AUSTIN — February offers an ideal time to pack up your bike and explore hundreds of miles of trails that wind through Texas State Parks. The parks’ safe and scenic environments offer both easy and challenging rides hugging lake shores, beneath towering pines, through rolling hills and along mountain trails open to exploration any day of the week.
With hundreds of miles of biking trails throughout the state park system, it is easy to find a trail close to home that cyclists of all ages can enjoy.
Skill ratings and trail descriptions are available on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Biking activity page. Cyclists can also view a video roundup of what it’s like to bike in a variety of state park settings, including Brazos Bend State Park.
Trail levels range from beginner, including Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park’s flat and paved park roads in Mission, to the most challenging tracks – hilly, twisting, rocky mountain trails found at El Paso’s Franklin Mountains State Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park near Presidio.
Several guided and competitive biking events will also be hosted in state parks.
Every Sunday in February, a park ranger will lead a guided bike tour of Resaca de la Palma State Park. The tour will begin at the visitor’s center, and the ranger will lead the cyclists through the various trails featured in the park. All ages are welcome and no registration is required. Bikes, helmets and water will not be provided. For more information, call 956-350-2920.
For the fourth consecutive year, cyclists will meet Feb. 13-15 for rides in Big Bend Ranch State Park, Big Bend National Park, and on the Lajitas trail system in far west Texas. The Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest will feature guided rides during the three day event and a two-day self-guided EPIC ride. Participants are welcome to explore the myriad park trails at their own pace, as well.
The two-day EPIC option gives cyclists a chance to bike more than 58 miles of Big Band Ranch State Park. The first day will include a 29 mile bike trip from the Barton Warnock Visitor Center. At the end of the first day of biking, cyclists will arrive to a catered dinner, a hot shower and a place to sleep. In the morning, participants will wake up to a catered breakfast and ride 25 miles back to headquarters to participate in Bike Fest. For more information, visit the Desert Sports page.
The 2013 Bike Fest hosted over 400 riders from around the world. Due to its growing popularity, there will be a cap of 500 cyclists at this year’s festival. Visit the Desert Sports website to pre-register and find out more information.