Traveling the Texas Forts Trail Region

If you’ve been following along with my blog, you’ll know I initially started it when I went with my friends Debra and Morgan on a perimeter tour of the great state of Texas, which was featured on Texas County Reporter. A few weeks later, my husband, two dogs, and I took a trip around Brewster County, the largest county in the state. In mid-October, my friends Sarah, Jill, and I shared a virtual tour of the Texas Lakes Trail Region, which encompasses the Dallas/Fort Worth area and beyond.

As someone who is a gypsy at heart, I had the desire to once again travel around my beloved Lone Star State. This time, I took a couple of day trips and drove a significant portion of the Texas Forts Trail Region from my home in San Angelo, which also happens to be one of the cities in the region.

I thought I’d do a couple of shout-outs to my community. We’ll start at the Visitor Center, located along the Concho River. The statues, found at the back of the center, represent the namesakes of our city – Las Dos Angelas.

Did you know north of San Angelo are the Goodyear Proving Grounds? In 2019, they celebrated 75 years in San Angelo.

Just over 30 miles north of San Angelo is the town of Bronte. Gotta love their sense of humor in this mural.

Home to E.V. Spence Reservoir, Robert Lee is located along the Colorado River in Coke County in the southwestern portion of the Region, west of Bronte and offers excellent wildlife watching, like these white-tailed deer.

While there is a Garden of Eden in Eden, you’ll have to check it out for yourself. However, this great mural is a beauty. You see loads of deer in west Texas, even painted ones.

Probably most well known as the home to Perini Ranch Steakhouse, Buffalo Gap, south of Abilene, has a population of under 500. Look for the giant armadillo inside the entrance to the restaurant. While my husband is a big steak guy and I love it, too, I have to say I enjoyed one of the best burgers I’ve ever had at this incredible restaurant in west Texas.

There is so much to enjoy in Abilene, but I have to say one of my favorite museums in the Lone Star State is Frontier Texas! I don’t know that I’ve ever been to a museum, aside from this one, that has holograms. They are amazingly lifelike and offer great lessons in history of the area.

Calling itself the “Greatest Little Town in Texas,” Ballinger has an exceptional little downtown. One thing that isn’t small is the 99-foot cross just outside the community. You can see it for miles.

A little trivia for you…did you know Bonnie Parker of Bonnie and Clyde fame was born in Rowena?

Did you know the community of Cross Plains hosts an annual Barbarian Festival, dedicated to the creator of Conan the Barbarian, who was from the community? They also have a Museum to the Creator of Conan the Barbarian.

Between the towns of Haskell and Throckmorton, along US-380, you’ll see “Bridle Bit Bull” long before you get to him. This 22-foot-tall rusty steel longhorn was built by Joe Barrington. Quite the site when you’re driving down the highway.

While I didn’t overnight this trip along the trail, I would definitely consider staying just outside Graham at Wildcatter Ranch and Resort. I stayed there for a meeting last December. It was certainly a beautiful place to see sunrises and sunsets.
If you had to learn one thing about Brownwood, it’s that you should always try to make a stop at Underwood’s Cafeteria. I once went through the drive-thru with a friend just for their rolls. Check them out when you can.
Having judged the World Championship BBQ Goat Cook-off in Brady a couple of times, I can vouch for what a fun event this is and that the cooks at this event know how to serve up some great cabrito.

When I was a judge, I couldn’t take pictures of the goat but I did get some photos AND some samples of great cooking while I attended.

Mill Pond Park in San Saba, the Pecan Capital of the World, is one of the prettiest parks you’ll see. They are preparing for their holiday event, The Dancing Lights of Mill Pond Park. What a beautiful place to enjoy the fresh air!

Those of you who are fans of Texas Country Reporter will be familiar with the Regency Suspension Bridge near San Saba. Once you see it, you’ll understand why TCR has used the bridge in their opening credits for years.

Located just down the road from San Angelo is the small town of Christoval. It’s a beautiful community along the Concho River. Some of the places I’d highly recommend you visit are Christoval Vineyards for some great wine and the Mount Carmel Hermitage, where you’ll find a beautiful display of the Stations of the Cross.

While I know there are more places to see in the Texas Forts Trail Region, unfortunately, I don’t have time to see them all right now. Hopefully, what you’ve seen on my page this weekend will give you a good start. Thanks for coming along with me. Safe travels!

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