About the Texas Tropical Trail Region
The Texas Tropical Trail Region encompasses 20 counties, 23,000 square miles and is home to 1.7 million residents.
The Region’s Border Byway skirts the nation of Mexico and the Gulf Coast Byway runs along the Texas Gulf Coast. The rich landscapes in between are called the Brush Country Byway and the Wild Horse Desert Byway.
Historical sites include battlegrounds, architecture, museums, lighthouses and landmarks. For the adventurous the region offers beachcombing, hiking, hunting, camping, golfing, boating, fishing and a wide variety of water sports.
The Texas Tropical Trail Region’s mild weather is perfect for year round multicultural and historical events and festivals. Nature lovers can take in birding, wildlife preserves, ranches, sanctuaries and wetlands.
From Carrizo Springs, Laredo, Zapata, Brownsville, Harlingen, Port Isabel, South Padre Island, Corpus Christi, Rockport, Port Aransas, Aransas Pass, Refugio, George West, and all points in between, from the wide open skies to the sands of the beaches, the Tropical Trail invites you to adventure!
About the Texas Heritage Trails Program
The Texas Heritage Trails Program (THTP) is based around 10 scenic driving trails created in 1968 by Gov. John Connally and the Texas Highway Department as a marketing tool. The trails were established in conjunction with the HemisFair, an international exposition that commemorated the 250th anniversary of the founding of San Antonio.
In 1997, the Texas Historical Commission (THC) was charged by the State Legislature to create a statewide heritage tourism program. The THC based their program on the original driving trails, creating ten heritage regions: Brazos Trail Region, Forest Trail Region, Forts Trail Region, Hill Country Trail Region, Lakes Trail Region, Independence Trail Region, Mountain Trail Region, Pecos Trail Region, Plains Trail Region and Tropical Trail Region.
Today, the trails serve merely as a backbone for the THC’s award-winning regional tourism initiative. The program’s focus has broadened to include heritage tourism attractions both on and off the trail, and communities throughout each region are encouraged to participate in the program.
About the Texas Historical Commission
The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is the state agency for historic preservation. THC staff consults with citizens and organizations to preserve Texas’ architectural, archeological and cultural landmarks. The agency is recognized nationally for its preservation programs.
The THC is composed of 17 citizen members appointed by the governor to staggered six-year terms. The agency employs about 100 people who work in various fields, including archeology, architecture, history, economic development, heritage tourism, public administration and urban planning.
The Texas State Legislature established the agency in 1953 as the Texas State Historical Survey Committee with the task to identify important historic sites across the state. The Texas Legislature changed the agency’s name to the Texas Historical Commission in 1973. Along with the name change came more protective powers, an expanded leadership role and broader educational responsibilities.