Hidden in the rugged landscape approximately 12 miles southwest of Bandera is the Hill Country State Natural Area. These 5,400 acres of undeveloped property offer roughly 40 miles of multiuse trails through limestone hills, grassy valleys, and spring-fed streams. Most often used by hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians, the area is monitored by Texas Parks and Wildlife, and available for anyone’s enjoyment. Backcountry and primitive campsites are available, as well as Chapa’s Group Camp which is a 1930s ranch house with four bedrooms, able to accommodate up to nine people (equestrian and non). Stalls and corrals are available for up to five horses at the camp building, and tents/RV’s are allowed space in its immediate vicinity (up to five RV’s).
Things to Do
The Hill Country State Natural Area: A True Unpolished Gem
Open for Equestrian and Non-Equestrian Use
The Trailhead Campground features six primitive equestrian sites as well as two 40-foot pull-through and four 40-foot back-in parking spots for horse trailers. A group lodge is also available for equestrian or non-equestrian use, which sleeps 12. It has four bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathrooms, a full kitchen, and central heating and air-conditioning. Due to low water levels, swimming and fishing are not offered at the present time, and a burn ban can be enacted with little warning due to rapidly changing fire conditions. The recreational area is centered around these 40 miles of trails, including backpacking and nature viewing. Formerly the Bar-O Ranch, visitors to the natural area are allowed to bring their own horses (with current Coggins) or one of the commercial guides can provide a tour of the trails by horseback. Other guide services include mountain biking, hay rides, and hiking.
Keeping it Natural for Everyone to Enjoy