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Hot fun in the summertime


Longer days and shorter sleeves mean summer is in full swing. Beat the midsummer doldrums with these outdoor activities in Texas state parks.  Click here for up-to-date info and more events.

Horned Lizard_6736

 Chase Fountain | TPWD

Wyler Aerial Tramway

Lizards Online

Fun fact: Did you know that the Texas horned lizard is the state’s official reptile? While they can be difficult to find in the wild, they’ll be easy to find in this online program! Go to the Wyler Aerial Tramway Facebook page or Instagram feed and learn all about these magnificent reptiles.

Longhorn

 Sonja Sommerfeld | TPWD

Copper Breaks

Meet the Longhorns

Bring a hat, sunscreen and water, then meet up at park headquarters to prepare for some quality time with some Texas icons — longhorns. Join a park ranger or volunteer to learn about the history and origins of Texas longhorns, then meet some of the Official State Longhorn Herd.

Longhorn

 TPWD

Bonham

Go Dutch

Interested in Dutch oven cooking? Ranger Linda introduces cast iron cooking, including equipment, know-how, history and recipes. Open to all ages. Meet in the day-use picnic grounds, and bring your appetite.

Longhorn

 NewsForJim | Dreamstime.com

Lake Whitney

Sunsets & Stars

Sunsets aren’t the only joy to be found in the night skies at Lake Whitney. Enjoy an evening walk across the galaxy as a ranger guides you through the planets, moon and stars. Bring your own camp chairs or have a seat at one of the park’s picnic tables and join retired national park ranger Larry Smith as he uses star maps and a laser pointer to show you the night sky. The 45-minute program is limited to 25 people at each time slot, so call or email ahead to get on the list. Note: Star parties work only on clear nights, so the event will be canceled if the cloud cover is too dense.

Longhorn

 Paul Glenn;
 Siarhei Nosyreu | Dreamstime.com

Abilene

Biking Buffalo Gap

For centuries, buffalo passed through a gap in the hills here. Now, cyclists traverse the same path. Since 1983, the Buffalo Gap Tour de Gap race has drawn cyclists from nearby Abilene and beyond. Three rides take participants through the hills of south Taylor County, with 100K, 50K and 11-mile rides available. The 100K route takes riders through Abilene State Park. Registration is open through July 20. For more information, visit tourdegap.com.

KidOnBike_Exuberance

Is 11 miles too far for your youngster? The Tour de Gap Kids’ Krit provides riders 10 and under a chance to race their bikes on a short course near the finish line at Settler’s Reunion Grounds.

Longhorn

 Courtesy Texas! Musical

Palo Duro Canyon

Drama in the Panhandle

After a year off (due to COVID), the outdoor musical Texas returns at full capacity for its 55th season at Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Tickets include park admission, a fireworks show and the most spectacular outdoor musical drama in the country. More than 60 actors, singers and dancers tell the family-friendly story of the struggles and triumphs of Texas settlers, bringing the history of the High Plains to life. Find more information and purchase tickets at texas-show.com.

Longhorn

 Chase Fountain | TPWD

Seminole Canyon

Rock Stars

All month long, join a guided-only hike down into the canyon to view some of Texas’ earliest rock stars — the ancient pictographs of Seminole Canyon. There’s only one tour per day, and there’s no access into the canyon otherwise. Also, this rock show is for people only — no pets allowed.

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