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Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway facts for kids

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Caprock Canyons State Park
Caprock Canyons Haynes Ridge 2005.JPG
View from Haynes Ridge
Location Briscoe County, Texas
Nearest city Quitaque
Area 15,314 acres (6,197 ha)
Established 1982
Governing body Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Caprock Canyons Trailway
Length 64 miles (103 kilometres)
Location Texas
Use Hiking
Elevation gain/loss 2,776 ft (846 m)
Trail difficulty Medium

Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway is a Texas state park located along the eastern edge of the Llano Estacado in Briscoe County, Texas, United States, approximately 100 miles (160 km) southeast of Amarillo. The state park opened in 1982 and is 15,314 acres (6,197 ha) in size, making it the third-largest state park in Texas.

Trailway

In 1993, a hiking, biking, and equestrian rail trail opened that stretches through the park through Floyd, Briscoe, and Hall counties. The trailway was created after the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department acquired 64.25 miles (103 km) of right-of-way from the abandoned Fort Worth and Denver Railroad's lines between Estelline and South Plains.

Climate

The park is located in West Texas and has a semi-arid climate. The average January minimum temperature is 19 °F (−7 °C) and the average July maximum is 91 °F (33 °C). The park receives 20.4 inches (520 mm) of precipitation annually.

Flora and fauna

The area contains badlands with mesquite, cacti and junipers with tall grasses, plums, hackberries and cottonwoods in the canyons.

The Park hosts part of the Texas state bison herd. At the urging of his wife, Charles Goodnight preserved several plains bison from those that were being slaughtered. This herd became one of the genetic sources from which current bison herds descend. The state herd only contains plains bison which have no cattle DNA.

African sheep (Barbary sheep), mule deer, white-tailed deer, coyotes, opossums, raccoons, bobcats, foxes, porcupines, numerous species of snakes and lizards, and over 175 species of birds including golden eagles are found within the park. Lake Theo contains bass, catfish, and rainbow trout. In the summer of 2012 black-tailed prairie dogs were reintroduced to a 200-acre (81 ha) area within the park.

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