Ah, