We love the ability to hike and get lost within the city limits of Austin, but we have also been looking forward to exploring some of Texas’ state parks just an hour or so away in the Texas Hill Country. So far we have made it to Pederneles Falls State Park and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.
Pedernales Falls State Park:
We headed to Pedernales on a random Saturday that Rach had off. One of the main reasons we enjoyed this park so much was because it was only an hour away from Austin. Pedernales offered us many hiking trails and scenic opportunities and though we were unable to camp and swim while we were there this park seems like it would be a wonderful place for those activities. The Pedernales River runs through the eastern side of the park and can be swift, especially during the spring. However, by the end of the Fall the river was fairly tranquil. Swimming and tubing are allowed at the park but only downstream from the actual falls area where we were hiking, and for good reason…Pednernales Falls! The landscape is extremely rocky in this park and it took us a moment to find a safe spot to climb down so we could get a closer look at the falls. We were also able to see wild billy goats, catfish, butterflies, and a few salamander. Click here for directions from Austin, Texas.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area:
One of the most visited parks in the Texas Hill Country, Enchanted Rock, is a massive red boulder where hikers, campers, and climbers can enjoy getting away from the big city. Visitors can camp or hike various trails around Enchanted Rock, but we took the summit hike just 0.6 miles to the top. It was definitely much steeper than we initially thought it would be but was do-able. Once we got to the top, we were pleased to find that we could see miles and miles of the Texas Hill Country. We sat at the summit for a while taking in the views and admiring the blue sky on the sunny November day. Click here for directions from Austin, Texas.