The Lone Star State has its share of flat terrain and long ribbons of cement, but it’s also home to Big Bend National Park, the Piney Woods, miles upon miles of public dirt roads, several excellent swimming holes, and a well maintained network of State Parks.
A local gem, the EasTex 450, is a mostly dirt route that loops through the Davy Crockett, Angelina, and Sabine National Forests for over 400 miles.
A Texas specific riding forum, Two Wheeled Texans serves as a digital meeting space for riders. The dual sport riding section is especially active with multiple rides per month. Of particular note is Richard Gibbens’s, Texas Adventure. In existence since the early 2000’s, this group provides annual trips to Mexico, Big Bend, and the Texas Hill Country along with ride guides and maps.
Texas Dual Sport Options
Dirt and County Roads in Your Neighborhood
Starting out? Explore the secondary and unpaved roads in your area. These will build confidence, familiarize you with route finding, and establish basic motorcycle skills necessary to tackle a longer trip.
County Road in East Texas
Big Bend National Park averages just over 1000 visitors per day, but covers more than 800,000 acres. That’s larger than the state of Rhode Island! Couple the size with the fact that a fraction of visitors venture into the back-country and you have a recipe for solitude and plenty of dual sport exploration. Popular routes include Black Gap Road, Old Ore Road, and the River Road. The town of Terlingua has several campgrounds, restaurants, and shops to replenish your supplies in addition to sites within the park. Next door, Big Bend Ranch State Park offers additional riding opportunities.
View from Old Ore Road in Big Bend National Park
Port Bolivar Ferry
A short ferry ride from Galveston to Port Bolivar provides a view of the water and an opportunity to improve sand riding skills.
Beach near the Port Bolivar Ferry
The Piney Woods of East Texas provide a scenic backdrop to many dual sport routes. Watch the forecast as precipitation, sand, and dirt can mix together to form challenging road surfaces that change with each trip. The Davey Crockett, Sabine, and Angelina National Forests host a vast network of dirt roads adjacent to lakes and streams known for excellent hunting and fishing.
In northeast Texas numerous dirt roads circle the historic town of Jefferson.
Wooden bridge in East Texas
West of Austin and San Antonio the terrain changes to low hills and stream-cut valleys. Between historic ranches, spring fed swimming holes, and granite outcrops you can weave many excellent dual sport routes. One in particular is hosted in the town of Junction, Texas. Look for ride reports and updates on the Texas Adventure Forum on Two Wheeled Texans.
Gateway to Mexico
Just 8 hours south of Houston or 3 hours south of the border-town of McAllen sit mountains that tower to over 8000′. The Sierra Madre host many Mexican gems including Real De Catorce, Galeana, and Cerro El Potosi. Texas Adventure organizes annual trips called MexTrek or you can form a group to organize your own.
Border crossing at Reynosa, Mexico & McAllen, TX
What did we miss?
Have a favorite dual sport route or riding area in Texas that we didn’t mention? Send your description and a few photos to info@DualSportDispatch.com.