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Hiking in Central Texas

Posted by Sharon Rosshirt on Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 at 2:19pm.

Summer is here so that means that it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors in Central Texas.   Hiking is an excellent low-impact form of exercise that also provides opportunities to explore the Texas Hill Country.  This month I’m going to share some of my favorite camping spots in and around Austin so put on your boots, grab a bottle of water and get ready to enjoy some fresh air.

 

Barton Creek Greenbelt East

3755-B Capital of Texas Hwy.

This hiking trail follows Barton Creek along 360 and MoPac.  What I like about this trail is how accessible it is without really needing to leave the city.  This trail has nicely established trails that are mostly clear of tripping hazards.  Since this trail follows the creek bed it isn’t uncommon for you to see rock climbers scaling the walls of natural sandstone along the banks.  If you are looking for a good place to be secluded for a couple of hours I recommend taking some of the offshoot trails and exploring a bit off of the beaten path.  I’ll usually try a new path each time I visit this trail and I’ve yet to get lost (you almost always pop out somewhere along 360 or MoPac).  If you are visiting this trail in the summer you can walk all the way to Barton Springs Pool for a nice relaxing end to your hike, provided the creek is mostly dried up.Depending on where you are in the city you may find one of the other access points easier to get to.Zilker AccessSpyglass AccessGus Fruh Access
 

Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve

805 N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78746

This trail is also along 360, about a mile south of the famous Pennybacker bridge.  This park has about 2.5 miles of very hilly hiking trails and beautiful waterfalls.  In my experience, the best time to hike this trail is right after there has been a good rain so that you can really take in the beauty of the waterfalls.  This trail is, in general, less crowded than the Barton Creek trail making it a little more private and secluded,  you can hear the waterfalls throughout the park on a good day making this one very relaxing.If you are hiking with children it’s important to note that this trail is not stroller friendly due to its rocky terrain and steep slopes. McKinney Roughs1884 State Hwy 71, Cedar Creek, TX 78612McKinney Roughs is an educational facility and nature trail on the Colorado River a few miles east of Austin.  This is a great place to take the children to teach them about nature conservation and water safety. There are over 18 miles of trails and swimming holes along the bend of the Colorado River in this 1,100-acre park.  This park does need a daily fee of $5 for adults (ages 13 and up) but children are free (12 and under).You can find more information about this park here  

Enchanted Rock

16710 RR 965, Crabapple, TX 78624

This is the longest trek I'll talk about but I feel that it is absolutely worth the trip.  Enchanted rock is roughly 15 miles north of Fredericksburg, TX.  The park is centered around a massive pink granite dome that is nearly 500 feet high at it’s highest point (see if you can find the geological marker).  There is a trail that goes around the park that is about 4 miles long and is fairly flat.  There is also a trail to the summit which will take you up the 425’ dome directly.  If you are going to be hiking on a hot day make sure that you get started early because there is no shade on the rock, also be sure that you have plenty of water.The park will only admit an amount of people each day so be sure to get to the park early (before 10 am is a safe bet),  there is also a small fee of $7 for adults (ages 13+) in the park, kids are free.You can find more information about this park here
 

Not much of a Hiker?

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