Half Day Hikes - 2020 The Year in Review
As we step into 2021 with hope and newfound positivity of things to come, it’s also important to reflect upon the biggest moments of 2020, which has, at its best, been a tough year for all.
First, a huge kudos to the Texas Parks & Wildlife team for their unwavering commitment to ensuring the Texas state parks were open for guests while keeping their employees and visitors safe.
Last year, the Texas state parks experienced unprecedented numbers of visitors during the pandemic. However, thanks to the implementation of mandatory reservations and capacity management, the park service allowed so many of us to get outside, appreciate nature, and feel a level of normality by camping, hiking, or simply enjoying a picnic in the park.
At Half Day Hikes, our 2020 focus was to continue to expand our trail guidebook series. With the parks open, we were able to achieve so much, including…
SELLING OVER 1,000 GUIDES through park stores, Amazon, and REI stores in Austin and San Antonio, Texas. DONATING $2,400 to Texas Parks & Wildlife from the purchases of our three guides.
Half Day Hikes donates 50% of the proceeds received as authors and publishers from the sale of our guidebooks back to the parks we write about -- it’s our way of giving back. PUBLISHING: Two new hiking guides:
Franklin Mountains State Park - El Paso, Texas - the largest urban state park in the Continental USA.
Lost Maples State Natural Area - Texas Hill Country - the first park dedicated as a State Natural Area in Texas and the home of the rare Bigtooth Maple.
ACHIEVING: Top 10 Best Seller in “Big Bend Texas Travel Books” on Amazon in December 2020 for our guide on Big Bend Ranch State Park.
COMPLETING FIELDWORK ON OUR 4th GUIDE: Available Spring 2021 - Garner State Park, located on the Frio River in the Texas Hill Country, features 12 hikes along scenic trails to panoramic vistas, several caves, historical landmarks, and the backcountry - away from the crowds.
STARTING OUR 5th GUIDE - focused on the Hill Country State Natural Area in Bandera, Texas. Well known for its equestrian facilities and 40 miles of multi-use trails, it offers spectacular views and a true Texas Hill Country escape.
Along the way, we did plenty of fieldwork -- and had fun! -- in the great outdoors…
Hiked over 300 miles
Climbed 16,000 feet in elevation
Camped 52 nights across multiple Texas state parks in Priscilla, our Airstream Travel Trailer (yes, she has a name!)
Mastered the art of cooking in our Roccbox Pizza Oven, with “Cowboy Ribeye” our signature dish. This was inspired by our fieldwork at Hill Country State Natural Area and yes, you guessed it, in Bandera – also known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World”.
We are very thankful for our new friendships created during the year with the incredible staff at Texas Parks & Wildlife. We look forward to continuing our journey together in 2021 to expand Half Day Hikes' guidebook series and increase our donations to support Texas Parks & Wildlife.
2020, that’s a wrap!