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31 October . 2016

Sweetwater residents can hit miles of Hill Country trails at home

From National Take a Hike Day in November, to National Trails Day in June, it’s always a perfect day to find a trail and take Sierra Club founder John Muir’s advice that, “the clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

Sweetwater residents enjoy miles of trails preserving spectacular Hill Country scenery right at home, as part of nearly 700 acres devoted to parks, trails, recreational amenities and natural open spaces in the community.

That’s about half of Sweetwater’s 1,400-acre master plan preserved for recreation and nature. Ten miles of trails are ultimately planned, with four miles already complete and ready to explore today. 

With so much of Sweetwater devoted to nature, hiking in the community can offer an experience that feels like visiting one of the many state parks nearby in the Hill Country.   

Residents can meander through canyon passages where they can discover hidden waterfalls, explore rugged limestone cliffs bejeweled with maidenhair ferns, and tiptoe across the rocks at creek crossings.

Dramatic topography changes challenge residents to build endurance, and reward them with magnificent views of surrounding cliffs and canyons.

Other parts of the trail system meander through open meadows of native grasses. These are especially beautiful during the spring, as the result of Sweetwater’s partnership with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. These meadows are also beautiful all throughout the year, with flowers through the summer and fall.

Sweetwater’s 800-year-old Texas Madrone tree is another highlight along the trail system. With dramatic reddish-brown branches, it’s the oldest among several ancient Madrones preserved in the community.

Sweetwater’s heritage as a working ranch is also visible along some stretches of the trails, with parts of the fabled Chisholm Trail stagecoach trail preserved, along with winsome windmills and historic water tanks.

You might also enjoy a glimpse of Sweetwater’s honeybee hives. Tended in partnership with Round Rock Honey, each of the six hives is home to up to 300,000 bees, who help pollinate Sweetwater’s wildflowers and produce the community’s own brand of honey.

You can take a trail to enjoy more recreational amenities such as the 10-acre Sweetwater Club, where there’s always a fun activity going on for residents of all ages.

While Sweetwater’s trails are very popular with residents, it’s still possible to lose yourself in nature and hear nothing but the sounds of songbirds and trickling water. Four-legged family members are always welcome along the trails, which lead to the dog park near the Sweetwater Club.