Mission Tejas State Park to offer Saturday hikes through July

by Jared Shamburger Contributing writer
Courtesy photo Courtesy photo

GRAPELAND – During the next several weeks, weekend adventures await in the form of various hikes at Mission Tejas State Park, located at 19343 Texas Highway 21 East in Grapeland,

Participants are asked to bring bottled water, bug spray, appropriate clothing and footwear for the outdoors. While there is no charge for the event, which is open to the public, a $3 admission fee will be assessed for visitors 13 and older. Youths ages 12 and younger enter free.

Upcoming offerings include:

• Struggling Towards Harmony guided hike, 9:30-11 a.m. Saturday, June 26. Meet at the mission to explore how forests fight to grow and regenerate over time. Before your very eyes see how the Pineywoods builds balance. Join us for a hike along Primitive Loop and discover how a young forest struggles to return to old.

• Hardwood Hike Meet, 9-10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 3. Come scout out the noble, slow growing hardwoods of Mission Tejas State Park! Get off the hilltops and discover there’s more than pines in the Pineywoods. Take a hike along Hardwood Trail and admire the towering hardwoods hiding in the park’s bottomlands.

• Edible and Medicinal Plant Hike, 9:30-11 a.m. Saturday, July 10. Nature always provides if you know what to look for! Explore Chimney Loop trail and learn the secrets of some of the plants at the mission. - From historic medicines to subtle snacks, there’s edible and medicinal plants hiding all around the pines! - Remember, there’s no foraging allowed in the park. But after this hike you’ll have the tools to do it on your own. Meet at the playground.

• Build Your Own Bird’s Nest, 3-3:45 p.m. Saturday, July 10. Don’t be an egghead, come learn about nests and build your very own! Can you make a nest to help you stay cozy? Come build your own bird’s nest out of natural materials found in the Pineywoods and try your hand at being a birdbrain! This activity is great for children, hands-on learners, and anyone who enjoys getting crafty. Meet at the Visitor’s Center.

• Armadillos, Tough as Texas, 9:30-10 a.m. Saturday, July 24. Discover how these little armored ones can teach us tons! Every good Texan loves armadillos, but they may not necessarily like them! Hang in the shade of the Mission for this ranger talk on our state’s magnificent and misunderstood mascot. Meet at the Mission.

• Guided Hike, Struggling Towards Harmony, 9:30-11 a.m. Saturday, July 31. Explore how forests fight to grow and regenerate over time. Join us for a hike along Primitive Loop and see how a young forest struggles to return to old growth. Pick up how to distinguish coyote tracks from a bobcat’s, deer hooves from hog hooves, and other beginner tracking tricks. Meet at the Mission. Difficulty: This an easy ~1 mile hike on mostly flat ground.

To learn more about these events, or to schedule private Ranger Programs, contact Jared.Shamburger@tpwd.texas.gov or call 936-687-2394.