Follow Blooming Trails in East Texas
Azaleas and dogwoods are the stars of the show.
Spring flowers in East Texas begin arriving in mid-March and bloom for about six weeks. It’s a great time for a drive or walk or even a train ride to soak in the beauty of azaleas and dogwoods that erupt in a joyous profusion of color. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.
Palestine (Davey Dogwood Park)
Watch for blossoms everywhere in the Palestine area, but you’ll be dazzled by the array at 254-acre Davey Dogwood Park. Hike 8 miles of trails or drive the 5-mile tour to see trees adorned with splashes of white and pink dogwood blooms. Take a picnic and follow the signs to the fairy gardens.
Tyler (Dobbs and Lindsey trails)
There are two azalea trails in Tyler — the Dobbs Trail and the Lindsey Trail, both named after their streets and each about 10 miles long, winding through the picturesque Azalea National Historic District. Start at the square, then head south on Broadway Avenue and watch for signs for private displays. Be sure to visit the block bordered by College, Dobbs, Lindsay and Broadway. Young women in period clothing attend some of the gardens.
Nacogdoches (Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden)
Stephen F. Austin State University is home to the most extensive azalea garden in Texas, the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden. Guided tours can be arranged during the season. More than 6,500 azaleas, 200 camellias and 180 varieties of Japanese maples line a mile of walking trails across 8 acres of loblolly pines.
The heart of the Mize Garden is the Council Ring, surrounded by azaleas
with whimsical names like “Judge Solomon” and “Tipsy Tangerine.” Download the Azalea Trail 2022 Brochure to find even more seasonal bloom sites in Nacogdoches.
Rusk and Palestine (Texas State Railroad)
All aboard the Texas State Railroad in March’s peak season for a unique ride to drink in the dogwood blossoms aboard a vintage steam-engine train. Go where no cars can take you on a 50-mile round-trip between Rusk and Palestine, a four-hour train adventure, with an hour layover at the Rusk or Palestine depot. You can even camp at the Rusk Depot. Some years, there’s also a special Dogwood Days Brunch Train so you can enjoy a three-course meal along the way.
TPWD Staff top: SCISETTIALFIO | DREAMSTIME.COM; below: DOLE | DREAMSTIME.COM
» Like this story? If you enjoy reading articles like this, subscribe to Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.