Hill Country

Discussion in 'Texas' started by froggie, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. froggie

    froggie New Member

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    We are heading to the hill country next May... 2 daughters, 5 yr old grandson, 2 dogs, and grandma (me). I got the Texas tourism package and am overwhelmed by the number of sites. We need a dog, kid friendly place close to river and caves and hiking. We are popup people, so we don't want too commercial. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Shuswap

    Shuswap New Member

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    No particular suggestion other than this - we camped in Kerville as the base and travelled all around the Hill Country from there, including San Antonio. Wonderful area for a vacation :)
     
  3. Brate

    Brate Bravado!

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    What part of the Texas Hill Country (it's a pretty large area).

    Inks Lake near Marble Falls is a nice park and not to far down the Park Road is Long Horn Caverns. You have to pay extra to enter the Cave fyi.

    Garner does not have caves but it has a nice river and lots of hiking.

    South Llano River has no cave but river, tubing and hiking.

    Pedernales near Johnson City has nice hiking, the falls are cool and a swimming area on the Pedernales River.

    Enchanted Rock is tent only and no swimming but has caves and hiking (not safe for little kids unless you keep a very close eye on them).

    Those are some thoughts.
     
  4. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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  5. TentOnWheelsTX

    TentOnWheelsTX New Member

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    We're heading out that way this fall - and I've previewed a few of the parks in the Ausitn area (might be a bit south of what you're looking for - we're outta Houston)

    Check out my blog (in my signature below) and search 'state parks' or 'park review' and that will bring up a few choices for you.

    We're pop-up, with a dog, but no kids. Though, we often camp with families that have kids.
     
  6. froggie

    froggie New Member

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    Thanks, y'all, I am making my campsite"check-it-out" list. These are so much more fun to make than grocery lists :)
     
  7. TentOnWheelsTX

    TentOnWheelsTX New Member

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    +1!!
     
  8. jpetrey

    jpetrey New Member

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  9. TentOnWheelsTX

    TentOnWheelsTX New Member

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    Just visited Pederenales Falls, Blanco, and Guadalupe River State Parks (yes, all in one day! I'm ambitious!)

    Guadalupe River had very easy river access, stone beach, and awesome rock cliff bluff. I really liked sites 56 and 63. Short trees around here, though, shade was a premium. Sw a 6pt buck at the entrance.... That's always a good sign in my book!

    Blanco was like a park in the middle of a city, but a very quaint old fashioned city. It felt a title RV parking-lot-ish, but had awesome shade and the Blanco River running through it. Small campground, though- only 30 hook-up sites.

    Pedernales Falls, by far, was the star of the three. Bg cliffs, river, lots of shade- and definitely a hikers park- lots of trails. Sites 16, 19, 21, 26 had covered picnic tables. All of the sites felt very large and wooded. And the camp hosts had decorated their spots for Halloween- first time I've seen a now too decorations, and it was very tasteful and fun!

    I plan or do a full write up on these on my blog (I mentioned earlier, I post a Park Review every Friday) but these won't post till January and I thought you might like the info now.

    Have fun!!
     
  10. txsherry

    txsherry New Member

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    It's been years since I've been there but I plan to go in the spring with our NTU pop-up: Krause Springs.
     
  11. The Manchacan

    The Manchacan New Member

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    South Llano River State Park. Many, many caves, private and public, within an hours drive. River access, dog and kid friendly. Beautiful time to be there too as many of the spring wildflowers will still be in bloom.
     
  12. Biggs!

    Biggs! New Member

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    There is a Hill Country State Park too near Bandera. Its I nice but park, but they have horse back riding too so there can be a lot of dung on the trails.

    Nate
     
  13. Turn Key

    Turn Key New Member

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    Anything in the Texas Hill Country is outstanding but I'd always vote for Inks Lake State Park or Guadalupe River State Park. The best of the best.

    Happy Camping!
     
  14. Indy

    Indy Member

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    Just wanted to add ...

    Colorado Bend is fabulous and does allow RVs. It has no electric or hookups, but you can dry camp. There's a community water spicket to fill and tote water - right by the road. We just did it (along with many others) on Valentines Day. There's a river, but it may be too hot in May without AC... depends on you and your tolerance. The falls are beautiful and spring-fed, so it will be flowing nicely even through dry conditions. The hike in is rocks and cactus - 1.5 mi in and 1.5 miles out without really level trails, lots of small rocks. The last 50 yards is very steep and slippery (even when dry - wear good shoes and hold on to the cable). I'm not in good shape at all and I made it in, as did several older folks, but only you know your limits and the limits of your kiddos ... be warned. Bring plenty of water. There's several shady rock areas where you can sit up off the ground comfortably and rest if needed. The falls are beautiful and well worth it!

    Inks Lake is a lot of fun and is also a constant level lake, so it won't be low. There are cliffs to jump off of, if your camping crew is brave. I am not brave, but saw lots of kids doing it even when we were there in November! Brr! Longhorn Caverns is just nearby and it's a great cave and a good tour -highly recommend.

    I love Garner too, but it is a long long drive from LA. It's a pretty good long drive from me in west Houston! I would only go if you have an extended period and don't mind a long road trip. They have tubing and nightly dances. Very popular park with lots of great hiking trails. We spent Thanksgiving there in 2011. We made a day trip to Caverns of Sonora, which is a beautiful cave but it's out in the middle of nowhere.

    Wherever you're going out west, I recommend Natural Bridge Caverns also. It's probably the most commercialized cave tour in Texas - lots do, big gift shop, gem "mining", drive-thru animal safari. You can drop some cash and be a tourist here, for sure!

    Pedernales Falls is nice, but it is not the kind of "falls" you might expect. Look up pics first so you're not disappointed. You can swim in the river to cool off, or take the hiking trails for hidden lagoons. The kids and dogs had so much fun sliding down the slippery rocks into the lagoons - I think it was the Wolf Mountain trail. Bring water shoes - it's slippery as can be!

    Lost Maples has nice hiking trails (esp in fall), but the camping area leaves a lot to be desired.

    After a good rain, McKinney Falls is super! We had a blast swimming there and the kids jumping off the falls- make sure they're good swimmers, and once again, bring water shoes as it can be slippery and rocky climbing in/out. In dry conditions, the falls become a trickle - if that. We were there last Memorial Day and it was incredible!!! There were giant walking sticks everywhere too -- and I mean EVERYWHERE. Lots of katydids too. Hard to believe you're in Austin.

    Another great park I recommend (which is probably a bit too far north for you) is Dinosaur Valley SP. This is a big hit with kids, but even my 17-y-o loved this park. Lots of outdoor activities - hiking, biking, swimming in the river. But the real thrill is checking out all the dinosaur tracks. You can walk in dino footprints ... and they are not overly eroded, you can clearly see the giant tracks and feel them with your toes. Very neat! The ranger was great and took us on a nice night guided hike and gave talks to the kids about fossils. Big dino replicas on site for photo ops. Just a fun place. Fossil Rim wildlife park is nearby too - another drive-thru safari experience.
     

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