If you're into nature and all things relaxing, consider a day trip to one of the newest nature preserves in Texas, the Mineola Nature Preserve on the Sabine River. It is 2,911acres of birds, flowers, deer, butterflies, beaver and scenery.
It's located just a 15 minute drive north of Interstate 20, between Lindale and Mineola, which is located in beautiful Wood County.
This is a nature preserve owned and operated by the City of Mineola and it is truly a work in progress.
The serious bird watcher or nature photographer will have ample opportunity to view and photograph a large number of native as well as migratory birds.
An equestrian trail that stretched some eight miles a year ago, winding through the hills and forested areas, now has 15 miles of trails. There are picnic areas for the equestrians as well as portable bathroom facilities. Several bridges provide access to remote areas of the preserve even when moderately high waters exist. Mountain bike and hiking trails, as well as the original pedestrian trails, now give visitors approximately 20 miles of trails to explore nature.
A pavilion and shower area for the equestrians are being constructed in the spring of 2009 and in the near future the preserve will have newly created ponds to be used for educational purposes with youngsters in mind.
Buffalo and a herd of privately owned longhorn cattle graze on preserve land that is adjacent to ranch property on both sides of the country road leading to the preserve.
Far from the hustle and bustle of city traffic, this is a different world of gentle breezes, wide open spaces and pure poetry.
No need to hurry once you're there. Relax, kick back and spend time recharging your batteries.
When you're hungry stop in Mineola and enjoy top notch eateries that will satisfy you and your wallet.
There's a hardware store (Kitchen's) that doubles as a restaurant and if you wish, you may sit among the tools or next to an antique wooden stove while you eat a delightful array of offerings. It's located near the intersection of Hwys 69 & 80.
Across the street from Kitchens you'll find the best hamburger within 50 miles at the East Texas Burger Company and next to it you can eat an outstanding Reuben before downing anyone of a number of great desserts at La WaffaLatta.
The quality food doesn't end with those places. Take your time and check them all out. From buffets to barbeque or chicken, all are available within minutes of the preserve.