Top Outdoor & Wildlife Experiences in Waco Texas

Top Outdoor & Wildlife Experiences in Waco Texas

Waco has recently become one of the United States’ top trending travel destinations, thanks in part to a popular home renovation TV series. The Texas town itself has undergone a bit of a makeover and features a wealth of enjoyable experiences. 

The city offers numerous wildlife experiences and abundant outdoor recreation opportunities that you can enjoy throughout the year. So, lace up your hiking boots or grab your bike helmet, because your next trip to Waco, Texas, is going to be filled with outdoor excitement. 

Waco Mammoth National Monument

They say everything is bigger in Texas, so it should come as no surprise that you can see mammoths here. No, they haven’t found a way to clone the prehistoric beasts, but Waco is lucky enough to have one of the most important paleontological finds in North America.

One of America’s newest national monuments, the Waco Mammoth N.M. is home to a graveyard of nearly two dozen Columbian mammoths, along with other prehistoric mammals, such as the saber-toothed cat. Discovered in 1978, the site allows visitors to see the skeletons as they were found via a guided tour through the sheltered site. 

Waco Mammoth National Monument - Columbian Mammoth Fossil

waco mammoth national monument:photo by Jay Galvin

Cameron Park

This 416-acre urban park is one of the largest city parks in Texas and dates back over 100 years. Boasting more than 20 miles of recreation trails, the park is much-loved by both residents and visitors. 

Challenge your legs to climb the 100 zigzagging steps of Jacob’s ladder and take in the views from Lover’s Leap. The well-maintained park abounds with lush woodlands and contains the Cameron Park Zoo.

Cameron PArk:photo by Anthony george

Cameron Park Zoo

This lovely little natural landscape zoo keeps expanding and now features exotic animals from five continents. In addition to native Texas animals such as cougars, black bears, and coyotes, the zoo is home to giant Komodo dragons and orangutans. 

The animals are well-kept, and the zoo offers plenty of shade to take shelter from the Texas heat. It’s easily navigated, very affordable, and fun for the whole family.

Lake Waco Wetlands

Enjoy peaceful boardwalks that snake through 180 acres of wetlands that are home to wading birds like the great blue heron. In addition to the more than 185 species of birds here, you might also come across deer, foxes, or minks. 

Kids can drop a line in one of the ponds for catfish, and you can help volunteer to build and install bird nesting boxes throughout the wetlands or clear out invasive plant species. The creation and management of the wetlands have created a vital habitat for Central Texas flora and fauna.

Brazos Park East

Located along the Brazos River, this park is popular with bikers, joggers, and kayakers. You will also find a beautiful championship-style disc golf course here. Enjoy boat ramps, picnic areas, public bathrooms, and even horseshoe pits.

The park hosts many local events, including concerts, food festivals, and 5K runs. Its picturesque limestone bluff views are just a 10-minute drive west of downtown Waco.

Stretch your legs and get closer to nature at one of these outdoor destinations the next time you’re in Waco.

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Author: Michael Jerrard

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