The Popular Hill Country of 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 everything in between, you can come across it in Texas, including the gorgeous "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 definitely deserves some attention for its splendor and culture.

The hill country is most likely one of the best regions in the state to hike, ride bikes, or just hang out. The range of lush foliage and the occasional granite outcropping make it a fantastic setting 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 center of a park listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a fantastic place for hiking and picnicking.

For those who enjoy hiking and scenery, Lake Georgetown is a primary vacation spot. 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 amazing views of the lake waiting at numerous points along the way. Cactus and cedar trees border the trails, and limestone boulders seem 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 support 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 each end for individuals who want some exercise without the adventure. At each of these turnarounds, though, are a sequence of unpaved paths and trails that go on and cut across the park.

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