Nature

5 Hill Country Hazards to Heed While Having Fun

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“Don’t Mess with Texas” is a common phrase around these parts… and here are some of the reasons WHY you shouldn’t mess with Texas; especially in the Hill Country. Warning! Some of these you’d never think of as dangerous. Have fun, but heed these warnings.

1. The Devil’s Waterhole at Inks Lake State Park

swimmingholesbook.com

Photo: swimmingholesbook.com

Even the name sounds ominous, right? But kids and adults alike love it! One of the best places to cool off in the Texas heat; the water is cold and the sounds of children playing in the constant level lake bring smiles to their parent’s faces; that is until someone decides to climb up the rock walls to cliff jump. Then fear sets in, and the onlookers hold their breath, until the diver resurfaces from the depths. It’s a great place to spend the day in a canoe, kayak, or tube but adrenaline junkies need to be aware that several injuries have occurred here. The park is located just outside Burnet, Texas.

2. Texas Bluebonnet Trails

bastropboy

Photo: Pinterest/bastropboy

Yep. That’s right; many dangers lurk in the midst of those beautiful fields we all try to capture in photographic memories. Most common are snake bites! As much as we all love the beauty and fragrance of this Texas wildflower, so do rattlesnakes. Always make sure you clear the area of any critters before posing your pretties for the family postcard. Once you’ve made the area safe, you will have some amazing photos to share with your family and friends.

3. Enchanted Rock State Park

Enchanted Rock from above_Cathy Kozub

Photo: Cathy Kozub

So you want to climb Enchanted Rock, eh? Many people do so every day, some without mishap. But keep in mind as you climb to the top of the granite dome which stands at 1825 feet (yes that really is one THOUSAND eight HUNDRED and twenty-five feet!) that you need to be fully prepared and equipped for such a daunting task, and be wary of fallen rocks that my trip you up…but the experience and rewards at the top are worth it! Located in Fredericksburg, TX. Park hours are 8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.

4. Jacob’s Well

luizcentenaro.com

Photo: luizcentenaro.com

While the well itself and its surroundings are an ecological beauty and can be explored with Park Rangers who routinely conduct tours, the draw is mostly to amateur divers who dare to take on the challenge of the cave diving here. The 12-foot diameter opening is deceptively luring and several fatalities have happened here. Jacob’s Well has been listed as one of the most deadliest diving spots. This is an extensive underwater cave system with depths purportedly reaching close to 200 feet. Located in Wimberley, Texas, the well’s summer hours are 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.

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Photo: Pinterest

Okay, I know this one is a little tame compared to some of the others, but there are some hazards here, although you should definitely make this a stop on your Hill Country tour; just take some precautions.

First off, wear good sturdy shoes! By that I mean some that will grip the slippery slopes in the caverns; cowboy boots aren’t a good choice. (Don’t ask I know this, but take my word for it.) The limestone and natural formations create beautiful history but can also leave you with a concussion if you’re not careful, so keep looking up!

Another heeding, there are lots of stairs, and the tour itself is about an hour and a half of walking. Keep that in mind when planning a trip with children or adults who may not be able to commit to that kind of exercise. Children of all ages love to explore the caverns and the adults love hearing all about the infamous characters associated with it.

Outlaw Sam Bass reportedly used the caverns as a hideout at one time, and during Prohibition, the main cavern was used as a speakeasy and dance hall! And did I mention the ghosts? Well, you will have to plan a trip and see if you spot one. Longhorn Caverns and is one of the biggest draws to the Inks Lake area and is open year round dawn to dusk, with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.