It has been almost a year since my first exploration out at Colorado Bend State Park in Bend, Texas, and after a full year of outdoor adventures all over the country, my heart still melts for this place. To me, it’s more than just a park, it’s one of the few places that I can actually feel at home. Part of the reason I love Colorado Bend is because there’s so much to do, see, feel, and experience. It’s the perfect way to leave the stress of everyday life behind, and venture outside! No matter what your reason is for exploring the great outdoors, this beautiful park has something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some ideas on different ways you can truly embrace the perks of nature at Colorado Bend State Park.
If you are searching for some thrills for the weekend, one way to do it is grabbing your mountain bike and hitting the park’s rugged terrain for a friendly challenge. The gorgeous scenery and multi-leveled limestone base gives mountain bikers a great opportunity to enjoy a solid ride with some prime Texas hill-country views. With plenty of trails, there’s biking trails for any level of rider.
Looking for something a bit different, but still packs a mental and physical punch? Look underground… While being nestled in Texas’ limestone Hill-Country heart, Colorado Bend State Park holds over 400 wild caves systems within her girth. Take a wild cave tour and try your hands (and knees) at a real spelunking adventure.
“We have what you call natural caves, so any of our cave tours are going to be a natural cave environment, meaning that there are no lights in there except what you bring with you,” says Colorado Bend State Park’s Interpreter, Jason Hairston, “We have from ‘just a walk-in’, short, one room cave; to squeezing, crawling, climbing; all the way up to, dropping in on a rope into a cave; so we offer a lot of outdoor adventure opportunities for our visitors.”
You can read about my first experience spelunking at Colorado Bend State Park, here.
If learning new things, curiosity, and imagination are what motivate you, you will admire the interpretive programs the park offers. Historical hikes, wildlife viewings, and educational programs are some of the presentations you may find here at the park. Different times of year bring different wildlife and sights to the park, but there is always something going on to capture your mind and senses year-round. Check their Events Page to see a list of upcoming presentations and events the park will be hosting.
Some people venture into the woods searching for a place of spiritual renewal. You will find that within the 5,328 acres of Colorado Bend State Park, solitude and reflection are just steps away. With over 35 miles of trails, ranging from rocky slopes, to grassy prairies, to tip toeing over lush vegetation surrounding clear pools of fresh spring water, the hiking opportunities are abounding.
It’s also a great place to go backpacking. With the variety of landscapes, amazing points of interest (such as the famous 65 foot Gorman Falls), and walk-up campsites, it’s a great place to begin backpacking, or sharpen up the seasoned backpacker. For a complete list of trails and cool points of interest to check out while hitting the trails, click here to see the Colorado Bend State Park Trails Map.
While on my recent trip to Colorado Bend with the Texas State Park Ambassador crew, we spent a couple of days backpacking through the park, and it was the perfect. We traveled past and through breezy prairies, shaded wilderness, thickets of juniper trees, ledges of limestone, rolling spring waters, rocky hill cliffs, and flowing riverbeds. The exquisite beauty and variety of the Texas hill-country ecosystem is completely embodied in the Colorado Bend’s landscape.
It was an experience I will remember forever, and it was a great way to create bonds with fellow outdoor enthusiasts, who I now cherish as friends…
Which brings me to my next point… For some, the opportunity to connect with family and friends is the greatest joy of the outdoors. It’s a time set aside for embracing the thing that matters most in this world, our loved ones. Plenty of family friendly activities frame Colorado Bend into a great place to create and share memories to last for a lifetime.
Activities such as camping, star-gazing, wildlife viewing, and picnicking are classic outdoor favorites that shouldn’t be missed; especially at Colorado Bend!
Particularly, dipping into the fresh, clean water in the park is my personal favorite activity. Colorado Bend is filled with gorgeous clear springs that are perfect for escaping the Texas sun. A little too chilly? Visit the banks of the Colorado River and try your hand at fishing. For many years, Colorado Bend offers some of the best bass fishing in Central Texas. It even has the purest strain of guadalupe bass in the country. You don’t even need a fishing license when fishing in a state park either! And with a fish cleaning station at the park as well, it’s just too easy to get in on the action.
No matter what reason brings you to enjoy the wilderness, Colorado Bend State Park has the opportunities to make the most out of your outdoor trip. Finding joy in the outdoors is for everyone, you just have to figure out what motivates you. And Colorado Bend is the perfect place to help you create that connection.
Colorado Bend State Park – Bend, TX 76824
Phone Number: (325) 628-3240
Make reservations online
Reserve by phone: (512) 389-8900
Adult: $5 Daily
Child 12 Years and Under: Free
The park is open daily, except during public hunts.
Gate is open 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Campers with reservations coming after 10 p.m. need to call before 4:30 p.m. for the access code.)
For more information about Colorado Bend State Park, please visit their website at: http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/colorado-bend.
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