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The Texas Forest Trail Region Offers Activities and Stories of the Past

Discover the "Gateway to Texas" in the Texas Forest Trail Region.

By Kevin Litwin on September 10, 2021

Tyler is a member of the Texas Forest Trail Region, a huge stretch of land that spans 35 East Texas counties from the Oklahoma-Arkansas border to the Gulf of Mexico. The region was once known as the “Gateway to Texas” for Caddo Indians, Spanish and French explorers, Anglo pioneers, European immigrants and enslaved and freed African Americans.

Today, the area serves as a historical attraction. The Texas Heritage Trails Program, overseen by the Texas Historical Commission, helps market the region to encourage more travel to the area, and it is overflowing with stories of boom and bust in oil and timber, the early rebellion leading to the Texas Revolution, the El Camino Real de los Tejas and the Old South and Wild West.

Tyler Municipal Rose Garden and Museum

Tourists can also visit attractions here, including four national and five state forests, lakes and rivers, Big Thicket National Preserve, museums and cultural sites, and events and festivals.

A few specific to Tyler include Camp Ford Historic Park, the Caldwell Zoo, The Children’s Park of Tyler, Goodman-LeGrand Museum & Gardens, Tyler Municipal Rose Garden and Museum, and the Cotton Belt Railroad Depot Museum.

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