Things to Do

All About Stargazing in the Hill Country

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When my twins were young, a favorite pastime was to lie on the trampoline in the backyard, listen to the crickets, and stargaze. Those times were especially nice as the crisp, cool air settled in and the night sky changed. The expansive sky of the Texas Hill Country is the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of the heavens.

Some might prefer to stargaze in the backyard lying on a blanket or from a favorite chair while others prefer to go on a night hike or attend a “star party” at one of the state parks. Perhaps taking the time to travel to one of the three telescopes that are located in the Texas Hill Country might also be an option. No matter the preference, winter evenings in the Hill Country are beautiful, so take some time to enjoy!

Stargazing at State Parks

Stargazing in the Hill Country


“One of our most valued attributes in Texas is its natural beauty,” said Texas State Parks Director Brent Leisure. “This beauty is not limited to the light of day, but extends into the night sky where Texans can enjoy a front-row seat to the splendor of the universe.”

Stargazing in the Hill Country

Texas Parks & Wildlife, the McDonald Observatory, the International Dark Sky Association, and local astronomy groups have teamed up to help preserve the night skies in Texas. In order to do that, the parks schedule events such as Starry Sky Night Hikes, Night Sky Parties, and Stories in the Stars. For the Hill Country, Inks Lake State Park in Burnet and Guadalupe State Park in Spring Branch offer such opportunities.

Inks Lake Park hosts activities like the Starry Sky Night Hike, the Midnight Summit Hike on New Year’s Eve, and the Night Sky Party. The Starry Sky Night Hike is 2.5 miles of trail meeting at Pecan Flats trailhead. New Year’s Eve there will be a Midnight Summit Hike on the new Devil’s Backbone Trail. Bundle up and bring your blanket and binoculars for the Night Sky Party.

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