Austin area recommendations

Discussion in 'Texas' started by vanjr, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. vanjr

    vanjr New Member

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    Austin has a lot of activities that I enjoy and sometimes these activities start too early to drive from Corpus on the morning of an event (specifically table tennis tournaments and cyclocross races).

    Where do you recommend to go for to camp the night before an event that still has pretty easy Austin access?

    thanx
     
  2. Roy and Janet Bowman

    Roy and Janet Bowman Poppin' Up from Aggieland

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    As you can see from a map, McKinney Falls SP is pretty much in town. It's also very busy. Make reservations as far in advance as you can. There should be some LCRA (Lower Colorado River Authority) parks on the lakes on the west side of the city that will work. Traffic is not easy in Austin.

    Many of the RV parks that come up in a simple search are more residential.
     
  3. WendyLouWho

    WendyLouWho Wendy & Marlin

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    Have you checked into bastrop state park? Have not camped with pup there but have tent camped and it is beautiful. I didn't see it on the above list. Also anywhere around lake Travis.

    Edit: also meant to say call the park. I do hear it is doing well now after the fire.
     
  4. amado_aguilar

    amado_aguilar Member

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    Living in the Houston area, I have stayed at Austin Lone Star many times for events. Close to downtown and surrounding areas. It is close to the freeway to you will here some road noise.

    Heated pool is open year round.
     
  5. Indy

    Indy Member

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    I definitely second McKinney Falls. When the water level is up and the weather is conducive to swimming, this place is fantastic!

    Bastrop and Buescher are also good parks, but Bastrop took a beating with the recent wildfires. It's not as beautiful as it once was.

    Pedernales Falls is a little further west, but it is also a great park.

    Inks Lake to the NW is excellent too. I absolutely love the Austin Area!
     
  6. wpiet

    wpiet New Member

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    Lockhart State Park is fairly close to Austin. It has a great swimming pool and a nine hole golf course. Stayed there a couple of weeks ago - very nice and great staff.
     
  7. WendyLouWho

    WendyLouWho Wendy & Marlin

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    Oh! I have to second the Pedernales state park. Wonderful. And look into anything around Marble Falls (Inks Lake? I would have to pull my book) but call to check levels since the drought. We love to camp around there. One has a constant level lake not effected by the lack of rain.
     
  8. Loraura

    Loraura New Member

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    McKinney Falls SP, Buescher SP, Pedernales Falls SP, and Pace Bend Park are all nice.

    Pace Bend is a PITA to make a reservation for, but during CX season it shouldn't be a problem getting a site with hookups. There are literally 100 sites with no hookups, but the 20 or so sites with hookups also have a bath with flush toilets and showers. The non-hookup sites are pit toilets, no shower. So if you show up without a reservation and the hookup spots are full, you'll have a spot to camp, but it might be primitive, so you may want to plan ahead for showering. Worst case scenario, your Pace Bend pass also gets you into the Reimer's Ranch park not far away, and they have showers (but no camping). You can make a reservation by going to the Travis County Parks office and paying in advance. You may be able to download a form and mail it in with a check. There is no way to make a reservation without paying in person or mailing in a check. They won't hold your site till they are paid. If you stay at Pace Bend, bring a MTB and check out the trails, they are great. If you stayed on the jeep roads I'm sure a CX bike would be fine, depending on your skill level.

    I do not recommend Bastrop SP at this time. The fire back in 2011 decimated that park. It was beautiful, and I grew up camping there nearly every weekend, but I literally cried the last time I drove through it.

    Buescher SP is one of my favorites and just put in new MTB trails. I haven't ridden them yet. Next door to Buescher SP is Rocky Hill Ranch with 60+ miles of MTB trails including many, many miles of singletrack. You could put together a 40 mile jeep road ride out there without ever touching single track if you so desired. Lots of climbing. Be sure to ride up Fat Chucks Revenge.

    There is also on-site camping at Rocky Hill, but it's a little more expensive than Buescher SP next door. They have sites with hookups and on site showers. Not a lot of privacy in the hookups section, but also no screaming kids on razor scooters grinding past you on an endless loop all day long. (aka WORTH IT!) You'll want to check the RHR website for any events going on and make a reservation. They are nice people. Highly recommend.

    A little further out in Warda, TX there is Bluff Creek Ranch. They offer onsite camping with hookups, but again, it's pricier than the SPs. Ask for the site in the pen, it has lots of shade and a water hookup. I think the rest just have power. They have an ice maker on site, and showers. If you're afraid of cows, skip this one! If you love peace and quite and wide open skies, you'll love it. They also have MTB trails that IMO would be totally CX ridable. Not technical at all. Mostly flat. Mule Trace is a little sketchy, everything else is easy. Check their web page for event schedules and make a reservation. Possibly my favorite place to camp. The solitude on a non-event weekend is fantastic, yet the owners are just a short walk away if you need something.

    If you need anything for your bike while you're in Austin, I highly recommend Bicycle Sport Shop which has 3 locations. The staff and mechanics are top notch. Diclaimer -- I race for them. =)
     
  9. Loraura

    Loraura New Member

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    If you want more details about these locations, I have a blog where I have pictures and my experience camping in many central Texas locations,where we camp for MTB races:

    http://blog.travelpod.com/members/loriwatkins
     
  10. Loraura

    Loraura New Member

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    Oh! And I forgot to mention the COE parks on Lake Georgetown are fantastic. They aren't in my blog becuase we haven't raced while camping there, but we have camped there, and liked them a lot. For locations close to Austin, I'd give it 5 stars. There is also a 26 mile loop of very challenging MTB trails there. If you start from the dam and go counter clockwise you can hit the easier parts and turn around when it gets crazy. If you attempt the 26 mileloop in the summer start out early and bring LOTS of water. Much of the loop is exposed to the sun. These are not easy miles. Check strava for average loop times. The KOM is like 3 or 4 hours if i recall.

    I think we stayed at Jim Hogg Park (there are 2 or 3 parks all hooked together by the MTB trails surrouding the lake).
     
  11. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    Loraura I would like to extend an invitation to our valentines day rally at lake limstone campground and marina. Looks like you're in the general area and our last rally was a blast! Check out the rallies being planned section.
     
  12. Loraura

    Loraura New Member

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    Thanks skeeter. Unfortunately I'm having surgery at the end of January and I don't think I'll be ale to camp that soon after. I'll keep my eye it for future gatherings though.
     
  13. sblanck

    sblanck Member

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    Bastrop is heavily infested with mice due to lack of predators who were nesting in the forest prior to the fire.
     
  14. Loraura

    Loraura New Member

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    My husband just reminded me that McKinney Falls took flood damage recently (bathrooms in a foot of water and mud) so you may want to call and check before booking this one.
     

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