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“Great hike” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hill Country State Natural Area

Hill Country State Natural Area
10600 Bandera Creek Rd, Bandera, TX 78003
830-796-4413
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Ranked #7 of 18 things to do in Bandera
Activities: Camping, Hiking, Horseback riding
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Attraction details
Owner description: Undeveloped state park that offers 36 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking, backpacking, and primitive camping.
Boerne, Texas
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great hike”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

Great equestrian trails. Great primitive camping. No crowds. Great hill country getaway and close to the river

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 reviews from our community

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English first
Melbourne, Florida
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Bobcat and Horses and Trails ... Oh My!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

This is another Texas State Park I visited in my efforts to see as many state recreation areas as I can before leaving Texas in September. Hill Country State Natural Area is seriously geared for horseback riding, including accomodations for horses. This being said, it is very good for hiking and biking, but note - Hikers & Bikers must yield to horses.

I started out my first visit by hiking several trails while scouting for a future backpacking weekend. This state recreation area offers many trails of different levels of difficulty ranging from Easy (dirt roads) to Moderate (worn trails). There were no Difficult trails I hiked; however, a few trails led to scenic hill top summits and required extra effort to hike. I actually reached one summit and was surprised, when I was met by two couples on horseback. I could not believe horses made it up the somewhat rugged trail - Wow. There are also a variety of scenic landscapes; from paths through the Cedars, Rugged Texas Hilltops, a Grassy Meadow to paths passing a Ravine (where the Bobcats live).

I backpacked into the Wilderness Campsites which lie along Trail 1 on my second visit here. This trail is a dirt road and allowed for an easy ~ 1 3/4 mile backpack into the campsites. The site I selected was tucked under a nice Oak (Site 7 - I think) and there is a cleared area in the center of the camping area that could accomdate a couple Boy Scout Troops. In fact, on day 2 of my campout a troop of Boy Scouts hiked into the area and spent the night. Those troop leaders were outstanding with the kids, as soon as it was 9:00 P.M. - you could hear a pin drop! And I though I wouldn't get much sleep with those scouts near by.

This camp area also affords some off trail exporing to the surrounding hill tops; however, there are real good trails to speed your exploring along and this reduces the risk of a Rattlesnake encounter. I did hike along a Moderately Difficult trail and was pumped when I ran across some fresh Bobcat footprints - big Bobcat footprints. I photo'd the prints and later confirmed with the Rangers the prints were Bobcat and not a small Cougar. This area lies within the Mountain Lion corridor, although, no one has seen any in some time.

I also hiked into the other "primitive" campsites; Butterfly Spings & Hermit Shack during a return trip to Hill Country State Natural Area. These were also good camping locations and were shaded sites underneath trees. It was a healthy 2 + mile hike to both camping areas which are located about 200 yards apart.

NOTE - When hiking and camping here it is definitely required to carry in your own water. The sites are equiped with picnic tables and fire rings with cooking area. There is plenty of dead debris on the ground to use, but unfortunately I did see evidence of some cut tree limbs. It was great getting into the Texas hills and experience the sometimes rugged terrain. Seeing riders on horseback on the trails was a real throw-back for a guy who grew up in New Jersey.

All-in-all, I visited Hill Country State Natural Area on 4 different trips including a weekend backpacking trip. This area is one of my favorite parks I have visited, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a hiking or camping get-a-way. If you ride horses, then, this is the bomb. And as always, the rangers in the Texas State Parks are knowledgeable and helpful.

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erding, Germany
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Nature at its best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

Texas Wildflower, beautiful landscape, great riding and walking

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Hill Country Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

For outdoor adventure, this park offers a true Texas Hill Country experience. Dog, horse, bicycle, camping and hiker friendly. They also offer seasonal hunting.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Von Ormy, TX
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Running and Sunning”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2012

This is the quintessential Texas Hill Country setting. The state has kept this area entirely rustic, though criss-crossed with wonderful trails. The rugged, chaparral/shrub/wooded natural area is within easy driving distance of San Antonio, yet it "feels" far away and exotic. The roads in and out of the park are unimproved, lending it greater isolation.
My main interest is rail running, and the natural area provides that in abundance.

Visited March 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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