Review of Official Guide To Texas State Parks And Historic Sites, by Laurence Parent

Copyright © by Jessica Schneider, 9/16/09


  Official Guide To Texas State Parks And Historic Sites is a must have for anyone with an interest in the history of Texas geography. The book is an excellent source to not only what the State Parks are, their location, as well as what they offer, but Official Guide To Texas State Parks And Historic Sites also provides readers with the brief history behind each park.

  The book is divided geographically, beginning with one of Texas’ most famous State Parks: Big Bend Country. Following that, the book includes the Gulf Coast, the Hill Country, Panhandle Plains, Pineywoods, Prairies and Lakes, as well as the South Texas Plains.

  Just skimming through this book gives readers an idea of not only the vastness of Texas itself, but also the variety of terrain, ranging from the marsh-like landscape of Caddo Lake State Park near Louisiana, to the beginning of the Texas Southwest as found at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area within the Texas Hill Country, to the beautiful Franklin Mountains found in the western parts, near El Paso. Even if you’ve lived in Texas your whole life, there are still bound to be things to learn about the state and its topography.

  Many Texans have claimed there is no reason to ever leave the state, for everything one could ask for can be found here. Depending on how much you wish to take that to heart, there is definitely a point to that, as Official Guide To Texas State Parks And Historic Sites contains pictures of the sandy Gulf, the rugged territory of Big Bend Country, the more desert-like territory of the Panhandle Plains, to the lush, tree-filled areas of the Prairies and Lakes, all reflecting the differences, vastness, and beauty the state offers.

  Copies of this book are not hard to find if you live in the state of Texas. Many museums and gift shops at these State Parks sell it. The book is not only an excellent source for your day trip’s planning, but just having access to the myriad of additional parks that are not in your area is helpful in deciding where you might want to vacation. Each individual park section provides visitor information, including the address and phone number, as well as the recreational options for each park.

  If you are planning a long distance trip, however, this book is not one that offers nearby hotels or restaurants or things of that sort. It is strictly about the parks. And since the book covers State Parks, no National Parks are included. But the photos within provide great insight into these parks’ beauty and what their landscape is like.

  One does not need to travel far to find a State Park in Texas. Depending on your location, and length of distance you are willing to travel, there is likely a number of State Parks to choose from. I recommend this book to any outdoor lover, and anyone interested in knowing more about the State Parks. Official Guide To Texas State Parks And Historic Sites is just what the title says: it is an excellent listing and overview of the State Parks, covering all the essential information you would need in planning a trip. Just reading it and seeing the photos will make you want to experience it.


[An expurgated version of this article originally appeared on the Examiner.com website.]


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