Things to Do

Tour Honey Creek State Natural Area: A Rare Experience Off the Beaten Path

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Though part of Guadalupe River State Park, Honey Creek State Natural Area is a world of its own. Less developed than the rest of the larger state park, this area gives you an untouched look at Texas’s natural state. You don’t want to miss this secret part of the Texas Hill Country on your next visit.

History of Honey Creek State Natural Area

Historic Doeppenschmidt House in Honey Creek State Natural Area

Photo: Facebook/Brian Trock

Long before it became a part of a state park, native hunter-gatherers roamed the area. Ancient stone tools found at the site attest to this. In the mid-1800s, German immigrants flowed into the Texas Hill Country, and one family, the Doeppenschmidts, made Honey Creek their home. By 1894, the last Doeppenschmidt to own the property sold it to the Fred Rust and Otto Weidner. The Weidners actually worked the ranch land until they sold the land in 1971 to the man who would eventually deed the property to the state, W. O. Bartle, Jr. In the 1980s, the Texas Nature Conservancy took charge of the former ranch and opened it to a few limited people in 1985.

What Makes Honey Creek Different

Honey Creek in Guadalupe River State Park

Photo: Facebook/Guadalupe River State Park – Texas Parks and Wildlife

Unlike other state parks that rely on providing visitors with numerous amenities, Honey Creek State Natural Area draws guests in with its natural flora and fauna. You won’t find fishing or camping grounds here, but you will find guided ranger tours that give you an expert look at the surrounding area.

Things to Do

Honey Creek State Natural Area 2

Photo: Facebook/Marika Glonda

With two miles of nature trails, there is a lot to explore at Honey Creek State Natural Area. Don’t forget your camera to take pictures of Honey Creek and the unique plants and animals in the area. A guided ranger tour will help you spot these. Check out the day and night programs available at Friends of Honey Creek, a volunteer organization that maintains the natural area’s schedule.

Best Times to Visit

Honey Creek State Natural Area 3

Photo: Facebook/Roxana H. McRoberts

You can only visit on an official tour. These typically occur on Saturdays, in the morning and some evenings. Though it will be difficult to avoid crowds at Honey Creek, since you cannot visit this area when a tour is not given, you can avoid the hordes of visitors at adjacent Guadalupe River State Park on holiday weekends, or arrive early. These weekends, the park may close when it reaches capacity, even if it happens before typical closing time.

Know Before You Go

Honey Creek State Natural Area 4

Photo: Facebook/Elizabeth Nevergold Sugrue

Before going, call the park to see if a tour will be given the weekend you intend to visit. Most Saturdays, park interpreters lead tours starting at 9 a.m. Because this is a state natural area, you will not find any facilities such as drinking fountains, restrooms, or shops. Be ready to bring water with you to the area, and leave the area as you found it. If you want equestrian or biking trails or fishing and picnicking, check out adjacent Guadalupe River State Park. You will not find these activities at Honey Creek.