When the Weather Turns Brisk, Check Out These Hill Country Day Hikes

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Tony Maples Photography


You don’t have to go overnight camping to enjoy a leisurely stroll through nature. The Texas Hill Country has numerous places perfect for short day hikes, and cooler weather makes such walks even more pleasant. These day hikes fit nicely into a leisurely afternoon, and many are easily accessible no matter where you are in the Hill Country.

Colorado Bend State Park

Texas Hill Country Day Hikes Gorman Falls in Colorado Bend State Park

Photo: Facebook/Colorado Bend State Park – Texas Parks and Wildlife

If you want to take a short hike with a stunning reward at the end, check out Colorado Bend State Park. This is where you’ll find picturesque Gorman Falls. If you opt for a guided tour, the trip to the falls takes about two hours, but it only is a 0.75-mile walk. Even in the winter, these falls make for an ideal reward for walking the trail. Look for the lush greenery and the distinctive travertine rock, which formed when spring and river waters evaporate, leaving their minerals behind.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Texas Hill Country Day Hikes Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Photo: Facebook/Enchanted Rock State Natural Area – Texas Parks and Wildlife

It’s hard to miss the giant, bald pink granite dome of Enchanted Rock in the Texas Hill Country. It rises from the vegetation-covered hills around it between Llano and Fredericksburg. A trip to this state park gives you two options for day hikes. You may walk to the summit on the 0.67-mile summit trail, but this route is challenging. For an easier hike try the 0.5-mile interpretive loop trail or the 0.88-mile base trail. You’ll still get to see close views of nature without the difficult trek up Enchanted Rock.

Reimers Ranch Park

Texas Hill Country Day Hikes Reimers Ranch Park

Photo: Facebook/Reimers Ranch Park

Reimers Ranch Park, located near Austin in Travis County, is a private park that only allows people in during daylight hours, except for some nighttime observatory programs. Day hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and more await at this hidden gem of the Hill Country. Though in cooler weather, swimming in the Pedernales River may not appeal to you, the hikes and other activities will keep you busy enough to not miss a dip in the cold river. This is one park you don’t want to miss. Head over to Dripping Springs when you want someplace close to the city that still is far enough to let you get back in touch with nature.

Balcones Canyonlands Wildlife Refuge

Texas Hill Country Day Hikes a Bobwhite at Balcones Canyonlands Wildlife Refuge

Photo: Facebook/Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

If you want day hikes that give you a glimpse of wildlife, Balcones Canyonlands Wildlife Refuge should be on your list. Though the trails do not all connect and have different places to park and start, you can choose any of them to take a hike for a few hours and observe the birds and animals of the area. Several observation decks provide the ideal vantage points for watching native fauna in the area.