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What better way to capture the spirit of Texas than saddling up for a horseback ride through the Hill Country.

For an exciting equestrian experience, check out Colbert Ranch, a 250-acre family-owned ranch that was once home to dinosaurs and wooly mammoths. (They have the footprints to prove it!)

Located in Bertram, Colbert Ranch offers trail rides and other activities for those yearning to see the Highland Lakes from a saddle. It’s also a great place to have a party. You can rent a pavilion complete with chuck wagon, musical entertainment and hikes with naturalists who can tell you all about the countryside.

But let’s get back to the horses!

Horseback riding trails can be found at several of the Lower Colorado River Authority parks. Check out Shaffer Bend Recreational Area east of Marble Falls off RR 1431 on CR 343A for a traipse through the wilderness. (Bring your own horse!) Other trails can be found at the LCRA website at Click on Parks and then search for equestrian trails for maps and directions.

Pedernales Falls State Park outside Johnson City also is a nice spot for riders. It offers up to 10 miles of trails. For more, visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s website at and look under the State Parks and Destinations link. The park is on FM 2766.