Embracing Active Tourism—and Motivating People to Be
More Active—in the Lower Rio Grande Valley

VISION

In the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas, the Caracara Trails is a vision for a 428-mile trail network that will link the rich natural, cultural and historical resources the area is known for—creating a unified regional identity for outdoor tourism, promoting healthier lifestyles and generating a new sense of community pride for everyone who lives there.

The vision for the trail network is built upon a comprehensive plan—the Lower Rio Grande Valley Active Transportation and Tourism Plan—that leverages the community’s commitment to local economic development in a county with one of the highest poverty rates in the country—and is designed to tap into the rapidly expanding market for “active tourism” to support job creation and small business activity and encourage tourist spending that injects money into local economies.

Explore the
Project Footprint

Sponsored by The Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation and the University of Texas School of Public Health—as well as the cities of Brownsville, Harlingen, Combes, Los Fresnos, Los Indios, Port Isabel, San Benito, South Padre Island, Rio Hondo, and the towns of Laguna Vista and Rancho Viejo—the Caracara Trails comprises 428 miles of trails—including 230 miles of multiuse trails, 120 miles of U.S. Bicycle Routes and 78 miles of paddling trails that will showcase the vast, expansive beauty of the region’s beaches, wildlife preserves, waterways, cultural sites and geographic landmarks.

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe to receive an email when a new article is posted.

Regional Tourism
on a World Scale

Regional Tourism
on a World Scale

The Caracara Trails aims to become one of the finest and most extensive regionwide nonmotorized transportation networks in the U.S.—and to promote the Lower Rio Grande Valley as a worldwide magnet for active tourists, facilities and infrastructure. With a thriving local tourism economy concentrated around South Padre Island, the Caracara Trails could expand the geographic reach of local tourist expenditures, extend area visits and otherwise reduce seasonal lulls in tourist travel.

Promoting
Social Equality

Promoting
Social Equality

By providing equitable access to safe transportation corridors in some of Texas’ poorest and most underserved neighborhoods, the Caracara Trails will greatly increase access to safe places for recreation and physical activity for families who currently have none—empowering many to create new connections throughout the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The Caracara Trails will create new biking and walking connections to critical destinations such as jobs, educational institutions, grocery stores, health-care facilities, and outdoor and civic sites. Social cohesion, self-esteem, active lifestyles and access to desirable community destinations will be enhanced for all through the Caracara Trails.

Fueling a Strong
Regional Economy

Fueling a Strong
Regional Economy

The project will have an enormous economic impact on this highly impoverished but natural-resource-rich area for tourism, job creation and business development—injecting critical small-business investment and generating new tourism revenues along the project route. The Caracara Trails is expected to generate upwards of $40 million in tourist spending for the region in the 10-year period following completion—and the construction phase for the six catalyst projects are expected to generate an economic impact of $56 million.

How We're Achieving The Vision

When complete, the fully implemented Caracara Trails will comprise 230 miles of multiuse trails, 120 miles of U.S. Bicycle Routes and 78 miles of paddling trails. The first phase of the Caracara Trails involves creation of six catalyst projects that will include 57.5 miles of multiuse trails and on-road biking routes, and 18 miles of paddling trails.

How We're Achieving The Vision

When complete, the fully implemented Caracara Trails will comprise 230 miles of multiuse trails, 120 miles of U.S. Bicycle Routes and 78 miles of paddling trails. The first phase of the Caracara Trails involves creation of six catalyst projects that will include 57.5 miles of multiuse trails and on-road biking routes, and 18 miles of paddling trails.

PARTNERS

The Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation
University of Texas School of Public Health
City of Brownsville
City of Combes
City of Harlingen
Town of Laguna Vista
City of Los Fresnos
City of Rio Hondo

City of Los Indios
City of Port Isabel
Town of Rancho Viejo
City of San Benito
City of South Padre Island
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
cdcb come dream. come build

Get Involved

Sign on here to learn more about the Caracara Trails and how you can help!