You long for an escape--one brimming with delightful scenery and fresh air. As the roadside medians begin to explode with dancing wildflowers, now is the time to plan a country drive. We're giving you a month's notice so you can wipe a day on your calendar clean. Fill up the gas tank; we're getting out of the city.
Not Far From Home
About 135 miles northeast of Dallas, the tiny towns of Hughes Springs, Avinger, and Linden celebrate spring in a big way. While the rest of the state is covered in bluebonnets, this part of Texas boasts the other side of the color wheel--red, orange, and yellow.
From Dallas, take I-30 east until you hit the exit for State 49 (U.S. 271) that leads to Avinger. Once you arrive, you'll find a triangle of roads, formed by State highways 11 (Linden to Hughes Springs), 49 (Hughes Springs to Avinger), and 155 (Avinger to Linden), that make up the driving trail.
As you follow these slow-moving roads, spy scenes of vast, brightly colored pastures bursting with wildflowers and dotted with barns and grazing cattle. Solid yellow replaces patches of green grass for miles. The occasional sunny swath of coreopsis will be broken by crimson clover, bold Indian paintbrush, or fiery red buckeye.
Dare to detour, and explore one of the less-traveled farm roads. It is on these no-name paths where you can truly feel the heart of the state and fill your lungs with clean spring air. George Fite, Hughes Springs' city manager, suggests a drive down Farm Road 161, a route that meanders through solid fields of coreopsis. "Sometimes it looks like it has snowed yellow because the flowers are so thick," he says. "When you're on these small roads, you can take a deep breath without someone looking at you. It's beyond peaceful."
Paula Aleman of Linden suggests a ride down State 8 and U.S. 59, where the wildflower seedlings are protected by the state. Although some of the best color can be found on these paths, it is easy to get turned around. Before you venture out, grab a map at the Hughes Springs City Hall, located at 603 East First Street; (903) 639-7519.