06 June . 2023
Sweetwater Hiking Club explores Hill Country trails at home and nearby
One of the fastest-growing resident groups in Sweetwater is the Hiking Club, which meets regularly to explore trails inside the community and discover new adventures in the surrounding Hill Country.
The hikes are led by resident Rosemary Borthwick and her Australian Shepherd, Bonnie, whose eagerness for daily exercise led to the club’s founding.
The Hiking Club welcomes residents to participate in Monday and Saturday events. The Monday group typically meets on the second or third Monday of each month to explore Sweetwater’s trails, part of more than 700 acres devoted to amenities and natural open space in the community.
The Saturday group meets about four times a year and includes children 12 and older.
In addition to exploring Sweetwater’s internal trails, the Hiking Club makes regular field trips to explore nearby trails such as the Hamilton Greenbelt, Reimers Ranch Park, Greenway Primitive Trails at Bee Cave and Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area.
If you’re a Sweetwater resident who is interested in joining the Hiking Club, email our Lifestyle Director, who’ll add you to the list to receive event notifications.
A new life at Sweetwater
Rosemary moved to Sweetwater about 10 years ago, relocating from Chicago to be closer to her oldest daughter and grandchildren in Austin. Shortly after moving in, she welcomed Bonnie into her life.
Rosemary and Bonnie soon became a regular sight along Sweetwater’s trails, since both love to stay active. Like most herding breeds, Aussies thrive on daily exercise. And as a native of Scotland, Rosemary is also accustomed to walking frequently.
“In Scotland, we walk everywhere if it’s only a mile or so away. We don’t even think about getting in the car,” says Rosemary. “When I first saw Sweetwater, I fell in love with it, because the terrain reminded me of the Scottish Lowlands.”
After seeing and chatting with Rosemary and Bonnie many times, Sweetwater’s Lifestyle Director asked Rosemary if she’d be interested in spearheading a Hiking Club, since a number of residents had been expressing interest in such a group. Having recently retired from a 45-year career as a physical therapist, Rosemary welcomed the new role.
Rosemary says the Hiking Club has found an enthusiastic reception among residents of all ages at Sweetwater, counting both newcomers and longtime residents among its members.
“Residents love the guided hikes for the neighborly camaraderie, and also because some had been a bit apprehensive about setting out on their own,” Rosemary says. “Sweetwater’s trail system can be a little rugged and seemingly remote in some places, which is a big part of its beauty and appeal.”
Although the possibility of encountering a snake is rare, Bonnie is trained to detect the presence of several species of poisonous snakes that live in the Hill Country, and provides an early warning if needed
Two of Rosemary’s favorite trails at Sweetwater are Canyon Trail and Limestone Falls Trail. At the latter, she recently discovered a spring fed pool past the landmark waterfall, where Bonnie loves to swim.
“It’s like a miniature Hamilton Pool,” she says.
When not hiking, Rosemary enjoys relaxing at her home, which has a backyard with greenbelt views and access to nearby Canyon Trail. She also enjoys riding her bike all over Sweetwater.
See more of Sweetwater’s trails with our photo gallery.
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