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11 Stunning Hill Country, Texas State Parks to Visit

From its gently rolling hills and sprawling ranches to its rushing rivers and towering mountains, the Hill Country is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the state.

Published: 2022-06-24 19:46:22

As long-time locals to the area, Mighty Dog roofing contractors of Hill Country know there are few places on earth as varied and beautiful as the Texas Hill Country. From its gently rolling hills and sprawling ranches to its rushing rivers and towering mountains, the Hill Country is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the state.

And nestled within this natural beauty are a number of Texas State Parks that offer visitors the chance to experience the Hill Country in all its glory. Here are 11 of the best.

McKinney Falls State Park

Located just south of Austin, McKinney Falls State Park is one of the most popular state parks in Hill Country. The park is named for its two waterfalls, which flow over limestone rocks into Onion Creek.

The park also features plush hiking and biking trails, as well as a campground where you can set up your tent. There's a 1.5-mile hike to the Lower Falls, offering stunning views of the waterfall and the creek below. Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., $6 per person.

Garner State Park

Garner State Park is one of the most popular camping and swimming spots in Texas. The park is situated on the Frio River, and its clear waters make it a great place to cool off on a hot day. The park also offers hiking and biking trails, as well as a number of scenic picnic spots. The best time of year to visit Garner State Park is in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom. Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., $6 per person.

Pedernales Falls State Park

Pedernales Falls State Park is a great place to enjoy the Hill Country scenery. The highlight of the park is its waterfall. The falls flow over limestone rocks into a pool below, making for a truly stunning sight. The sunsets here are also incredible, making Pedernales Falls a great place to spend an evening. It's important to note that flash flooding is common in the Texas Hill Country, so always be alert. Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., $6 per person.

Lost Maples State Natural Area

Nestled in the heart of the Hill Country, Lost Maples State Natural Area is one of the most popular state parks in Texas. Activities include hiking, picnicking, and wildlife watching. The park is home to a wide variety of birds like the rare red-cockaded woodpecker.

But the real draw of the park is its maple trees. Every autumn, the leaves of the maple trees turn a bright red, making for a truly spectacular sight. Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., $6 per person.

Blanco State Park

Located in the town of Blanco, Blanco State Park is situated on the Blanco River. The river is a popular spot for tubing and kayaking, with several hiking trails in the park along the banks of the spring-fed Blanco River. Blanco State Park is home to a variety of wildlife species including deer, coyotes, and even bobcats. Family camping is available in the park with RV hookups, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., $6 per person.

Guadalupe River State Park

Guadalupe River State Park features multiple swimming holes and hiking trails, as well as a campground where visitors can stargaze under the sky. The Guadalupe River runs through the heart of the park, and its clear waters make it a great place to swim, fish, or tube. The park is home to many different species of wildlife, making it a great place to see herons, egrets, and bald eagles. Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30. p.m., $6 per person.

Government Canyon State Natural Area

Government Canyon State Natural Area is a top spot for hiking and wildlife watching in the Hill Country. While out in nature, you will find many species of plants and animals, including deer, javelinas, and even mountain lions.

There are more than 40 miles of hiking trails in Government Canyon State Natural Area Park and overlooks of the water and trees. Government Canyon State Natural Area homes many rare and endangered species of plants and animals.

Hill Country State Natural Area

Hill Country State Natural Area has something for everyone. The park offers hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, and incredible picnic spots. The park is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, javelinas, and even an occasional black bear. So, keep your snacks up! In the fall, the leaves of the mesquite trees turn a beautiful red, making for a truly marvelous sight. Hours: Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., $6 per person.

Castroville Regional Park

Situated on the banks of the Medina River, Castroville Regional Park has several miles of hiking and biking trails, and picnic spots where you can enjoy nature. If you enjoy soaking up the wildlife, you will find species that include white-tailed deer, squirrels, and even armadillos.

The highlight of the park, however, is its bird-watching opportunities. The park is home to a wide variety of birds, including the rare and endangered whooping crane.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., free entry.

Medina River Natural Area

Medina River Natural Area has proven to be a popular spot for tubing and swimming in the Hill Country. The river is slow-moving and perfect for a leisurely float downstream. The 511-acre property includes 7 miles of hiking and biking trails that wind through the park, providing stunning views of the river and the surrounding Hill Country. The highlight of Medina River Natural Area is its scenic swimming holes. Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., free entry.

Longhorn Cavern State Park

Longhorn Cavern State Park is one of the most popular state parks in Hill Country. The park's highlight is definitely its caverns. The caverns are open for tours year-round, and they provide a cool respite from the heat of the summer. Cavern tours include the Bat Flight program, which allows visitors to see bats flying out of the cave at dusk. Longhorn Cavern State Park also features multiple hiking trails and a campground. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., prices vary.

Other Attractions in Hill Country, Texas