Big Bend Ranch State Park is not a national park but is park in the Texas state park system. Before visiting, several people told me they thought the state park was more beautiful. It is also known for having some excellent trails for mountain biking!
My first day, I went to the visitor center and asked about mountain biking trails. The lady grabbed a map specifically showing the multiuse trail systems. You could hike, ride a horse, or mountain bike on the trails. However, mountain biking was by far the most common.
I had a grin from ear to ear. The last time I had written my mountain bike was in October, when it got too cold to ride in Lubbock. I was out of shape, but I loved moving along the trail system. I followed the suggestion from the visitor center and rode on a combination of single track and dual track trails. The scenery was spectacular! I stopped several times to marvel at the ruggedness and beauty of the landscape. I met people riding bikes that were from Telluride, San Antonio, and Houston.
I rode 16 miles round trip out to an old mine and then back. It was wonderful. Some sections were easy, but I walked around some large boulder areas. It was refreshing to have no agenda and simply ride to enjoy the area.
After the bike ride, I started driving the road through the park the runs near the Rio Grande river. It was fun to enjoy all the rock formations and solitude of the area. Big Bend Ranch State Park is not as developed as the neighboring national park. That is good and bad. The beauty is more “natural,” but there are few services available. There are no gas stations or food available within the state park.
My second day, I duplicated the 16 mile round trip bike ride to start the day and then went to some of the more well know sections of the park. The “Big Hill” is an area that has a nice view of the Rio Grande river and the nearby mountains.
For me, my favorite area was “Closed Canyon.” This hike enabled us to walk along a narrow canyon and stare at the rugged mountain walls around us. It was truly awe inspiring. I took many photographs along the hike. It was a bit tricky with the bright colorful canyon walls combined with relatively dark shady areas along the trail.
I then drove to the “hoodoos” trail area and went on the hike along the river. There were some fun rock formations!
My third day, I went on the 16 mile bike ride again. I was more prepared for what to expect on the trails and I did not get as short of breath on the hills. This was my last ride, so I was saying goodbye to the sites. Big Bend Ranch State Park is truly a spectacular place to ride a mountain bike. Now I understand why people travel here for that purpose alone. I loved my time riding their trails!
After riding my bike, I started planning what I needed to do to pack up and move down the rode tomorrow to the next stop on my trip. Right now, I have no idea where I will stop tomorrow night. That is part of the fun of RV traveling in retirement.