Quanah – When traveling west in the Lone Star State, it doesn’t take long for the terrain to start taking on a whole other look. About an hour outside of Wichita Falls, you’ll the route to an incredible state park, just south of Quanah. Sitting on 1900 acres on the banks of the Pease River, this picturesque Permian part of Texas gives you the feeling that this is where the west begins.
We’re at Copper Breaks State Park.
“The nice solitude, open space is very serene,” Edwin Quintero said. “If you’re looking to get away from the city and really enjoy nature this is it.”
Edwin is the Park superintendent, and he’s originally from the Valley.
“My background is in Biology,” Edwin said. “As you can see this is perfect terrain for snakes. “
Head up or tails up, we don’t want to come across any copperheads at Copper Breaks.
“I knew I was gonna travel around the state and that’s why I like you know working for Texas Parks and Wildlife,” Edwin said. “You get to see some beautiful parts of the state.”
Edwin took us on a tour of the park that used to be the homestead of Comanche and Kiowa tribes.
“During the winter this is where you would see all their settlements,” Edwin said.
The rigids and peaks of Copper Breaks provided protection from the elements but also sparked interest from mining companies after the Civil War.
“All that greenish streaks on horizontal lines on the breaks that is the mineral form of copper,” Edwin said. “It wasn’t profitable, I mean there was copper it was actually taking more money to mine for it than to actually see any of the profits from the copper. “
What the park does see is a massive amount of biodiversity. With 80 species of reptiles and amphibians as well as being a central flyway for migratory animals, there are all sorts of passersby. However, there are a few permanent residents that roam the prairie.
“This is why Copper Breaks is very unique. We have 5 of the official longhorn heard and these guys are pretty awesome actually,” Edwin said. “You get to go to other parks where they have longhorns but I’ll tell you what you don’t get to get up close and personal with these guys. They’re very majestic, very rustic and this is what Texas is all about. It’s an iconic symbol of Texas.”
Feeding the large longhorns is something you can check off your bucket list.
“They love these cattle cubes they are basically like you know like m&m’s to them, very sweet,” Edwin said.
If you’re feeling like you need some longhorn love, just pucker up.
“ When you have handsome young fellows like me here all you have to is you have to go over and tell it ‘Hey Raider give me a kiss’”, Edwin said. “Nowhere else in Texas do you get to see kissing longhorns out here, but you don’t have to bribe them with some cattle feed or anything like that.”
If you’re looking for a serene state park with stunning surroundings and some slobbery steers, Copper Breaks State Park in Quanah is quite the stop on The Texas Bucket List.
“If you wanna come in and really experience solitude and the dark skies definitely come out to Copper Breaks,” Edwin said.