Hiking, Camping, and Paddling in the Texas Hill Country in Three Easy Steps

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With warmer spring weather or cooler fall temperatures in Texas comes the opportunity to actually enjoy the outdoors without wilting away in the sweltering summer heat. Great hiking, camping, and paddling can readily be had throughout the Texas Hill Country, and letting this time pass you by will only mean sorrow and regret…no, not really, but you’ll feel a slight twinge of guilt from binge-watching your favorite Netflix show and never setting foot outdoors. A relatively reasonable excursion that can get you to some of the best hiking, camping, and paddling sites the Hill Country can offer is provided below. Stop and smell the wild roses while you’re at it!

1. Hiking at Enchanted Rock

Hiking, Camping, and Paddling in the Texas Hill Country in 3 Easy Steps

Photo: Facebook/Artly Snuff

The famous Enchanted Rock, outside of Fredericksburg, offers visitors a great opportunity to hike some trails around a site that was given its name by the Native Americans that once resided here. After observing mysterious fires that burned through the night and hearing strange groans and creaking noises that appeared to have no source, they named the location “Enchanted Rock” in their own language. In modern-day times, we’ve been able to determine more logical explanations for both instances, although the vale of mystery that surrounds the legend is still alive and well. From far away, Enchanted Rock appears pink. In the springtime, the road toward the rock is wildflower-lined, making for a very enchanting tour in itself!

2. Camping at Colorado Bend State Park

Hiking, Camping, and Paddling in the Texas Hill Country in 3 Easy Steps

Photo: Facebook/Somewhere Texas

If great camping is more your cup of tea, Colorado Bend State Park is a wonderful place to pitch your tent or park your trailer. Home to the gorgeous Gorman Falls, visitors can take a short hike leading them to a towering, 60-foot waterfall which is truly stunning, without any hyperbole. Rushing water such as this can not only be exhilarating but also calming. Campers in the area have nothing but great reviews of the park and the opportunity to be in the presence of this natural wonder of Texas.

3. Paddling at Pecan Bayou

Hiking, Camping, and Paddling in the Texas Hill Country in 3 Easy Steps

Photo: Facebook/Texas Parks and Wildlife

The Pecan Bayou trail is part of the Texas Paddling Trails system and features a three to four-mile loop on a peaceful stretch of the slow-moving body of water. Near Brownwood, in the Texas Hill Country, Pecan Bayou can be paddled in either direction, and a great launching spot can be found at Fabis Primitive Park, on the outskirts of the city. Beautiful and serene at the same time, paddlers have been asked to check with the Texas Parks and Wildlife website (link provided here) in advance to ensure that water levels aren’t fluctuating and becoming undesirable (depending on the season and local rain levels.)