Things to Do

Hiking in Pace Bend Park: A Noteworthy Hill Country Adventure

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Tony Maples Photography


With nine miles of shoreline, Pace Bend Park juts out into Lake Travis like a cape, with amazing views of the Texas Hill Country. Camping or swimming are fantastic here, but hiking is even better, and upon entering this wonderful outdoor oasis, you’ll be given a map that outlines trailheads as well as washrooms, campsites, and coves to investigate.

Hiking in Pace Bend Park: A Noteworthy Hill Country Adventure

Photo: Facebook/Steve Bigler

With impressive vistas of Lake Travis throughout the park, you’ll want to take long pauses if you’re not the high-speed-hiker-type. Soaking it all in is truly stress-relief at its best. The western side of the park is famous for cliff jumping, and the eastern side has swimming areas to help you cool off. But the center of Pace Bend Park has a huge forest of shady oak and mesquite trees through which you can hike 15 miles of trails. And “hike” is the key word here: there are rocky areas, cliff-like sections, and hairpin turns that require a modicum of physical fitness. But the vantage points are surreal as you gaze out over Lake Travis actually feeling like you’ve accomplished something!

Hiking in Pace Bend Park: A Noteworthy Hill Country Adventure

Photo: Facebook/Rock and Ice magazine

For the easy meanderer, there are also many sections of trail which are literally a walk in the park – simple to follow and navigate. Just in case, however, take your cell phone for assistance, and be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks. Watch for mountain bikers along the trails, as this is also quite a popular place for their sport, and there’s also plenty of wildlife as well, so you can actually feel like you’re communing with nature. And when you’re done hiking, you might like to camp out overnight, with a great site overlooking the lake (however these sites need to be reserved well in advance, so check the park’s website and call for reservations) with amazing views of the setting sun. For a relatively small park, Pace Bend packs a punch, and a hike through these woods and along this shoreline are noteworthy Hill Country adventures, to say the least.