The Popular Hill Country of 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 everything in between, you can come across it in Texas, which includes 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 region definitely deserves some attention for its magnificence and culture.

The hill country is possibly one of the best regions in the state to hike, ride bikes, or just hang out. The variety of lush greenery and the occasional granite outcropping make it a great 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 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 terrific area for hiking and picnicking.

For those who enjoy hiking and scenery, Lake Georgetown is a leading 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 un-level. But for those who can handle the trails, there are fantastic views of the lake waiting at different points 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 talent ranges, with a main paved path fronting the park, and unpaved side trails and cross-paths along the way to entice the far more experienced walker. The main pathway heads 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 go on and traverse the park.

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