Visitor's Guide to Hill Country, Texas

Texas is a very huge 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 discover it in Texas, including the beautiful "hill country." The green 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 tradition.

The hill country is most likely one of the finest areas in the state to hike, ride bikes, or just hang out. The variety of lush greenery and the occasional granite outcropping make it a fantastic atmosphere for sightseeing. One of the most famous landmarks in this portion 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 center of a park detailed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a wonderful place for hiking and picnicking.

For those who enjoy hiking and scenery, Lake Georgetown is a key destination. The lake is nearly fully 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 manage the trails, there are fantastic views 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 lovers 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 much more skilled 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 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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