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Houston Regional Group - News
Feature

GOVERNMENT CANYON SNA TO OPEN CAMPGROUND - by Frank Blake

For the first time since it opened in 2005, Government Canyon State Natural Area will allow overnight camping in its front country, walk-in tent campground beginning Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. The campground will be open Friday and Saturday nights only, and will offer 23 walk-in campsites and 2 walk-in group campsites for tent campers only. Vehicle parking spaces will be located nearby, with pedestrian trails leading to each site.

The campground will offer a unique and rustic camping experience for visitors and blends well with the mission and purpose of the State Natural Area.

For further information, including campground maps and campsite photographs, visit the Government Canyon page on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. Also of note: the Alamo Group of Sierra Club will conduct Saturday hikes at the Canyon in coming months on October 13, November 10, and December 8. For details, visit the Outings page at the Alamo Group website http://www.texas.sierraclub.org/ alamo/.

The Brazos River looked almost green and was not its usual muddy brown color. The park was full of people camping, biking, and walking, and we observed several people fishing on the banks of the river. My fellow hikers kept me honest about where we were going and which trail we were on. We moseyed on the Sycamore, Brazos, Cottonwood, Copperhead, Riverbend,

What delighted me most were the blooming Turk's Cap, Blue Mist Flower, morning glory, Frost Weed, and False-mint. Bees and skippers (an insect similar to a butterfly) bombed the False-mint while a giant Swallowtail with a six-inch wingspan fl oated from one Turk's Cap to another sucking out the sweet nectar of life. Red Admiral, Question Mark, and hairstreak butterflies and Long-tailed Skippers fl itted through the forest with their here again and then gone glorious colors. A one and one-half inch Black Passalus Beetle, usually found in decaying wood, was rescued from the trail but the red parasitic mites that hitched a ride on it hung on for their dinner and dear life.

We spooked a magnificent buck White-tailed deer who ran and bounded gracefully through the forest and then disappeared into the dark green. We passed many leaf-cutter ant colonies as we snaked through the woods. After three hours and a leisurely lunch we were done. As I waved to my fellow sojourners who sped away back to civilization I thought again to myself, "Sometimes You Just Get Lucky!"


Last updated:  11/20/2011.   Content 1999-2011 by the Sierra Club.