Now that Fall is here, and it isn’t so damn hot, the weather's perfect for getting outside. For the next few weeks, I’ll be highlighting cool, nearby areas to visit.

Some you may be familiar with, some you may not but, todays destination isn't really much of a trip. It's right smack in the middle of town.  Franklin Mountains State Park is no more than 20 minutes from anywhere in El Paso County. According to the parks' website, hikers and bikers can:

Explore almost 27,000 acres (about 40 square miles) on over 100 miles of trail. Carry plenty of water and a cell phone, wear good shoes, dress for the weather, and travel with a partner.

Guided tours for hikers and mountain bikers, (as well as riding clinics), are available through GeoBetty Tours. For more info, call (915) 526-1091. Camping is also allowed in Tom Mays Park where the park has 14 campsites that you can walk to and 5 RV sites. To reserve one, call (915) 566-6441.

Rock climbing is allowed in the Tom Mays unit also but, you have to bring your own equipment!