A Camping Guide to Central Texas
In a city full of outdoor enthusiasts, it makes sense camping is popular activity. Fortunately for Austinites, you don’t have to go far to find the perfect spot to pitch camp.
McKinney Roughs Nature Park
McKinney Roughs Nature Park
McKinney Roughs Nature Park, just 13 miles east of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, is home to four ecosystems—Post Oak Savannah, Blackland Prairie, East Texas Piney Woods, and a Riparian Zone. There are a variety of ways to experience the beauty of McKinney Roughs. Some options include exploring the 18 miles of nature trails on foot or horseback, zipping down the series of six ziplines overlooking the 1,100 acres of rolling box canyons and wildflower meadows, and floating on lazy river bends of the Texas Colorado River. A little something for everyone.
Pace Bend Park
Pace Bend Park is located along the shoreline of Lake Travis. Due to the aquatic feature, the west side of the park features high, limestone cliffs and a variety of rocky coves that offer a wide range of recreational opportunities. Visitors can explore the interior of the park that is managed as a wildlife preserve as well as travel the trails that provide views of the lake and the Hill Country. There a variety of primitive and RV campsites available. It also hosts one of the largest cycling races in Texas every February, Pace Bend Road Race.
Lake Bastrop South Shore and North Shore Parks
These two parks, located along the shores of Lake Bastrop, offer kayak/canoe rentals, fishing piers and even an aquatic playground. The 900-acre lake is perfect for fishing, swimming and water recreation activities. The North and South Shore Parks also offer hiking and biking trails that are a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts. For overnight stays, cabins, tent camping, and RV sites are all available.
Inks Lake State Park
Inks Lake State Park offers an array of activities on both water and land. Since the lake’s level usually stays constant, visitors can swim, boat, water ski, scuba dive, and fish year round. There are nearly 200 campsites and 22 cabins available for lodging, making it great for a weekend getaway. With its blue water, colorful rock formations, and remarkable sunsets, Inks Lake State Park is a gem of the Texas Hill Country.
Cedar Breaks Park
Cedar Breaks Park sits on the south side of Georgetown Lake in the Hill Country of Texas. The reservoir is located on the north fork of the San Gabriel River, providing countless recreational activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Guests enjoy hiking and biking on the 26-mile San Gabriel River Trail, as well as swimming and boating in the lake. For the avid outdoorsman, there are excellent hunting and fishing opportunities available.
Krause Springs is a well-known camping and swimming destination in Spicewood, Texas. The 115 acre property is listed on the National Registry of Historical Sites and has been privately owned by the Krause Family for over 50 years. There are a variety of sites to explore on the property, including 32 natural springs, both man-made and natural pools, and even a butterfly garden. If camping is in the plans, there options for both tent and RV sites.
Muleshoe Bend Recreation Center
Muleshoe Bend is located in Spicewood, Texas, about 50 miles outside of Austin. The hill country oasis is home to 654 acres of trails, camping, picnic tables, and endless fields of bluebonnets. Guests can enjoy 9.8 miles of trails that travel through the fields of flowers, or take a swim in the clear waters of the Colorado River. There are 27 primitive campsites available along a two-mile stretch for overnight camping.
Windy Point Park
Windy Point Park is located along the clear shores of Lake Travis. Guests can picnic, swim, or just relax in the beautiful lake setting. Windy Point is also considered one of the top diving “hot spots” in Central Texas, offering a variety of items and locations to seek out while diving in Lake Travis, such as boat wrecks and unique metal sculptures.
Image: Richard Barstow