The Lone Star State isn’t exactly known for its panoramic landscapes so it might surprise you when I say that the Texas Hill Country has no shortage of hikes with jaw-dropping views. From landscape to wildlife to wildflowers I always find new places to capture great photos with a short drive from Austin. These 5 parks are the best hiking trails with views in the Texas Hill Country and are sure to satisfy all the outdoorsy types.
Gorman Falls At Colorado Bend State Park
You’ll start to see the lush green trees 30 miles from the park and feel as if you have left the flat, barren, dry state of Texas. Located on the Colorado River, I like to think Colorado Bend State Park is our little borrowed piece of Colorado as the park offers views of waterfalls, grasslands, rolling hills (or as I like to call them “Texas Mountains”), creeks, canyons, wildflowers, and wildlife. That’s a lot of words to say Colorado Bend has it all!
Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
Home to the endangered golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped video, Balcones Canyonlands is a bird watcher’s paradise with sweeping views of the Texas Hill Country. With over 245 bird species, Balcones Canyonlands has been designated an important bird area by the National Audubon Society. While small with only 7 miles of hiking trails, it’s packed with a variety of wildlife and plant life that you’re sure to keep coming back for more.
Camping At Pace Bend
Fall Colors At Lost Maples
Texas isn’t known for its four seasons – I often say we have two seasons: hot and not-so-hot. While most of the US is starting to bundle up in October and November, Texans are still barbequing by the pool. But there’s a little secret tucked away in Vanderpool, Texas with reliable fall colors and no cell phone signal. Lost Maples State Natural Area has become a yearly tradition to satisfy my need for that beautiful red, orange, and yellow leaves.
Balcones District Park Nature Trail
Ok, the word “hiking” is a stretch on this one, but this little neighborhood park offers a small oasis trail, is a starting location for the Walnut Creek hike and bike trail, is an official wildflower area, and great for bird watching. It’s probably my favorite place in the whole city.
These are some of the best hiking trails and are so gorgeous you’ll almost forget you’re in Texas. Watch out for that Texas summer sun though, you’ll definitely remember where you are when you fry in our 100 degree summers! Bring water, wear sunscreen, and take lots of pics.