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Described as a “tranquil haven in the pines,” by the Texas Wildlife and Parks Department, Tyler State Park offers hiking trails, boating, bird watching and wildlife viewing, fishing, swimming, a playground, and watercraft rentals. Roughly 15 miles north of Tyler, the park offers a range of camping options, and is a popular destination for thousands of visitors each year.

Some families visit the park year after year and it’s a favorite destination for mountain bikers, who enjoy the adventurous, winding trails through hills and ravines. There are more than 13 miles of trails including the Whispering Pines Nature Trail laid out more than 70 years ago by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Through hardwood-pine woodlands, bikers and hikers alike see a large array of plant life and birds and wildlife. There’s also a natural spring with rocks and small waterfall designed by the CCC.

The park’s forest also protects bikers from the sun and searing heat. The lack of underbrush, due to management by park rangers, allows a continuous ride. Layers of leaves and pine needles covering the forest floor can also soften falls and protect from injuries.

Tyler State Park is located at 789 Park Road 16, Tyler, Texas 75706-9141. Call (903) 597-5338 for information. More information is available at www.tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/tyler.

Texas State Parks offer day passes and overnight camping. Call (512) 389-8915 for park reservations throughout the state, or register online at www.tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks.

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