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Visitor's Guide to Hill Country, Texas

Texas is a very big state, and as such, has an extensive — if not total — assortment 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 region definitely deserves some attention for its magnificence and culture.

The hill country is probably 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 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 middle of a park detailed 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 prime destination. The lake is nearly completely 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 individuals who can deal with the trails, there are great views of the lake waiting at numerous 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 newest park, Berry Springs Park and Preserve. This park is set up to accommodate 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 much more skilled walker. The main pathway goes both east and west from the parking lot, with "turnarounds" at each end for individuals who want a workout without the excitement. At each of these turnarounds, though, are a series of unpaved paths and trails that extend on and extend throughout the park.

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