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Fresh air and sunshine: Texas' top hiking spots

Many areas of Texas are great for hiking.

Many areas of Texas are great for hiking.

Hikers considering packing and bringing their moving boxes to Texas have multiple options at their disposal to keep up their hobby. The Lone Star State has some diverse terrain, and is a great place to explore the outdoors. No matter what part of the state you head to, there are many spots that could be good primers to get acclimated to the state.

Big Thicket National Preserve
If you are in the Beaumont area, it may be a good idea to check out the Big Thicket National Preserve. This park covers more than 100,000 acres, according to TexasHighways.com. While you are out and about on the trails, you will see many different types of terrain and plant life including swamps, ferns and dozens of different tree variants. The Woodlands Trail may be a good start in the area, as it stretches more than five miles. This is just one of the eight trails available for you to traverse while in the park. You may be able to experience some of the local wildlife while out on the trails, as well.

Lost Maples State Natural Area
Head down to south central Texas, and you will come across the Lost Maples State Natural Area. The terrain here is much different from Big Thicket, as it is laden with hills, according to Backpacker.com. While much of the state is filled with evergreen trees, you can actually see a sizable number of maple trees in this park, which could be an attractive change. There are many different trails throughout the park, with some more popular than others. One of the more hilly trails may be less congested.

Sam Houston National Forest
Another popular spot in East Texas is the Sam Houston National Forest. It houses more than 120 miles of the Lone Star Hiking Trail, according to TexasHighways.com. This may be a perfect spot for more advanced hikers, especially the area from Evergreen and Cleveland. This section of the trail is approximately 27 miles, and is one of the toughest in the forest. While there are many swamp areas in the forest, you can also see the San Jacinto River while hiking this spot. It is also filled with wildlife, so don't be surprised to run into many small animals on your voyage.

Big Bend National Park
Southwest Texas' terrain differs significantly from the eastern part of the state, and one of the best places to experience this may be Big Bend National Park. You can examine the valleys and mountain peaks of this area, which includes the Chisos Mountains, according to Backpacker.com. One of these hiking areas - the Outer Mountain Loop - spans 21 miles. This connects the Dodson Trail, Blue Creek Trail and Juniper Canyon Trail. If you are going to hike this area, you may want to do it in either the autumn or springtime, as this is when the water in the area is flowing at its height.

Hill Country State Natural Area
Another Central Texas hiking spot you can take advantage of is the Hill Country State Natural Area. This has more than 5,3000 acres of space, as well as approximately 40 miles of trails on the property, according to TexasHighways.com. The Twin Peaks area of this hiking spot rises close to 1,760 feet, which can give you a view of the entire area. However, if you plan to head through this part of the state, it is important that you come prepared. Supplies or water are not available, so pack well.