Visitor's Guide to Hill Country, Texas

Texas is a very big state, and as such, has an extensive — if not complete — array of topography. From rugged mountains to beaches and a lot in between, you can discover it in Texas, including the attractive "hill country." The lush rolling hills in the middle part of the state don't immediately come to mind when you think about Texas, but the area certainly deserves some attention for its beauty and culture.

The hill country is possibly one of the greatest regions in the state to hike, ride bikes, or just hang out. The range of lush greenery and the occasional granite outcropping make it a wonderful 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 seen for quite some distance. This natural monument is now in the middle of a park posted on the National Register of Historic Places and is a great area for hiking and picnicking.

For those who enjoy hiking and scenery, Lake Georgetown is a prime 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 those who can deal with the trails, there are fantastic sights of the lake waiting at several points along the way. Cactus and cedar trees border 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 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 much more skilled walker. The main pathway goes both east and west from the parking lot, with "turnarounds" at both ends for those who want some exercise without the excitement. At each of these turnarounds, though, are a sequence of unpaved paths and trails that extend on and cut across the park.

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