Only 3% of the land in America’s second largest state is publicly owned but luckily a strong percentage of Texas parks are located in what is known as Hill
Country, a verdant stretch of rolling land between Austin and San Antonio. Mountaintops and dramatic views are not the attraction of this vacation mecca, however - it is water. Over 800 fresh water springs percolate to the surface in crystalline rivers and lakes that make the Texas Hill Country famous...
Most Historic Hike With Your Dog:
Lyndon B. Johnson State Historical Park.
Texas Hill Country was the birthplace and life-long home of the 36th President of the United States. Several sites around Johnson City, including Johnson Settlement and the LBJ Ranch are open to the public but the only place your dog is allowed is this park located across the Pedernales River from LBJ Ranch. There is a nature trail, living history farm and plenty of grassy open space for a game of fetch in the 700-acre park.
Lyndon B. Johnson State Historical Park, Texas
Prettiest Hike With Your Dog:
Guadalupe River State Park.
The park features four miles of river frontage and the stretch by the day-use area carves its
way through limestone bluffs where its banks are dotted with huge bald cypress trees.
Guadalupe River State Park, Texas
Best Hike To A Waterfall With Your Dog:
The flow varies widely in the Pedernales River as it meanders through the park but on an
average day the falls pick their way down 50 feet of limestone ledges in a wide canyon. Near the campground, tranquil blue-green waters make a picturesque double drop in a secluded glen before reaching the river.
Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas
Best Hike To Views With Your Dog:
This massive dome of pink granite is considered a batholith - an underground rock formation uncovered by erosion. It is one of the largest batholiths in America. The climb to
the top of the 425-foot Enchanted Rock is mostly up bare rock and waiting on top for you and your dog are panoramic 360-degree views of the surrounding Texas Hill Country. Come early on weekends - the popular park can fill up before noon.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Best Swimming Hole For Your Dog:
Devil’s Waterhole At Inks Lake.
If your dog likes to dive in the water she can join in the fun popping into the water from the rocks surrounding this tip of Inks Lake.
Inks Lake State Park, Texas
Best One-Hour Workout For Your Dog:
Lost Maples State Natural Area.
A pair of four-mile loops climb through steep limestone canyons onto plateau grasslands. Each features one big, rock-infested climb before leveling off at the top. The East Trail spends more time on the Sabinal River and visits the namesake stand of Uvalde bigtooth maples that are relics from the last Ice Age when Texas was wetter.
Lost Maples State Natural Area, Texas
Best Place To Spot Wildlife With Your Dog:
South Llano River State Park.
This is the largest concentration of Rio Grande Turkeys to be found in the American Southwest. The gregarious birds winter in large flocks around cottonwood riparian areas like the South Llano River, which numbers between 600 and 800 birds. Turkeys can be spotted year-round, especially along the scrubby brush and open grasslands of the Fawn Trail that loops up open slopes for three miles.
South Llano River State Park, Texas
Best Place To Hike All Day With Your Dog:
Hill Country State Natural Area.
The bulk of these more than 5,000 acres were a donation from the Merrick Bar-O-Ranch with the stipulation that it “be kept far removed and untouched by modern civilization.” There are more than 40 miles of primitive trails running through grassy valleys and up limestone hills. A good sampler is the four-mile loop around the Comanche Bluff Camp Area across from the park office.
Hill Country State Natural Area, Texas
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