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Coolest Historical Trails and Roads in Texas

by Stephen Thomas on March 18, 2013


If you’ve never driven through Texas before, the very idea may conjure up desolate plains and long stretches of desert, but driving through the Lone Star state offers so much more. In fact, it has some of the most interesting historical trails and roads that the United States has to offer—natural beauty, quirky anomalies, and scenic landscapes that you won’t find anywhere else. Here are 4 of the best historical drives, as indicated by Trails.com.

Canyons and Rivers

What it is: If you’ve ever wanted to experience some of the most rugged natural terrain that Texas has to offer, this 46-mile drive is for you. This road climbs down through three of Texas’ biggest river valleys (the Medina, the Sabinal, and the Frio), and up over the hills that divide them. In addition to the majestic views this drive offers, there are also places to go camping, boating, swimming, and more.

How to get there: Follow Ranch Road 337 west to U.S. 83 south.

The Old Tunnel

What it is: Travelling through the back roads of Texas can feel a bit like going back in time. The small town of Comfort, Texas, which was settled by Germans in 1854, is where this journey begins. From Comfort, you will drive through what used to be Fredericksburg, along the old San Antonio-Fredericksburg road and Northern Railway, as it crosses over the Guadalupe and Pedernales rivers. At the highest point of the drive, you’ll experience a real rarity to the relatively flat state of Texas—a long railroad tunnel that cuts through a ridge. The tunnel has been closed to trains for some time, much to the pleasure of its new inhabitants—one million bats.

How to get there: Take RM473 east to Ranch Road 1376/Sisterdale heading north.

Trail of the Dinosaur

What it is: Located in northern Texas, the Trail of the Dinosaur is a 28-mile stretch of road that takes you from Cleburne State Park all the way to Dinosaur Valley State Park. Along the scenic drive are opportunities for fishing, hiking, and camping, as well as checking out real fossilized dinosaur tracks.

How to get there: Begin on Park Road 21, head west, following signs for US 67-S and Dinosaur State Park.

Enchanted Rock

What it is: This 42-mile stretch through central Texas captures a beautiful geologic wonder that’s impressive to both locals and tourists alike. Between Llano and Fredericksburg, an impressive amount of colorful minerals have been mined throughout the years, including gold, silver, marble, serpentine, fluorite, and more. Years ago, the mines outside Burnet were the largest graphite producers in the United States. This drive takes you though Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and Admiral Nimitz State Historical Park.

How to get there: From Llano, take State Highway 16 South/Ford Street

Some of these roads can be weathered and aged, though, so before setting out on your journey; you may want to consider boning up on your driving skills with an online defensive driving course. So forget about the Alamo—if you want to experience the real natural beauty of Texas, you’ll need to get in your car and drive.

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