Nature

Dive in: 5 Ways to Play at Inks Lake State Park

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Inks Lake State Park is known for its stunning scenery and array of ways to play in it. It’s an hour northwest of Austin and nearby towns include Burnet, Llano, and Marble Falls.

“Inks Lake State Park is really a hidden gem in the middle of the Hill country,” Texas Parks and Wildlife Press Officer Stephanie Salinas said. “When you come into the park, it’s breathtaking to be driving through the hills and all of a sudden see this big glistening lake in the middle of everything. It’s a great place for all ages and interest levels to find something exciting to do when they want to spend time in the outdoors.”

1. Hike

Hike at Inks Lake State Park

Photo: courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

The park has nine miles of hiking trails that wind through forests and rocky hills. Don’t have time to walk it all? The Pecan Flats Trail is a 3.3-mile hike that winds through cedar, pecan, and hardwood forests, along riparian and upland natural areas and up to scenic viewpoints over Inks Lake, according to the hiking trail guide for Pecan Flats, available online at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Inks Lake State Park page.

“The first sections of the trail are easy to follow and well maintained,” the guide reads. “The best views are on the final portion of the trail. This part of the trail has some narrow stretches and a modest amount of elevation gain.”

The entire hike can be done in less than three hours at a moderate pace. There are composting toilets in a primitive camping area along the way, but there are no water sources, so make sure to pack a water bottle.

2. Camp

Mini cabins at Inks Lake State Park
Photo: Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

Spend the night at Inks Lake State Park and choose from 200 campsites or 22 cabins. There are nine primitive campsites that you’ll have to backpack two miles to reach. The sites are rural and peaceful but keep in mind that no ground fires or pets are allowed in primitive areas and you must hike in your water.

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