Sunday, February 03, 2008

Bandera, Tejas

Dubbed the "Cowboy Capital of the World" by locals as well as visitors, Bandera is a historic and inviting city full of antique shops, arts and crafts stores, dude and guest ranches and hunting opportunities. The city's namesake park is an idyllic 77 acres of woods and crystal clear waters nestled on the Medina River and State Highway 173 in Bandera, Texas. The bald cypress-shaded Medina River provides opportunities for day use activities such as swimming, tubing, kayaking and fishing, as well as relaxing riverside picnics and bar-b-queues (BBQs). According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, this segment of the Medina River is the fourth most popular for floating in Texas and has exceptional water quality. A small spillway dam on the west side of State Highway 173 maintains a fairly constant water level in the park.

At 1/2 mile in length, the park provides hikers and nature lovers with views of native vegetation, such as Ashe juniper, sycamore, hackberry and live oak. Over 200 birding species have been identified in Bandera County, including yellow-throated warbler and summer tanager. Bandera City Park is part of the Heart of Texas Wildlife Trail (East) -- one of several driving trails in Texas that have been developed to help birders and other wildlife enthusiasts discover and celebrate Texas nature.

Overnight camping is not permitted within the park, but there are numerous RV parks, motels, bed & breakfasts (B&B's) and dude ranches in Bandera.

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