Nestled on the banks of the Brazos River, Stephen F. Austin State Park is an easy drive from Houston. This beautiful 663-acre park offers visitors a variety of camping options and 6 miles of hiking and biking trails. As a Texas State Parks Pass holder, I visit this park as often as I can throughout the year.
Any visitor to the park should set aside some time to visit the nearby Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site — the birthplace of Texas. It was at this location in 1836 that representatives of Texas settlements met to make a formal Declaration of Independence from Mexico and where the government of the Republic of Texas was created.
As someone who enjoys mountain biking, the trails at Stephen F. Austin State Park are among my favorite. Although there are only 6 miles of trails at the park, these single track trails are a lot of fun to ride. They are perfect for beginner and intermediate level riders. I generally try to do at least two loops on these winding trails.
One of the things I enjoy most is the opportunity to see wildlife along the trails. There is no shortage of whitetail deer, rabbits, armadillos, barred owls, and a variety of birds. The Brazos Bottom Trail leads to and follows the bluff along the banks of the wide and slow-moving Brazos, the longest river in the Lone Star State. There are a couple of spurs along this trail where you can park your bike and hike down to the river.
Although these trails are fun to ride, I do have to remind myself to slow down and stop occasionally to enjoy the scenic overlooks along the banks of the Brazos or to just listen to the sounds of nature. There is something unquestionably therapeutic about spending time outdoors. The trails at Stephen F. Austin State Park are visitor friendly and just what the doctor ordered for anyone needing to relieve a little stress.
So, whether you enjoy mountain biking, trail running, or just a slow walk through the woods, I encourage you to check out the trails at the park. The park office will provide you with a good and easy-to-read trail map. Honestly, you would have to work really hard to get lost at this park. But I do guarantee that you will get lost in thought as you wander the shaded trails at Stephen F. Austin State Park.
One final note. Remember to stay hydrated as you enjoy the trails at the park. Always carry a water bottle or hydration pack and, if you plan to be out long, a few nutrition bars.