Lone Star Memories

Hill Country
  |  Gorp.com

Tramping through the hill country is the highlight of my youth in the Texas Outdoors. In winter, we would roam the pastures near Rocksprings, searching for deer and wild turkey. Spring would herald family outings in search of bluebonnets and other wildflowers. During my teen years, I was more likely to leave the family behind and go skinny-dipping in the lakes above Austin.

Tramping through the hill country is the highlight of my youth in the Texas Outdoors. In winter, we would roam the pastures near Rocksprings, searching for deer and wild turkey. Spring would herald family outings in search of bluebonnets and other wildflowers. During my teen years, I was more likely to leave the family behind and go skinny-dipping in the lakes above Austin.

Hill Country State Natural Area packs in about everything the hill country has to offer. Its 5,400 acres vary from rocky hills to broad creek bottoms, from grasslands and oak groves to steep canyons. Springs feed the streams which build into West Verde Creek. Deer, armadillo, ring-tail cats -- all the usual assortment of hill country wildlife- live in the area.

Multi-use trails wind through the SNA for 36 miles. Horseback riders can access the trail system from several developed equestrian sites. The paths lead day-hikers and backpackers into backcountry which the original land grant stipulates must "be kept far removed and untouched by modern civilization." Mountain bikers can also enjoy most of the trails. Tanks scattered around the area offer cool swimming holes on hot afternoons.

In addition to the equestrian sites, the SNA has three walk-in tent areas for camping. Reservations for the tent sites and a group lodge are made through a Central Reservations System. Backpacking camping areas are 1.5 to 3.5 miles from trailheads.

Directions: From San Antonio, head northwest on State Highway 16 to Bandera. Go south on State Highway 173. Across the Medina River, turn west on State Highway 1077 and follow the signs to the park.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 11 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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