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26 October . 2018

Fall is perfect for family camping trips in the Texas Hill Country

There are many benefits of camping with the kids, including bonding as a family, connecting with nature, lowering stress and (hopefully) reducing screen time.

With a location that’s aptly described as offering “Texas Hill Country Beauty with an Austin Address,” Sweetwater is a great launching point for Hill Country camping adventures. Here are 6 of the most popular destinations for overnight camping and day trips near Sweetwater.

The key word is “popular,” so be sure to make reservations for camping as early as possible.

Lost Maples State Natural Area. Lost Maples is home to a colony of Uvalde Bigtooth Maple trees that offer spectacular fall color when conditions are right. Even if the foliage is less than ideal, Lost Maples is still one of the most special places in Texas, offering primitive camping, hiking and fishing in the Sabinal River.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. The massive pink granite dome rising 425 feet above the landscape near Fredericksburg has drawn people for thousands of years. Today, it draws campers and daytrippers who enjoy 11 miles of trails, rock climbing, stargazing, picnicking and more. Ranger-led hikes and star parties add to the enjoyment. More than 50 campsites are available.

Garner State Park. Located along the crystal-clear Frio River, Garner State Park is considered by many to the crown jewel of Texas state parks. We think they’re all pretty special, but it’s easy to see why Garner is so beloved, with its 1,774 acres of scenic Hill Country terrain, its 11 miles of trails and its 3 miles of river frontage along the Frio. Cabins, screened shelters and campsites are offered.

Inks Lake State Park. With its sparkling blue water, colorful rock outcrops and striking sunsets, this Hill Country gem offers 9 miles of trails through shady forests and rocky hills. For fun on the water, families can swim, fish and rent paddleboats, canoes and kayaks at the park store. Nearly 200 campsites and 22 cabins are available, with many offering lake front or easy lake access.

Colorado Bend State Park. This isn’t one of the most well known state parks in Texas, but it’s worth discovering for its unspoiled natural beauty along Spicewood Springs. With 35 miles of hike and bike trails, Colorado Bend is great for adventurous campers. The 3-mile round trip to spectacular Gorman Falls is especially popular, and somewhat challenging as it covers rough and rocky terrain. The reward, though, is a view of this beautiful 70-foot spring-fed waterfall. Ranger-led cavern tours are available. Back-to-nature camping is offered with drive-up sites, walk-in tent sites and primitive hike-in sites.

Krause Springs. One of the closest camping sites to Sweetwater, Krause Springs in Spicewood is a 115-acre natural oasis that has been privately owned by the Krause family for more than 50 years. Listed on the National Registry of Historical Sites, Krause Springs offers 32 natural springs, with several feeding manmade and natural swimming pools. Other attractions include a butterfly garden, waterfalls, a grotto and pavilion. Primitive tent camping is available, along with RV sites.

Check out our Area Guide for more natural and cultural adventures near Sweetwater.