Regional Hiking Guide

Central Texas offers many state parks, nature trails and areas for hiking. This guide includes regional trails and parks in Central Texas in which hikers can find places to hike and find other outdoor recreational activities such as fishing, camping, boating, scuba diving and biking. This list is not comprehensive.




Bastrop State Park Bastrop State Park[/caption]

Bastrop State Park


100 Park Road 1A, Bastrop
512-321-2101
www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/bastrop


Guests can stay overnight at campsites, historic cabins or an RV site. The park includes 7 miles of trails and a pool, which is open from May through September. For those interested in biking or driving through the scenery, the park offers 12 miles though the forested Lost Pines. Guests can also fish in the 0.5-acre Lake Mina.



Berry Springs Park and Preserve


1801 CR 152, Georgetown
512-943-1920
http://parks.wilco.org


The park includes a 2.5-mile hike and bike trail. Other activities at the park include camping, hiking and fishing.



Blanco State Park


101 Park Road 23, Blanco
830-833-4333
www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/blanco


The park’s hilly terrain includes cedar and pecan trees. Guests can camp at premium sites with water and electricity or inside screened-in shelters. Fishing is also available.




Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park & Resort Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park & Resort[/caption]

Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park & Resort


16942 FM 2341, Burnet
512-334-2070
www.canyonoftheeagles.com


The 940-acre nature park has 14 miles of designated nature trails, some of which will be unavailable until Aug. 31 because of the nesting season for the golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, according to Canyon of the Eagles staff. Trails are available for use by overnight guests at the resort and to visitors who pay a day-use fee.




Colorado Bend State Park Colorado Bend State Park[/caption]

Colorado Bend State Park


P.O. Box 118, Bend
325-628-3240
www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/colorado-bend


Hikers can walk through 32 miles of multiuse routes. Other activities on-site include camping, mountain biking, caving, fishing, swimming and guided tours. The park is located in the canyon lands of the Colorado River, which has slow-moving water.



Enchanted Rock State Natural Area


16710 RR 965, Fredericksburg
830-685-3636
www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/enchanted-rock


Rock climbing, geocaching and picnicking are among the area’s activities. A park store offers some gift items, and Sweet Marlets offers food, drinks, frozen treats and other items. Campers can purchase firewood on-site, and are asked to bring their own drinking water for water preservation. 




Inks Lake State Park Inks Lake State Park[/caption]

Inks Lake State Park


3630 Park Road 4 West, Burnet
512-793-2223
www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/inks-lake


Hikers can travel through shady forests and rocky hills throughout the 7.5 miles of trails the park offers. Pecan Flats, a 3.3-mile trail, is ideal for families, according to Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Water activities include water skiing, swimming, boating, scuba diving and fishing.



Lake Creek Trail


Entrances to the parking lot are at 9100 Meadow Heath Drive, Austin, and at the intersection of Braes Valley and Effingham streets in Austin
512-943-1920
http://parks.wilco.org


Running along Lake Creek connecting Parmer Lane to Broadmeade Avenue, Lake Creek Trail is approximately 1.5 miles long. The trail is primarily concrete and includes one free-span pedestrian bridge and two low-water crossings. The park includes parking spaces and benches on its 13 acres.




McKinney Falls State Park McKinney Falls State Park[/caption]

McKinney Falls State Park


5808 McKinney Falls Parkway, Austin
512-243-1643
www.tpwd.texas.gov


Nearly 9 miles of trails at this park wind through the Hill Country. The 2.8-mile Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail has a hard surface suitable for strollers and road bikes. The Rock Shelter Trail is only for hikers and is the location of where early park visitors camped. The site offers campsites with water and electric hookups and six newly remodeled cabins.



Pace Bend Park


2805 N. Pace Bend Road, Spicewood
512-264-1482
https://parks.traviscountytx.gov/find-a-park/pace-bend


Located in western Travis County, amenities include more than 9 miles of trails along Lake Travis. The 1,368-acre park includes campsites with water, showers and electrical hookups; primitive campsites; an RV dumping station; and nature and primitive hiking trails.




Pedernales Falls State Park Pedernales Falls State Park[/caption]

Pedernales Falls State Park


2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City
830-868-7304
www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/pedernales-falls


Guests can hike or bike the park’s trails located in the Hill Country. Trails include the 0.5-mile Twin Falls Nature Trail and a 6-mile Wolf Mountain Trail, and other activities include tubing, canoeing and kayaking the river at the Trammel’s Crossing. The park also offers 10 miles of rugged trail for horseback riding.



San Gabriel Park Trail


445 E. Morrow St., Georgetown
512-930-3595
www.parks.georgetown.org/hike-bike-trails


The 1.6-mile granite trail loops around San Gabriel Park. On the North San Gabriel River, there is a 1-mile lighted concrete trail that spans from San Gabriel Park to Rivery Park. On the south side of the river there is a 1-mile lighted concrete trail that begins at Walden and College streets and ends at Blue Hole Park. These trails connect to 9 miles of trails along the San Gabriel river.



Southwest Williamson County Regional Park


3005 CR 175, Leander
512-943-1920 • http://parks.wilco.org


A crushed-granite hike and bike trail is located along the developed parkland and the Jim Rodgers trail comprises 1.9 miles. The park comprises close to 800 acres and offers basketball and tennis courts, a 400-meter track and Cedar Rock Railroad, a miniature train that runs through the area.







Know Your Venomous Snakes


Central Texas residents engaging in outdoor activities near water or rocky or wooded areas may encounter four different types of venomous snakes. Venomous snakes may not release venom with every bite, but a venomous bite can cause severe injury or even death.



Types of venomous snakes in Texas


Copperhead
Habitat: forests, rocky areas, swamps or near sources of water
Markings: reddish to golden tan skin with hourglass-shaped gray or brown bands and a copper-colored head




Copperhead Copperhead[/caption]

Cottonmouth (Water moccasin)
Habitat: lakes, ponds, marshes and ditches—may bite underwater
Markings: dark brown or black skin with dark brown bands and white interior of mouth




Cottonmouth Cottonmouth[/caption]

Rattlesnake
Habitat: mountains, prairies, deserts and beaches; often found sunning on logs or boulders
Markings: eight varieties found in Texas ranging from light gray to brown skin with dark crossbands, blotches or diamond-shaped markings

Rattlesnake Rattlesnake[/caption]

Coral Snake
Habitat: forests, marshes and beaches; often found in leaf piles or burrowed into the ground
Markings: red, yellow and black skin with red and yellow bands touching




Coral Snake Coral Snake[/caption]


 

 

 

 

What to do if you, your pet or someone else is bitten by a snake

  • Seek medical attention immediately. After eight to 10 hours, antivenom treatment is generally ineffective.

  • Remember the color and shape of the snake to help with treatment.

  • Keep the bite victim calm and still to slow the spread of venom if the snake is poisonous.

  • Wash the bite area with a disinfectant if available and remove jewelry or tight-fitting clothing before the onset of swelling.

  • Keep the bite below heart-level.


 

By Lyndsey Taylor
After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Lyndsey began working as a reporter for the Northwest Austin edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2012. During her time as a reporter, she has covered Round Rock ISD, health care in the Austin metro area and Austin Community College. She was promoted to editor of the Cedar Park| Leander edition in 2015 and covers city and education news, including Leander ISD.


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