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Starry Skies and Cacti: A Hill Country State Parks Guide for the Lone Star State

Starry Skies and Cacti: A Hill Country State Parks Guide for the Lone Star State

Explore the rugged beauty of some of the Texas Hill Country's best state parks--from canyons and caves to rivers and rock domes.




Feb 5, 2014



About the Guidebook

Come explore a beautiful region of Central Texas: the Hill Country.

Near the exciting and scenic cities of Austin and San Antonio, natural beauties await you. Greet the sunrise with chirping songbirds, hike to great heights in the morning, cool off in lakes and caves in the afternoon, and stargaze your heart out after downing the last of your s'mores.

Texas is home to a wonderful and extensive state park system that boasts a wide variety of natural features. This guide will highlight seven of these parks located in the Texas Hill Country.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of attractions in the area, so explore your heart out and stay awhile!

Local Knowledge & Cool Perks

While the Texas Hill Country hasn't earned the same reputation for beautiful outdoor scenery as many of the United States' national parks, it is awash with pleasant surprises.


Begin your journey in the historic city of San Antonio or the funky state capitol of Austin. After taking some time to stock up on any supplies you might need and enjoy the local flavor (literally--don't leave without trying some Tex Mex), head out to these highlighted state parks to check out the natural wonders nearby.


Get in touch with the earth's history through phenomenal geological features like caverns and granite mounds. View the fascinating and diverse wildlife of Central Texas, and climb atop tall bluffs to survey the surrounding terrain. Meet friendly locals and check out quirky shops and restaurants.


The peak season for this area is the spring and summer months, but I recommend traveling between September and May, if possible. The Texas summer heat can make some activities less enjoyable and sometimes even dangerous. In addition, the parks are far busier during this time, making campsites harder to reserve and resources more heavily used. If summer is all that is in the cards for you, you'll still have a wonderful time by spending your time relaxing by the water or in a cavern. You'll be much more comfortable that way!

About the Author

I've been an outdoor enthusiast for as long as I can remember and love to share my experiences through my blog, ardentcamper.com. When I'm not in the woods, you'll find me writing development and marketing materials for Houston-area organizations, walking my dog, or curled up with a good book.

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