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Fall Hiking in The Hill Country

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Fall Hiking in The Hill Country

By John Hallowell

Fall is the perfect time to go hiking in the Hill Country, but at Lost Maples State Natural Area (if you time your visit well), you can have the added benefit of some spectacular fall colors as the leaves change on the park’s trademark maple trees. I would not make a decision based on the fall colors; the park is always one of the best hiking places in the Texas Hill Country, and with the beautiful colors come crowds of hikers. If you prefer solitude on the trails, try another time; the scenery and the hilltop views are always spectacular.

Fall Hiking in The Hill Country

Photo: tpwd.texas.gov

The cooler fall weather makes for a great time to hike at other state parks as well. My daughter and I spent a recent afternoon hiking the trails at Pedernales Falls State Park (with her Border Collie, Gidget) and had a great time. Other great hiking trails can be found at Inks Lake State Park, South Llano River State Park, Garner State Park (climbing Old Baldy is a special experience), and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area (to the top of the rock, or hiking around it; both are enjoyable and memorable hikes).

Fall Hiking in The Hill Country

Photo: tpwd.texas.gov

Perhaps our favorite hike so far was on the Spicewood Springs Trail at Colorado Bend State Park; it follows the creek (and criss-crosses it several times on stepping-stones) for quite long way, passing numerous little waterfalls, pools and swimming holes. There’s a new trail to Gorman Falls; another must-see at Colorado Bend, it ends at a spectacular waterfall when it reaches the Colorado River. There are caves at Colorado Bend, but they are open to the public only by guided tour (so call ahead for details).

Fall Hiking in The Hill Country
Photo: tpwd.texas.gov

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