Dating from 1902 until 1944, when the park was established, there was a consulate, sheriff's office, bank, and general store in Castolon, and an important place for residents of northern Mexico and the Big Bend region.
Today, a visitors center provides historical displays and a small store. Winter is a great time for a visit!
Two great marathons grace the region, and both of them are Boston-qualifying races.
Runners in the El Paso Marathon, http://www.elpasomarthon.org/, swing into New Mexico and run along the Rio Grande river, with Old Mexico on one side and Texas on the other. The race begins and ends downtown. Set your training for this great race on March 1, 2009!
And pictured here, is the legendary Marathon2Marathon race known for spectacular scenery. Racers run from just outside Alpine to the small town of Marathon, Texas. Check it out at, http://www.marathon2marathon.net/ to learn more about this October 17, 2009 race.
And if you're visiting in the region and want to try some scenic training runs, check out the suggestions on our running page, www.texasmountaintrail.com/run
If you're running in the Houston Marathon this January, look for our booth at the Expo!
The Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Ruidosa, though endangered, retains much of its original design and workmanship. Its three arches are considered the largest rounded adobe arches in the state, and therefore significant.
The Texas Historical Commission has taken a leadership position in the stabilization and care of this important structure in the border region. To learn more, see the article on page 3 of the THC's Medallion magazine, here. (please wait a few moments for the magazine to download)
Unspoiled beauty awaits the motorcyclist, the cyclist and the runner north of Van Horn. Approximately 7 miles north of this small community along I-10, the road turns west. The shoulders are wide and the road relatively untraveled, making this a private wilderness experience for the adventurous.
Travelers heading down the River Road may be surprised--in the midst of uninhabited wide open spaces--to see remnants of an old mercury or quicksilver mine, the Mariscal Mine.
It towers above the road, and provides an incredible vista of the ground below. It was abandoned in the 1940s, and because of its remote location, it is one of the best preserved mercury mining sites in the country.
To read more about the Mariscal Mine, visit this page. You can even download a brochure to learn more.
Just outside El Paso, the Mission Trail offers visitors beautiful architecture in small border communities, as well as a window to the past.
The Mission Trail, of which this chapel in San Elizario is a part, has been a chapter of Spanish, Mexican and U.S. history since the Spanish colonial government chose Don Juan de Onate to organize an expedition to establish a "New Mexico." His caravan, with over two miles of carts, livestock, soldiers, wives, and clergy, traveled north through the Chihuahuan Desert until they reached the Rio Grande river, where Onate claimed the region for the King of Spain.
Mission churches and forts came later, and the presidio at this location (now San Elizario) was built in 1789. The present day chapel's exterior remains much the same as it did when it was built in 1882, however the interior had to be rebuilt after a fire in 1935.
For more information about the Chapel and the history of the Mission Trail, click here and here.
Because of the fragile nature of ancient rock art and the tremendous popularity of the world-class bouldering opportunities, visitation at this small park is limited and reservations are strongly encouraged. However, a visit to Hueco Tanks is also strongly recommended!
For more information about visiting Hueco Tanks click here.
While making it to the top of Guadalupe Peak--the highest point in Texas, at 8,749 feet--is an incredibly exciting climb, the majesty doesn't end there. During the hike down to the trailhead, keep your eyes open for a beautiful play of light and shadow on the mountains.