Palo Duro Canyon Acquires New Land for Visitor's Use

You will soon be able to hike, ride horses and camp in nearly three thousand new acres of Palo Duro canyon.

The Fortress Cliff walls used to be seen from only campers in the depths of the canyon.

But soon enough the park will open up the newly acquired Fortress Cliffs Ranch.

And visitors will have almost three thousand acres to explore.

"We can have camping up here. we can have hiking. Special events, bike races. It opens up all the draws of the mini canyons and those are extra recreational elements for hiking," said Randy Ferris, the Palo Duro State Park superintendent.

The park service hopes to have the area open for recreation by the end of next year.

There's a lot of work to be done before then.

"We've got to do archeological surveys, natural resource evaluations. To map out those areas that we want to stay protected. maybe historically significant. The rest we'll map out how to best open them up to the public," Superintendent Ferris said.

The state was able to buy the land with help from a non-profit group.

Keeping it out of the hands of developers and opening it up for public use.

"We're not trying to prohibit development completely, We just don't want it to impact the pristine nature of the canyon," said Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioner Mark Bivins.

Parks officials hinted more acquisitions are possible, as more.

Surrounding land becomes available.