The Popular Hill Country of Texas

Texas is a very large state, and as such, has an extensive — if not complete — variety of topography. From rugged mountains to beaches and almost everything in between, you can find 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 area absolutely deserves some attention for its beauty and culture.

The hill country is almost certainly one of the finest areas in the state to hike, ride bikes, or just hang out. The range of lush greenery and the occasional granite outcropping make it a fantastic environment for sightseeing. One of the most famous landmarks in this part of the state is Enchanted Rock, a large, pink granite mountain that can be observed for quite some distance. This natural monument is now in the middle of a park detailed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a great place for hiking and picnicking.

For those who enjoy hiking and scenery, Lake Georgetown is a key destination. The lake is almost 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 un-level. But for individuals who can deal with the trails, there are great sights of the lake waiting at various spots along the way. Cactus and cedar trees line the trails, and limestone boulders appear to burst up out of nowhere from time to time.

One more attraction for outdoor enthusiasts is the area's latest park, Berry Springs Park and Preserve. This park is set up to support walkers of all skill levels, with a main paved path fronting the park, and unpaved side trails and cross-paths along the way to entice the far more skilled walker. The main pathway heads both east and west from the parking lot, with "turnarounds" at each end for individuals who want some exercise without the adventure. At each of these turnarounds, though, are a sequence of unpaved paths and trails that extend on and traverse the park.

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