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[/caption]
Bastrop State Park
100 Park Road 1A, 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
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
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[/caption]
Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park & Resort
16942 FM 2341, Burnet
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[/caption]
Colorado Bend State Park
P.O. Box 118, 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
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[/caption]
Inks Lake State Park
3630 Park Road 4 West, Burnet
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
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[/caption]
McKinney Falls State Park
5808 McKinney Falls Parkway, Austin
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
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[/caption]
Pedernales Falls State Park
2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.