyright

Ray Roberts Lake State Park (Pilot Point & Valley View) is hosting a paddling tour of Ray Roberts Lake. Seminole Canyon State Park (Comstock) is offering a guided pictograph tour to Fate Bell Shelter. Take a First Day cave tour at Kickapoo Cavern State Park (Brackettville) and fish with a ranger at Inks Lake State Park (Burnet).

Seminole Canyon SP Fate Bell Shelter  TPWD Copyright

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Winter Swimming in Austin’s Warm Water Pools!

Whether you live in Austin or are visiting, take advantage of Austin’s outdoor warm water pools! The most famous is the three acre, spring-fed Barton Springs Pool which is generally 68 degrees in winter and up to 72 degrees during the summer months. Take the annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear Splash at 10am on 1 January, 2016! The spring-fed Deep Eddy Pool, the oldest swimming pool in Texas, maintains a temperature between 68 and 72 degrees year round. The Big Stacy Park Pool originally was filled with spring water from Walsh Springs, Today it receives a mix of city water and 100 degree well water pumped from the Trinity Aquifer. This water combo keeps the temperature around 80 degrees year round! I would do my Polar Bear Splash at this pool! Bartholomew Pool (1800 East 51st Street, 78723) is heated during the winter. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Kids Out of School? Got Cabin Fever?

Some Texas areas are enjoying unseasonably warm weather this December. Zoos, aquariums and fish hatcheries are the perfect outing for kids of all ages! And some of Texas’ Fish Hatcheries offer kid fishing! The towns of Houston, Dallas, Austin, Cedar Creek, Lufkin, Waco, El Paso, Tyler, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Gainesville, Brownsville, and Abilene, Texas have zoos! The Austin Zoo has three orphaned baby cougar cubs!

Brownsville Zoo

Aquariums are located at Sea Center Texas Wetlands & Fish Hatchery (Lake Jackson), the World Aquarium and The Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park(Dallas), The Edwin Cox Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (Athens), the University of Texas Marine Science Institute Wetlands Education Center (Port Aransas), the Texas State Aquarium (Corpus Christi), the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education Center (Baytown), the  CCA/CPL Marine Development Center (Corpus Christi – Flour Bluff Area), and the Marine Lab Aquarium (Rockport).

Dallas World Aquarium

Texas State Fish Hatcheries include the Edwin Cox Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (Athens),Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery (near Inks Lake State Park), the Possum Kingdom Fish Hatchery (below Possum Kingdom Lake Dam), The San Marcos Aquatic Resource Center & Fish Hatchery, and the A.E. Wood Fish Hatchery (San Marcos), THE Dundee State Fish Hatchery (Iowa Park), and the John D. Parker East Texas State Fish Hatchery (just east of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir dam.

Iowa Park Dundee State Fish Hatchery

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Perfect Weather & Rio Grande River Flow Conditions to Visit the Texas Big Bend Region!

The months of October through April are the best times to visit the Texas Big Bend Travel Region. The combination of milder weather and this year’s increased flow rate of the Rio Grande River offer fabulous paddling experiences! Grab a kayak, canoe, or raft and head out to enjoy the challenge!! Check out the Rio Grande River paddling trails information on the appropriate outdoor pages of Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. Also, read the parks’ pages and the pages of the nearby towns of Terlingua, Presidio, and Lajitas for information on lodging, food, outfitters, and fun activities! Don’t forget your camera!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Let’s Go Fishing for Stocked Trout!!!

Each year the TPWD stocks over 100 Texas small lakes and ponds with catfish and winter rainbow trout. In 2015, rainbow trout stocking began in “Official Urban Neighborhood Fishin’ Lakes and Ponds” on November 25h and will continue until March 4th. Check the Stocking Dates for this year’s Neighborhood Fishin’ Ponds located in Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, College Station, Duncanville, Denton, Fort Worth, Katy, Missouri City, Tyler, Waco, and Wichita Falls. Check out the Trout Stocking History of other Texas ponds. Cheese, kernel corn, nightcrawlers, red wigglers, and meal worms make good trout baits. TPWD also teaches kids to fish at KidFish events held throughout the year at these neighborhood locations, and at many other Texas locations. Catfish and other fish are stocked in Texas waters throughout the year. Check the Major Lakes and Bays Stocking History and the Rivers, Small Lakes, and Ponds Stocking History. All these water bodies and stocking histories are listed on the website on each town’s outdoor pages, and on the major lakes’ activities pages (see Main Menu Bar at the top of this page for major lakes).