Texas Department of Transportation

Travel & Outdoor
Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine February 2020

Texas Highways, the official travel magazine of Texas, encourages recreational travel within Texas and tells the Texas story to readers around the world. Renowned for its photography, statewide events coverage, top weekend excursions, off-the-beaten path discoveries, and scenic destinations, Texas Highways helps readers discover the treasures of the Lone Star State.

United States
Texas Department of Transportation
Read More
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
the enigmatic east

East Texas rewards the slow traveler. Unlike West Texas, where vast distances and remote landscapes require planning ahead, East Texas reveals itself most fully to the unconstrained wanderer. The divine is in the details. We took our first East Texas trip as a family last March. My husband and I were looking for a spring break vacation away from the beach crowds and wanted to pick a location that would allow for an unhurried pace. We made sure to purchase tickets for the Texas State Railroad ahead of time for our train-loving 4-year-old boy, but we kept the rest of our plans loose. Since having kids, I don’t know that I’ve taken a trip where nearly every day wasn’t meticulously scheduled. It’s a much more enjoyable way to travel, and I’d…

2 min.
behind the story

For “Peeking Through the Pines” (Page 42), photographer Dave Shafer (center) traveled through 22 East Texas towns to capture the essence of life in the Piney Woods. Shafer says his first shoot at Free Fishing Day at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens was one of his most memorable. “I didn’t have such high expectations going in,” he admits. “But everyone who was there was so happy. That joy was such a great kickoff for me. I thought, this is what I need to keep finding.” Between hitting planned events like the East Texas State Fair in Tyler and the World Championship Fiddlers’ Festival in Crockett, “I left some days for me to wander,” Shafer says. Roaming led him to the town of Corrigan, where he landed because he…

3 min.

TEXAS EAGLES We did the Vanishing Texas River Cruise up the Colorado with an amazing captain and guide and saw 10 eagles and many other birds, not to mention the beautiful falls. It was well worth the trip. Ken Emery, Belton TRADE DAYS I grew up going to First Monday Trade Days in Canton. Thirty to 40 years ago, it was awesome. Now, all the new-merchandise vendors have taken over in the pavilions. You have to go past the pavilions to find the good junk! Steven Davis, Tyler PIEROGI QUEEN Yum! As a gal whose maiden name ends in a Polish “ski,” I wholeheartedly approve of this story. And now I have to schedule a trek to League City. @kookykrys Fueled by History The Magnolia Filling Station [“Fill ’er Up,” January] stands on the land where Henri Castro built his…

1 min.
touchdowns in the tomato

In a state crazy for high school football, few towns can boast a stadium as legendary as Jacksonville’s Tomato Bowl. In this photo taken in October, the visiting Whitehouse Wildcats warm up for a Friday night game against the Jacksonville Indians. Jacksonville built the stadium in 1940 with assistance from the Works Progress Administration, naming it after the town’s signature crop. Jacksonville Independent School District completed a renovation of the Tomato Bowl last year but retained its distinctive exterior of red iron ore rock.…

3 min.

I t’s easy to bypass Shankleville, an East Texas community with no business district or convenience store. But what it lacks in stature, Shankleville makes up for in heritage—a proud history that resident Phillip White calls an “enduring love story.” White traces his ancestry to the town’s founders, Jim and Winnie Shankle, an African American couple originally from Mississippi. When Winnie was sold to a Texas slave owner in the mid-1800s, Jim escaped and fled after her, swimming across the Mississippi River and traveling nearly 400 miles. The two reunited, and after emancipation, they settled this farming community of freed slaves. Today, Shankleville numbers no more than 100 people, but it got a burst of national attention last year when Michael Strahan, the retired football star and TV personality, discovered…

11 min.
from the bottoms to the tops

Some say that deep in the East Texas woods, where the muddy Sabine River flows, there dwells a creature called the Goat Man. This furry, hoofed denizen of the dark woods lives under a swinging bridge, where he sates his taste for human flesh on unsuspecting passersby. Or so went the legend when I was young, and perhaps that legend has played out now. Kids run the river and woods less, and spend minimal time beneath the swaying shadows of the pines and hardwood trees that once grew thick for miles. Stories grow not only out of the available environment, but also the use of the environment, so perhaps due to the lack of attention to the Goat Man’s world, he has ceased to exist. Almost as mythical are the things that…