State Parks Midland TX

7 State Parks Near Midland TX: Discover the natural wonders of West Texas

Midland, Texas, is surrounded by a variety of state parks that offer a range of outdoor activities and natural wonders. Whether you enjoy hiking, camping, or simply being in nature, these parks in West Texas provide the perfect escape. Explore the beauty of the region and discover the unique landscapes that make these state parks worth visiting.

Key Takeaways:

  • Midland, Texas, is home to several state parks that offer outdoor activities and natural beauty.
  • These parks provide opportunities for hiking, camping, and enjoying the natural landscapes of West Texas.
  • Each park has its unique features, from spring-fed swimming pools to sand dunes and limestone cliffs.
  • Visiting these parks allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty and serenity of nature.
  • Experience the rich history of the region at Fort Richardson State Park.

Balmorhea State Park: Experience the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool

Balmorhea State Park, located in arid West Texas, offers a unique experience for visitors with the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool.

Balmorhea State Park swimming pool

This historic park, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, is a natural oasis where you can swim, scuba dive, or simply relax under the trees. The pool covers 1.3 acres and holds an impressive 3.5 million gallons of water.

What makes Balmorhea State Park truly special is its constant temperature, maintained at a comfortable 72 to 76 degrees year-round. Whether you’re looking to cool off in the summer or enjoy a refreshing swim during cooler months, this spring-fed pool offers a wonderful experience for all visitors.

Surrounded by the rugged beauty of West Texas, Balmorhea State Park is the perfect destination for nature lovers and those seeking outdoor adventure. Take a dip in the pool’s crystal-clear waters and soak in the natural surroundings.

Explore the diverse wildlife that inhabits the park, including various fish species, turtles, and migratory birds. As you wander through the park, you’ll also find picnic areas, campsites, and hiking trails that showcase the unique landscapes of West Texas.

Tyler State Park: Discover towering pines and outdoor recreation

Tyler State Park, located in the Piney Woods region of East Texas, is a haven for nature lovers. With its majestic towering pines and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities, this park offers a serene and beautiful escape from the bustle of daily life.

If you’re a hiking enthusiast, Tyler State Park has over 13 miles of scenic trails that meander through the lush forest. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of nature as you explore the park’s diverse ecosystems. From well-maintained pathways to rugged woodland trails, there’s a hike for every level of adventurer.

Camping enthusiasts will also find their paradise at Tyler State Park. The park offers a range of camping facilities, including primitive backcountry sites for those seeking a true wilderness experience, as well as RV hookups for those who prefer a bit more comfort. Spend your nights under the starry sky and wake up to the fresh scent of pine trees.

One of the highlights of Tyler State Park is its picturesque lake, where visitors can indulge in a variety of water activities. Cast your line and try your luck at fishing, or rent a boat and explore the tranquil waters. If relaxation is your goal, pack a picnic and find a cozy spot along the lake shore to soak in the peaceful surroundings.

Whether you’re seeking adventure on the hiking trails, a peaceful camping retreat, or a day of fun on the water, Tyler State Park offers it all. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover the natural beauty and outdoor wonder of the Piney Woods at this hidden gem in the heart of Texas.

Tyler State Park

Monahans Sandhills State Park: Experience the magic of sand dunes

Located just a short drive from Midland, Monahans Sandhills State Park is a hidden gem that offers a truly unique outdoor experience in the heart of West Texas. This park is home to vast sand dunes, creating a magical landscape that will leave you in awe.

Monahans Sandhills State Park

As you explore the park, you’ll be captivated by the ever-shifting sands and the beauty they hold. Feel the soft sand beneath your feet as you hike through the dunes, or for a thrilling adventure, try your hand at sand surfing. The sand dunes of Monahans Sandhills State Park are truly a sight to behold.

For those who want to spend more time in this enchanting desert oasis, the park offers camping facilities. Set up your tent or park your RV and spend the night under the starry desert sky. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

Whether you’re a nature lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking for a new and exciting adventure, Monahans Sandhills State Park is the perfect destination. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the sand dunes and discover the magic that awaits.

Garner State Park: Admire stunning limestone cliffs and enjoy the Frio River

Located in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas, Garner State Park is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. This picturesque park is renowned for its breathtaking limestone cliffs that line the pristine Frio River, creating a truly remarkable setting.

One of the main attractions of Garner State Park is the opportunity to swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Frio River. The cool water offers a refreshing escape from the Texas heat, while the towering limestone cliffs provide a stunning backdrop. Whether you’re looking to relax on a sandy beach or float along the gentle currents, the Frio River is the perfect place to spend a sunny day.

