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10 Places for Trail Running in the Hill Country

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10 Places for Trail Running in the Hill Country

The Texas Hill Country has an abundance of state parks, and Austin was recently named one of Forbes’ Top 5 Cities for Runners. You can find plenty of paved road routes throughout the area. If you want to experience the scenic beauty and tranquility, and see more of the Hill Country, you should hit one of these area trails. Don’t forget to wear your sturdiest pair of trail running shoes, slather on sunscreen and take some water with you!

1. Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail – Austin

10 Places for Trail Running in the Hill Country

Photo: Flickr/Jack

This 10-mile long trail offers the best of both worlds. In some places, it’s a tree-covered dirt and gravel trail winding along Lake Austin. In others, runners traverse sidewalks and wooden bridges and pass by the skyscrapers of downtown Austin. The trail has mile markers every quarter mile, as well as public bathrooms and water fountains.

2. Hill Country State Natural Area – Bandera

10 Places for Trail Running in the Hill Country

Photo: Flickr/mlhradio

This preserve includes approximately 40 miles of multiuse trail in the rugged terrain just north of the Balcones escarpment. Runners can explore grassy valleys, spring-fed streams and limestone hills. Be sure to take your own water, because this undeveloped area does not offer any water stops.

3. Lost Maples State Natural Area – Vanderpool

10 Places for Trail Running in the Hill Country

Photo: Flickr/mlhradio

The fall foliage of the Bigtooth Maple trees makes this is one of the most popular parks in Texas. This park features rugged limestone canyons, springs, grasslands and clear streams. The foliage changes during the last two weeks of October through the first two weeks of November. If you plan to run these trails at this time, be aware the trails might be very crowded. Enjoy the scenic view along the trails by the Sabinal River, or if you’re feeling adventurous, check out the more rugged Mystic Trail and West Trail.

4. Pedernales Falls State Park

10 Places for Trail Running in the Hill Country
Photo: tpwd.texas.gov

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