Ways to Get Outside in Hill Country this Spring

  • The Veritas Group
  • 05/7/21

The Texas Hill Country contains several towns, all of which have their charm and premier outdoor recreational opportunities. Some of these lovely towns are Johnson City, Blanco, Fredericksburg, Dripping Springs, and Wimberley. Whether you prefer an active day of hiking the gorgeous mountains and trails or choose to lounge and drink some fine Texas wine, you’ll find at least one activity on this list that suits your needs.

Hiking and parks

There are many striking natural areas throughout Hill Country to explore. This list includes just a few of the significant locations that will get you in touch with nature.

For an all-encompassing family nature trip complete with scenic hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, bird-watching, camping, and swimming or tubing down the river, head to Pedernales Falls State Park. Bring your friends and family out for a day trip packed with fun and excitement.

Stunning wildflowers and scenic landscapes abound at the historic Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park, a piece of history worth exploring in Johnson City. The Visitor Center has a permanent exhibit featuring Lyndon B Johnson’s accolades and Great Society programs.

Countless recreational activities are accessible at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park in Fredericksburg. Nature trails, tennis courts, playgrounds, a basketball court, and a softball field are just a few of the things to do at Lady Bird. Revel in the beautiful mountainous scenery as you stroll one of the walking paths of Cross Mountain Park. Organize your next youth baseball or softball game and munch on concessions while your kids climb on the playground at Old Fair Park.

Spend your day swimming or fishing for largemouth bass, Guadalupe bass, trout, and catfish, or paddling and boating on the one-mile stretch of river accessible via Blanco State Park. Those who prefer to stay on land enjoy camping and hiking. Host your next club meeting, family picnic, or wedding reception in Yett Memorial Park. This 29-acre park accommodates 200 people and features a covered pavilion with a stage, restrooms, and a concession stand for the perfect event venue.  

The stunning Blue Hole Regional Park is a beloved Wimberley community treasure. The 4.5 miles of trails, community pavilion, playground, amphitheater, and Blue Hole Swimming Area make for an exciting day spent with the family. This gem is dedicated to bringing outdoor recreation to the town while maintaining and conserving the surrounding ecosystems for a genuinely symbiotic nature area. View wildlife as you hike along the designated trails of the delicate and exceptional Cypress Creek Nature Trail and Preserve, where respecting native plants and animals is of utmost importance. For a panoramic view of the Wimberley Valley, climb the 218 rock steps of Old Baldy Park.

Charro Ranch Park is an excellent location for a leisurely day trip with your kids and pets. There are trails for walking, cross-country runners, picnic areas, and educational placards about trees, flora, wildlife, and more. Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center is a stunning 76-acre preserve that brings nature to the community while maintaining land conservation. In the Uplands area, view native wildlife along your self-guided hike. To see the beautiful 40-foot waterfall and natural emerald pool, an expert will guide you through the canyon of perennials to the aquatic oasis.

Reimers Ranch Park offers an extensive list of outdoor recreation. Rock climbing is available to the daring, there’s horseback riding for equestrians, and mountain biking is allowed on specific trails. Guided tours and monthly bird walks are accessible to students of Mother Nature. If all these amenities weren’t enough, there is an opportunity to see a star-filled sky without further travel at the Reimers Observatory

Equestrian pursuits

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced rider looking for lessons or want to experience a lovely horse riding trail adventure, XLR8 Ranch just east of Blanco has you covered. This ranch specializes in barrel racing, so give them a call if you wish to join the XKR8 team. For a family-friendly day riding through the stunning Hill Country, reach out to Travis P Trail Rides in Blanco, which accommodates even the most inexperienced rider. Either of these destinations is excellent for riders of all levels.

Located just south of Fredericksburg, Sister Creek Ranch is a horse ranch brimming with amenities. Several trails explore various terrains and natural creeks, mountains, meadows, and hayfields. Once you’ve spent the day roaming the beautiful paths, you can luxuriate with a relaxing massage at the spa. Book your stay, trail ride, and spa treatment all in one place at the charming Sister Creek Ranch.