The park also offers excellent fishing and kayaking opportunities on the Frio River. Anglers can cast their lines into the clear waters and try to catch bass, catfish, or sunfish. Kayakers can navigate the river’s gentle rapids and explore the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscape.

For those who prefer to explore on land, Garner State Park boasts a network of well-maintained hiking trails. These trails wind through the park’s natural beauty, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the lush vegetation, towering cypress trees, and abundant wildlife. Whether you’re a casual stroller or an avid hiker, there’s a trail suited to your skill level.

Activities and Facilities

  • Swimming in the Frio River
  • Fishing for bass, catfish, and sunfish
  • Kayaking and canoeing
  • Hiking and nature trails
  • Camping facilities for tents and RVs
  • Picnic areas and BBQ pits
  • Wildlife viewing and birdwatching
  • Outdoor amphitheater for summer dances

With its stunning limestone cliffs, the breathtaking Frio River, and a wide range of outdoor activities, Garner State Park has something for everyone. It’s the perfect destination for families, nature enthusiasts, and anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of Texas.

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park: Discover rare tropical birds and explore nature

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, located in the beautiful Rio Grande Valley near Midland, Texas, is a haven for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. This expansive park is home to a diverse range of rare tropical birds, offering visitors a unique opportunity to observe and appreciate these magnificent creatures up close.

With its extensive network of well-maintained trails, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park invites visitors to explore its natural wonders at their own pace. Whether you’re an avid hiker or prefer a leisurely walk, you’ll find the perfect trail to suit your preferences and abilities.

If you’re particularly interested in bird watching, the park offers guided bird walks led by knowledgeable experts who can provide fascinating insights into the habits and behaviors of the various avian species found in the area. These guided walks are a fantastic way to enhance your birding experience and make the most of your visit.

In addition to walking, visitors can also rent bikes to explore the park and its surrounding areas. Cycling through the park allows you to cover more ground and discover hidden gems while enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery.

For those who wish to immerse themselves in the natural surroundings, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park provides camping facilities. Spend the night under the starry sky, surrounded by the tranquil sounds of nature, and wake up to the melodies of tropical birdsong.

“Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park offers a truly immersive experience for nature lovers and bird enthusiasts. Its diverse range of rare tropical birds and well-maintained trails make it a must-visit destination in the Rio Grande Valley.”

Rare Bird Species Found in Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

Species Conservation Status
Aplomado Falcon Endangered
Green Jay Least Concern
Altamira Oriole Least Concern
Plain Chachalaca Least Concern
Couch’s Kingbird Least Concern

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and witness the vibrant birdlife that calls Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park home. Whether you’re a bird enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful retreat in the heart of Midland, this park offers a memorable experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.

Fort Richardson State Park: Step back in time at an authentic Wild West fort

Located near Midland, Fort Richardson State Park offers a captivating journey into the history of the Wild West. This remarkable park is home to an authentic fort that once safeguarded emigrants, mail coaches, and freight wagons during the 19th century. Immerse yourself in the past as you explore the meticulously restored buildings, participate in living history programs, or embark on a scenic hike along the park’s trails. Fort Richardson State Park is a truly special destination for history buffs and anyone who wishes to experience the spirit of the Old West.


What activities are available at Balmorhea State Park?

Balmorhea State Park offers a variety of activities, including swimming, scuba diving, and relaxing under the trees. The park is also home to the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool.

What can visitors do at Tyler State Park?

Visitors to Tyler State Park can enjoy over 13 miles of hiking trails, camping facilities, fishing, boating, and picnicking in the peaceful surroundings.

What kind of outdoor experience does Monahans Sandhills State Park offer?

Monahans Sandhills State Park provides a unique outdoor experience with its vast sand dunes. Visitors can hike, sand surf, or simply marvel at the beauty of the dunes. Camping facilities are also available.

What makes Garner State Park a must-visit destination?

Garner State Park is known for its stunning limestone cliffs along the Frio River, which offer opportunities for swimming, fishing, and kayaking. The park also provides hiking trails and camping facilities for visitors.

What can visitors expect at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park?

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is a paradise for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. The park is home to rare tropical birds and offers a network of trails, guided bird walks, bike rentals, camping facilities, and educational programs.

What does Fort Richardson State Park offer for visitors?

Fort Richardson State Park offers a glimpse into the history of the Wild West. Visitors can explore the fort’s restored buildings, participate in living history programs, hike scenic trails, and immerse themselves in the spirit of the Old West.

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