Lifestyle

3 Trail Options, 3 Levels of Difficulty: Running in the Texas Hill Country

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The Texas Hill Country is blessed with an abundance of city- and town-coordinated and maintained trail systems for running. If not that, runners can also pick up any number of paved road-routes in and throughout the area. But with safety in mind, as well as scenic beauty and tranquility, not to mention level of difficulty and challenge, check out some of these area trails with a good pair of running shoes, some sunscreen, and a bottle or two of water to get you through!

1. Hill Country State Natural Area, Bandera

3 Trail Options, 3 Levels of Difficulty: Running in the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Facebook/Hill Country State Natural Area – Texas Parks and Wildlife

The Hill Country State Natural Area includes roughly 40 miles of multiuse trails in what can be considered some rugged terrain. Just north of the Balcones escarpment, runners get the opportunity to explore cross-country style running in grassy valleys, through spring-fed streams, and up and down limestone hills. Water is definitely a requirement out here since there are no designated water stops in this undeveloped area.

2. Pedernales Falls State Park

3 Trail Options, 3 Levels of Difficulty: Running in the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Facebook/Trips to Discover TX

Ranging from easy to somewhat challenging, the trails at Pedernales Falls State Park are a mixture of dirt, small crushed rock, and larger stone, through rolling hills with minimal tree cover. An example of easy, medium, and challenging would be the Twin Falls Nature Trail (with a great lookout point for a view of the Hill Country), Warfle’s Trail, and Wolf Mountain Trail, respectively. Pack water and most definitely sunscreen, and wear non-chafing gear if need be. It could be a long, hot (but enjoyable) day depending on your choice of trail, and level of difficulty.

3. San Antonio’s Mission Reach Trail

3 Trail Options, 3 Levels of Difficulty: Running in the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Wikimedia

San Antonio’s Mission Reach Trail is fully paved, and its level of difficulty is fairly tame, but the benefit lies not only in the run itself but in the phenomenal views of the historic missions of the area. Not too many people can lay claim to the fact that their usual running route is so rich with this type of traditional tapestry. In an eight-mile extension of the San Antonio River Walk, following the River over gentle, rolling hills, your run will take you to the 18th century (quite a distance!) and includes plenty of restrooms and water facilities along the route, including helpful mile markers.