Visitor's Guide to Hill Country, Texas

Texas is a very large state, and as such, has an extensive — if not complete — assortment of topography. From rugged mountains to beaches and almost everything in between, you can come across it in Texas, such as the beautiful "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 certainly deserves some attention for its magnificence and culture.

The hill country is almost certainly one of the finest regions in the state to hike, ride bikes, or just hang out. The variety of lush foliage and the occasional granite outcropping make it a fantastic environment for sightseeing. One of the most notable landmarks in this portion 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 middle of a park listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is an amazing location for hiking and picnicking.

For those who like hiking and scenery, Lake Georgetown is a key 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 uneven. But for those who can handle the trails, there are amazing sights of the lake waiting at several spots along the way. Cactus and cedar trees line the trails, and limestone boulders appear to pop up out of nowhere from time to time.

One more attraction for outdoor fans is the area's latest park, Berry Springs Park and Preserve. This park is set up to accommodate walkers of all skill ranges, 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 those who want some exercise without the adventure. At each of these turnarounds, though, are a series of unpaved paths and trails that extend on and traverse the park.

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