Attunement to human-horse interactions focusing on natural methods is the foundation of Miercoles Moon in Wimberley. This lovely equestrian retreat offers private sessions and camps, and it’s a fabulous destination for your next birthday party or special event. Leave feeling more bonded with your steed than when you arrived.

Penny Stone's Whole Horsemanship will help you have a healthier relationship with your horse through practical training and learned behaviors. Penny uses a holistic approach to ensure you and your horse leave feeling well-acclimated and ready to ride through the sunset together.

Wineries and vineyards

Hosting an array of events, including wine and chocolate pairings, family-friendly events, estate tours, and dog-friendly days complete with chef-made dog treats, Messina Hof Winery in Fredericksburg is a truly magical place the entire family will adore.

The Verandah of Fredericksburg’s Becker Vineyards is a lovely patio area for enjoying an outdoor wine tasting. Acres of lush landscape is ideal for relishing a picnic with loved ones. Take in a stunning sunset as you overlook the 56 acres of vineyards.

Visit the family-owned and operated 9-acre vineyard of Westcave Cellars Winery & Brewery in Johnson City. All the wines are crafted from Texas grapes, and beer is brewed with Texas hops, both farmed in Hill Country. Tastings include different beer and wine flight options, along with small bites to complement your drinks. You can book a tour to see how grapes turn into luscious wine and bring your kids and pets along for a family-friendly experience!

Whether you’re looking to brush up your wine education or enjoy a tasting of fine Texas wines, Johnson City’s Lewis Wines has it all. The tasting room is outdoors, making for a relaxing experience with a scenic view of the Pedernales River Basin. Host your next private event or special wedding day at Lewis Wines.

Reserve your next wine tasting adventure at Wimberley Valley Winery, or buy a bottle and relax beneath the oak grove. Tastings are guided by professional sommeliers and allow you to choose five wines to sample. Feast on tasty treats such as portobello burgers and The Sublime wood-fired pizza as you sip on great vino.

Tastings from 11 am to 5 pm include a flight of 3 wines and are held in the Barrel Room and the Crush Pad Patio of Limestone Terrace in Wimberley. Canine companions are allowed to trail along on your patio tasting; simply let your host know you are bringing them before arrival. 

Golfing opportunities

Lady Bird Golf Course in Fredericksburg offers lessons taught by seasoned professionals, various tee times, and a Par 71 design course. This affordable venue offers resort-style golf without the high prices. Boot Ranch features a golf shop, a putting park for kids and beginners, and private instruction to brush up your skills. The Practice Park is ranked one of the top 50 private ranges in the US.

For a semi-private challenging Par 72 course, visit Quicksand Golf Course in Wimberley. Join the club or simply enjoy the course as a golf enthusiast passing through this welcoming golf club. Vaaler Creek Golf Club offers a championship course, practice facilities, lessons, and various Stay & Play Packages for golf lovers on vacation.

You don’t need to be a member to experience the joys of Dripping Spring Country Club. Take some group or individual lessons with a PGA Pro, or simply buy a bucket of golf balls and swing to your heart’s content. Consider becoming a member for discounted lessons, eats, drinks, and merchandise, the option to host private events, and so much more!

Unique undertakings

For a delightful and different experience, head to Blanco Lavender Fest. The lavender blooming season is typically May through July, and Blanco’s dry weather and limestone soil are perfect for farming lavender. The Lavender Festival Market showcases vendors selling local and regional lavender products, including bath and body products, art, apparel, accessories, plants, and much more. Many small-time makers bring their handmade goods to the festival, giving you the incredible opportunity to sample products made with endless love and care.

Make the trip to Texas Hill Country Olive Co. to observe their process for making award-winning extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This establishment offers an orchard walking tour, an industry tour, an olive mill and education tour, and it also hosts private tours and events. Tastings are available for a mere $10 per person after each outing.

If you’re a nature enthusiast looking to move to Hill Country in Texas, let The Veritas Group find your quintessential Hill Country property. 

 

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