Mission Tejas State Park

“We can hear the water! We can hear the water!” the girls yelled out to me and my girl scout co-leader. The eight girls, including our daughters, were standing on the edge of a creek. The creek originated from a spring and ran under rocks in the hills of the forest.  We were in the middle of our hike in the woods, away from any big cities and no cell service. It was a cooler than normal weekend in Texas and we ran into only a few other hikers. Fall colors at the park We walked up to the girls and could hear the gurgling sound of the water coming up and down the creek. “It’s the babbling brook,” I exclaimed to my daughter, a reference to Anne of Green Gables. The girls took pictures and ran on ahead up is on the steep trail. The beautiful fall colors surrounded us, we were warmed up from the exertion of the hike, and were happy we decided to spend the weekend camping at Mission Tejas State Park. Mission Tejas State Park is located in East Texas, near Crockett. I had never been there before, but when talking to a state park employee on the phone several months prior, he recommended it. It had a group campsite, it wasn’t too far from where we lived but far enough that it would be an adventure for the girls. The park has an old mission, hence the name, as well as an old family homestead. The weekend we were at the park, they park rangers had organized a music festival. In addition to the festival, they had set out old wooden toys and games that pioneer children would have played with. The rangers taught our girls a few of these games, and they enthusiastically joined in and played for over a half an hour. They would have played longer but the November days were short and we wanted to get some hiking in. The park rangers were friendly and helpful and the bathrooms were clean. With the shorter days, we didn’t have much time to hike, but it was perfect for the troop. As I mentioned, it was beautiful site and the girls were busy looking into logs and checking out wild flowers and exotic looking fungi. The next morning, one of the girls yelled out, “Can you believe we’ve spent almost an entire day outside?” Yes, we have taken them camping before. The girls told us they wanted to come back to this park and hike some of the other trails. The ranger told us they are planning on hosting a festival in the fourth week of April. I’d definitely like to come back here to camp.

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