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101 FUN THINGS: Join bike parade July 4 at Inks Lake State Park

Bring your bicycle, large or small, to the Inks Lake State Park 4th of July bicycle parade. Decorations provided. PHOTO: Stock

Bring your bicycle, large or small, to the Inks Lake State Park 4th of July bicycle parade. Decorations provided. PHOTO: Stock

Come decorate your bicycle and take a leisurely ride through wooded trails in a patriotic parade on the Fourth of July at Inks Lake State Park. Decorations will be provided.

Meet at the central park area by the park store. The parade, which begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. is free, but park fees apply. It’s a great way to get ready for the Aquaboom, Marble Falls or Horseshoe Bay fireworks scheduled for the evening.

Enjoy the great outdoors

Inks Lake State Park is located on Park Road 4 between Burnet and Marble Falls, just a few miles west of U.S. 281.

You can take a ride on an electric boat, fish without a license (and with free loaner gear), hike, bike, boat or just enjoy the flora and fauna of the beautiful Texas Hill Country.

Hiking trails wind through granite outcroppings, live oak, cactus, and mesquite along the banks of Inks Lake. The water in Inks, which is a constant-level lake in the Colorado River chain that runs from Buchanan to Bastrop, is what really makes the park special, says Carol Adams, a naturalist at the park.

“Having the water in Inks makes for beautiful vistas when you’re on the trails,” Adams says. “It makes for diverse opportunities for activities, too.”

For example, she suggests kayaking for an upper body workout, then hiking the trails for the lower body. You can swim in the warmer months and enjoy the bird-watching and fishing all year around.

And if you don’t know how to do any of that, Adams and her fellow rangers can help.

Every Friday, you can fish with a ranger on one of the park’s two piers using equipment from the tackle loaner program. And because you’re fishing in a state park, you don’t need a license, Adams says. Check the website at  www.tpwd.state.tx.us for times, as they change throughout the year.

Also depending on weather and the time of year, electric boat rides around the lake are available for an extra charge.

The rangers also offer electric boat sunset cruises, kayaking lessons and tours (including a midnight paddle), and organized hikes and bird-watching with a naturalist. Bird-watching treks are on foot and by boat. Hiking can include lessons in geology or plants and animals, take your pick.

The Magic of Murmurations is just one example of a nature hike available at the park.

“A murmuration is when black birds and grackles fly into a cove to roost,” Adams says. “Thousands of them come from all directions and they make these patterns in the sky called murmurations, where they all turn at the same time, getting ready to land in the reeds.”

Check out the park’s website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us and click on Find a State Park for more information. You can also sign up for a monthly email newsletter on the latest hike.

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