The Popular Hill Country of Texas

Texas is a very large state, and as such, has an extensive — if not total — variety of topography. From rugged mountains to beaches and everything in between, you can come across it in Texas, including the attractive "hill country." The lush rolling hills in the middle part of the state don't always come to mind when you think about Texas, but the area certainly deserves some attention for its splendor and tradition.

The hill country is probably 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 great atmosphere 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 listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a fantastic spot for hiking and picnicking.

For those who enjoy hiking and scenery, Lake Georgetown is a primary destination. The lake is virtually 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 manage the trails, there are wonderful views 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 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 far more seasoned walker. The main pathway heads both east and west from the parking lot, with "turnarounds" at both ends for those who want a workout without the excitement. At each of these turnarounds, though, are a sequence of unpaved paths and trails that go on and extend throughout the park.

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