CANYONLANDS AND FARMLANDS
Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway lie along the Caprock Escarpment, a long, slender formation of rock that marks the transition between the western High Plains (known as the Llano Estacado) and the easterly Rolling Plains. The rock escarpment is a thousand feet high in places and creates an impressive vista as it drops off the flat farm fields of the Llano, collapsing into deep red canyons that expose layers of the Earth’s ancient past. The park offers hiking, camping, fishing (in tiny Theo Lake), and wildlife watching.
The park’s Trailway, a sixty-four mile roll across the Llano and Caprock country, also makes for an excellent opportunity to travel through time. The Trailway follows the abandoned Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway Line where trains once stopped in Turkey, South Plains, Estelline, and Quitaque, enabling local farmers to ship their wares and reap the benefits of bigger markets farther north. The 1928 branch line served this slice of the Panhandle for over sixty years until Burlington closed it in 1989. Resurrected as a multi-use hiking, biking and equestrian trail (sans rails), the Trailway is now divided into six trail sections and hosts eight trailheads accessible from farm-to-market roads and state highways. It crosses forty-six bridges, passes through Clarity Tunnel, and follows Quitaque Canyon before climbing up and over the Caprock Escarpment on a 7% grade.
View a virtual tour of Caprock Canyons State Park