Tourist Tuesdays: Mineola Nature Preserve on the Sabine River

Well… that’s a mouthful. I am still traveling, so I’m featuring another new city! After having a mini-reunion with my former roommates down in Austin, I headed to the piney woods of East Texas to visit my parents and my sister and her family. They live in the thriving metropolis of Gladewater, TX… and by thriving metropolis I mean cute little town of 6,134 (actually probably 6,133 since my nephew is currently living in Ohio for school) haha!

It’s definitely smaller than any town I’ve ever lived in, but it’s a great place to raise a family. My brother-in-law grew up here, and my sister moved here 21 years ago after they got married. My parents moved here about eight years ago, and live right next door to my sister, which is super convenient for visits.

So, when I first arrived in Texas it was freezing… I was so annoyed. But by Sunday it was sunny and 70°F (21°C), which was a perfect excuse to get outside! So we headed to the Mineola Nature Preserve on the Sabine River. Construction on the preserve began in 2002, it encompasses 2,911 acres and it home to native species of animals and plant life. There are hiking trails, mountain bike trails, horseback riding trails, camping, playgrounds, wetlands, woods, and frisbee golf. There’s even a swampy area that they warn you to beware of alligators. We didn’t see a single alligator, but we saw lots of cute turtles sunning themselves.

There’s pretty much something for everyone. We were there just to hike, especially since we had a little one with us. We walked less than I thought we would, but more than my sister thought we would, partly because a couple of trails were waterlogged, so we had to just backtrack rather than making a circuit around the park.

The preserve is actually ranked in the top 15 city parks in the nation for it’s size. I highly recommend checking it out if you happen to find yourself in the piney woods.

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