The Hill Country State Natural Area preserves 5,369 acres of Texas hill country terrain. Located in Bandera County, the park opened to the public in 1984. Since then, it has become a favorite destination for visitors. There are numerous trails to explore, providing a unique region experience.
The hill country is relatively unspoiled and has a history that stretches back several thousand years. Native Americans first inhabited the land, but it was not until the mid-19th century that white settlers began to occupy the region. During this time, the area was used primarily for farming, ranching, and hunting. Louise Merrick donated the land to the state to protect it from development.
A popular destination for outdoor lovers, the Hill Country State Natural Area features scenic hills and a local canyon. The park was established in 1984 and faithfully preserved its natural features. Visitors can explore this natural wonderland by hiking, biking, or horseback riding. While hiking in the area, bring a flashlight for nighttime hikes, as the park has a night sky devoid of city lights.
The Texas Hill Country is home to many plants and animals. White-tailed deer, armadillos, jackrabbits, and rattlesnakes are among the many mammals that call the area home. There are also many birds in the area, including monarch butterflies which migrate north each fall. Visitors can also catch sun perch and bass at nearby watering holes.
The Texas Hill Country is home to several state parks. Blanco State Park, near Honey Creek, features a lake and waterfall. Visitors can also try fishing and kayaking. Inks Lake State Park is another popular destination. Its giant lake keeps a constant water level year-round. There are also several small nature trails for hikers.
The hill country is home to many beautiful places to hike and camp. The Enchanted Rock can be climbed in under an hour. However, the lack of shade can make it a dangerous scorcher on a hot summer day. Guests are also invited to visit Longhorn Cavern, a limestone cave created by an ancient river. Its distinct appearance makes it stand out amongst other limestone caves in Texas. Visitors should arrange for a guided tour to fully appreciate its unique beauty.
Several Texas Hill Country state parks are open to the public and have several recreational areas. Some of these state parks are ideal for hiking. Those looking for more activities can take advantage of tennis courts, baseball fields, or swimming pools. Camping is also available in some state parks. Enchanted Rock State Park has a variety of fishing spots for those interested in fishing.
The state park’s group lodge offers lodging to campers on a reservation basis. The lodge has three bedrooms, a bathroom, a refrigerator, and a kitchen. The lodge also features heat and air conditioning. Visitors should also bring their water and cooking utensils.