Texas winters are mostly perfect for hiking. Two top-notch places for hitting the trail are Pedernales Falls State Park east of Johnson City and Inks Lake State Park southwest of Burnet.
Pedernales State Park boasts several miles of trails just begging to be explored. The fall and winter temperatures make day hiking even more pleasant. Just be careful along the river. Even a little rain can turn the Pedernales into a rollicking river. The park is found east of Johnson City on FM 2766.
Inks Lake State Park with its granite outcroppings offers great places to take in the view. Take the Stumpy Hollow Nature Hike led by a certified Master Naturalist. For more, call the park at (512) 793-2223. You can find the park six miles west of U.S. 281 in Burnet County on Park Road 4.
Speaking of granite, you always can head to Enchanted Rock for one of the most unique experiences in Texas. The park has several trails, including one that leads to the top of the outcropping. For more, call the park at (830) 685-3636. The park is located south of Llano and north of Fredericksburg on RR 965.
Colorado Bend State Park is home to Gorman Falls and numerous caves. To find the park, go north on U.S. 281 to Lampasas and from the U.S. 281 and U.S. 183 intersection take FM 580 west 24 miles to Bend. Follow the signs to the park entrance.
Another great area for a hike is the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge on the eastern edge of Burnet County. The refuge encompasses thousands of protected acres and several hiking trails. A great jumping off point is the Doeskin Ranch on FM 1174 north of RR 1431. For more, visit www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/balcones.