- Drive from Austin: 96 miles/ 1 hour 45 minutes
- Where am I? Bend, TX - Northwest of Austin
- Hike: Spicewood Springs - easy walking trail from the campsites to the springs. Great path along the pools and waterfalls fed by Spicewood Springs.
- Food: We stopped for our groceries at HEB in Lampasas, about 30 minutes from the state park
I think I'd have to say Colorado Bend State Park has been my favorite so far.
We were having no luck booking a campsite in advance, due to increase in popularity, so we put it off for awhile. But one day, we chose to just make a day trip out of it and go for a few hikes and hope for a campsite if possible. Although there were no more drive-up sites available, there were plenty of walk-in sites. Generally this would scare people off if they needed to carry all their gear a mile to a campsite. But luckily, the distance from the parking lot to the site was about 25 yards. We got an awesome spot in the grass on the river, near trees for our hammock, and had plenty of separation from other spots.
The park rangers were super friendly and let us know of a few great hikes in the area. At 2:00 on Saturday's, they will open the gates, so you can drive to an accessible entrance to see Gorman Falls. Hiking it wouldn't have been worth it- it's mostly a dirt road, no view. The falls was amazing. Following the falls, we went back to camp and then hiked to the natural springs.
Unfortunately, our dog got super sick starting around 7pm, forcing us to pack up camp around 5am in the dark and get him to an emergency animal hospital. Note to self: Rye is allergic to chicken.
And nothing beats a great day of sun and hikes like dinner and beers around a campfire. Highly recommend Colorado Bend.