The Trails of Amistad Recreational Area

Amistad National Recreation Area is best known for outstanding water-based recreation activities,

But what many people may not know is that we also have hiking trails to explore! Hiking is a great way to help improve your fitness and enjoy the scenery of your national park at the same time. The trails at Amistad include:

The Sunrise Trail (1.5 miles long one-way) connects the Visitor Center Trailhead with the Spur 454 Trailhead. Located on the old Brite Ranch, you will see a variety of plants and birds while hiking. There are benches made out of recycled material along the way allowing you to sit and enjoy sweeping views of the lake.

At the Pecos, near the confluence of the Pecos River and the Rio Grande, there is an educational nature trail (0.25 mile one-way) by the picnic area. Signs along the trail identify common plants. Enjoy scenic views of the Pecos River and its spectacular cliffs.

The Figueroa Trail consists of a series of 3 one-way trails that comprise the longest sections of trails in the recreation area (total length of approx. 5 miles). Located on the old Figueroa Ranch, these rolling trails will take you past the plants of desert and shrubland while providing views of Amistad Lake and Amistad Dam.

There are three loop trails at Diablo East. They are the Nature Trail (0.3 miles), the Green Trail (0.5 mile), and the Green & Blue Trail (1.3 miles total) where you can see native plants and enjoy sweeping views of Lake Amistad.

Hiking safety tips include:

-          Let someone know where you are going and when you will return,

-          Hike during the cool hours of the morning,

-          Carry (and drink) enough water,

-          Apply sunscreen and wear a hat, and

-          Leave rocks, plants, and artifacts as you find them – please take photos, and leave only footprints!

In May and June of 2017, the park had an American Conservation Experience (ACE) crew work on trails in the park for five weeks. The participants, ages 18-25, are considering land management as a career path or potential course of study.

The ACE crew did an excellent job trimming back vegetation and lining sections of trails with rocks. According to Bunzy Black, the Facility Management Specialist who oversaw this project, the crew did an awesome job restoring trails for visitors to enjoy and experience.

I invite you to hike the trails in Amistad National Recreation Area! For further information on the trails, see www.nps.gov/amis/planyourvisit/hiking.htm or stop in at the Visitor Center and talk with a park ranger.

About the Author:

Chris Ryan is the Superintendent at the Amistad National Recreation Area, near Lake Amistad just outside of Del Rio, Texas.