We travel for the experience. Ecotourism, or nature tourism, is responsible travel with the purpose of experiencing the natural attractions unique to different environments. By nature, no-pun intended, ecotourism is a lesson in wildlife and natural resource conservation that goes beyond studying in a book or even reading this blog. It is waking up with the sun, amongst nature, with the desire to preserve a beautiful and natural habitat for humans and wildlife alike. This series is called “Green Weekend Trips” – where we’ll show you a variety of locales to travel and experience nature through Ecotourism.
In Texas, there are endless state parks and beautiful natural attractions that are the perfect place to spend a green weekend with your family – here’s one that might be Texas’ best kept secret: Lake Whitney.
In 2005, the 79th legislature of the State of Texas passed a resolution which declared Lake Whitney as the official “Getaway Capital of Texas.” Located just over 20 miles northwest of Waco, Lake Whitney is the perfect location for an ideal family ecotourism experience in Texas.
There are several networks of trails located in Lake Whitney State Park. Hike to the Big Oak, one of the many magnificent oak trees growing in the area. Make your way to take in the sights at lake view point. Discover ancient Indian ruins at Towash Settlement. Check out this trail map and discover the many opportunities for hiking around the lake.
Boating and Fishing
Sail, paddle, tube, or coast your way around Lake Whitney in a pontoon. Boat rental is available, and make sure to take advantage of the numerous award-winning marinas that offer fuel stations, boat repair and overnight lodging. Stop for a swim, picnic or try and spot wildlife while you enjoy the day boating
around the lake. The most common species of fish in the lake include different species of catfish and bass.
Birding and Wildlife Watching
Observe over 300 migratory and non-migratory species of birds and wildlife around Lake Whitney. Common bird species include wild turkeys, bald eagles, owls and blue herons.
Discover the fun and excitement of trying to navigate your way to the exact coordinates of a secret location on your modern day treasure hunt! Geo means earth and cache means something hidden. Search for one of the many hidden items in Lake Whitney State Park and join the Texas State Parks Geocache Challenge!
There are many excellent options for camping and lodging around Lake Whitney. Many choices can accommodate large groups for family gatherings. Cherokee Village Resort and Nature Center is a comfortable home away from home while enjoying your time on the lake. The resort has direct access to canoe trails and nature trails. As a certified Texas wildscape, Cherokee Village also has its own butterfly garden with hundreds of plants and flowers to attract different species of butterflies and hummingbirds.
A list of additional lodging options can be found here.
Stay tuned for the next location in our Green Weekend Trip series!
Abbie Lockwood is a social media and content manager at a Dallas-based branding agency. She specializes in social media, content and community management. A Bostonian at heart, and deeply in love with her Kentucky Wildcats.
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