Designated the Garden Capital of Texas, Nacogdoches breathtaking natural beauty is arriving earlier than expected this year.
During peak season, the flowering azaleas take center stage during the annual Nacogdoches Azalea Trail. As always, the centerpiece of the Azalea Trail are the 25 miles of self-guided driving routes that meander through the oldest town in Texas and the stunning Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, the largest in the state.
The 25 mile route showcase the city's beautifully landscaped residential areas and historic districts. The routes are divided into three trails named for the azaleas they feature, including Southern Indica Trail, Evergreen Azalea Trail and The Fashion Azalea Trail. Each trail begins at the Charles Bright Visitor Center located at 200 E. Main Street. Trail maps are available to pick up at the Visitor Center or they can be downloaded from the Azalea Trail website.
The Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden boasts one of the most diverse azalea collections in the United States. Featuring more than 7,000 azaleas, the garden explodes into a kaleidoscope of color each spring. Paved walking paths weave visitors past evergreen and native azaleas in varying shades of pink, purple, white, red and yellow. Unique native varieties found in the garden include the yellow 'Aromi Sunrise,' orange flowering 'Tipsy Tangerine,' and yellow 'Admiral Semmes.'
The Nacogdoches Azalea Trail will also feature several special events including free guided tours of the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden every Saturday afternoon during the season, The Old Stone Fort Bike Ride, a "Little Princess" Tea Party, Main Street Shop and Stroll, the Farmer's Market Spring Fling, SFA Gardens Plant Sale and lecture series, and Azalea Art Day. Check out the Azalea Trail website for trail packages including a discounted stay at host hotel Holiday Inn Express.