The Popular Hill Country of Texas

Texas is a very huge state, and as such, has a wide — if not complete — array of topography. From rugged mountains to beaches and a lot in between, you can come across it in Texas, including the gorgeous "hill country." The lush rolling hills in the middle part of the state don't instantly come to mind when you think about Texas, but the region surely deserves some attention for its magnificence and culture.

The hill country is most likely one of the finest regions in the state to hike, ride bikes, or just hang out. The variety of lush greenery and the occasional granite outcropping make it an amazing environment for sightseeing. One of the most recognized landmarks in this piece of the state is Enchanted Rock, a large, pink granite mountain that can be seen for quite some distance. This natural monument is now in the center of a park listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a terrific spot for hiking and picnicking.

For those who enjoy hiking and scenery, Lake Georgetown is a primary destination. The lake is nearly entirely surrounded by a hiking trail, making it one of the longest in the state. It is not an easy hike, as the terrain is rocky and irregular. But for individuals who can deal with the trails, there are great views of the lake waiting at different points along the way. Cactus and cedar trees border the trails, and limestone boulders seem to pop up out of nowhere from time to time.

One more attraction for outdoor fans is the area's newest park, Berry Springs Park and Preserve. This park is set up to accommodate walkers of all ability levels, with a main paved path fronting the park, and unpaved side trails and cross-paths along the way to entice the far more experienced walker. The main pathway goes both east and west from the parking lot, with "turnarounds" at each end for individuals who want some exercise without the excitement. At each of these turnarounds, though, are a series of unpaved paths and trails that go on and cut across the park.

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