Staff at Texas State Parks began the Texas Outdoor Family (TOF) program a few years ago to encourage more people to get outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Texas Outdoors—teaching entire groups of people the basics of camping and outdoor safety.

And the program has been so successful, that now it’s grown to also include themed camping weekends for topics such as learning to mountain bike, which is being featured Sat. and Sun., March 23-24 at Stephen F. Austin State Park just west of the greater Houston Metro area.

For just $65, up to six people can learn not only two-days worth of basic camping and outdoor skills, such as pitching a tent, building a campfire, geo-caching and kids’ junior ranger ethics, but for this weekend, trained experts will also teach participants all about mountain biking along scenic the trails of this wooded park.

Most all equipment, such as 6-person tents, hand-held GPS units, cookware, lanterns, stoves and fuel, and even mountain bikes are provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife. Participants should only bring food, clothing, sleeping bag and any personal items.

Advance registration via phone to the State Park Customer Service Center is required for all Texas Outdoor Family events, and attendees for the event at Stephen F. Austin State Park should meet on site at the park on Sat morning, March 23 by 9:30 a.m. Often, TOF weekends are sold out weeks ahead of time, but several available slots remain for this event.

Image courtesy Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

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