Submitted by Justin Minsker on
This year is presenting new opportunities to explore activities and travel throughout the Lone Star State. Many of our state historic sites have expansive grounds that offer both heritage tourism and outdoor recreation opportunities. Explore several healthy activities available for visitors.
In La Grange and Washington, you can stretch your legs and experience multiple historic sites in a single location.
Kreische Brewery and Monument Hill are adjacent sites encompassing about 40 acres. Four trails combine for more than 1.5 miles of hiking through woods and some steep hills. The trails lead to scenic overlooks, the historic brewery ruins, and the namesake monument that marks the tomb of the men who died during the Dawson Massacre and Mier expedition of 1842. Take a picnic basket or backpack as there are ample spots to stop, spread out a blanket, and enjoy a meal or snack.
If a night sleeping under the stars sounds perfect, two THC sites have campgrounds. Set amongst the Pineywoods of East Texas, Mission Dolores in San Augustine has 32 campsites with full hook-ups, as well as restrooms with shower facilities and two picnic pavilions.
The campground at Fort Griffin in Albany features seven sites with full hook-ups, 19 with water and electric hook-ups, and seven tent sites with water only.
Boating and Paddling
On the Navasota River, a relaxing and scenic paddling opportunity awaits at the 5.3-mile Limestone Bluffs Paddling Trail, which begins at Confederate Reunion Grounds in Mexia. Kayaks, canoes, and shuttles are available at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Fort Parker State Park, where the flat-water trail ends.
The Washington-on-the-Brazos complex in Washington includes three historic sites on about 304 acres: Washington-on-the-Brazos, Star of the Republic Museum, and Barrington Plantation.
The namesake site is the location of the convention of the provisional government of 1836, where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed. Visitors can explore a replica of Independence Hall on the old Washington townsite, Republic of Texas history at the museum, and the small cotton plantation that was the home of Anson Jones, last president of the Republic of Texas. Three hike-and-bike trails offer more than 3.25 miles to explore, and picnicking and birdwatching can also be enjoyed on the grounds.
Many more outdoor pursuits are available at other THC state historic sites. A few more include fishing at Sabine Pass Battleground near Port Arthur, stargazing at Fort McKavett near Menard, gardening and foraging programs at Caddo Mounds, and enjoying the tranquility of the Japanese Garden of Peace at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg.
Discover more about your state historic sites. Before visiting a site, please check its website or call ahead for hours of operation.
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