Big Spring State Park in Big Spring Texas, as seen from Big Spring Caverns.
The Caverns, which lie beneath the same park, have been open to the public since 1870. The caverns are the second-oldest tourist attraction in Texas, after the Alamo.
The park itself began as a state park in 1908, the year Texas became a state. But Big Spring itself, the town built around the caverns, goes back further. In the 1820s and 1830s, when the town was new, it was a popular stopping place for immigrants traveling up the Missouri River.
The caverns were a major attraction from the beginning. In 1870, when the park was founded, Big Spring Caverns generated more revenue from ticket sales than the park’s other attractions, including exhibits, shows, and boat rides.
The Caverns exhibit, which won international recognition, was the most popular attraction in the twentieth century. It was so profitable that in 1934 the caverns were converted into a state park.
The park’s history, however, is complicated. A bill that created the park was vetoed by the governor. A second bill was vetoed by the assembly speaker. A third bill, which the governor signed, was vetoed by the assembly speaker again.
Finally, after many failed attempts to override the vetoes, the vetoes were overridden by the legislature as a whole. The Mexican American War claimed the life of one legislator who opposed the bill.
Big Spring’s story reflects larger developments in the Texas state park system. In the twentieth century, Texas became a leader in conservation, and Big Spring State Park.
Being outdoors is good for you. Everybody knows that. But spending time in nature is even better. If you are looking for outdoor activities in Big Spring TX, then you really should take some time to visit the Big Spring State Park.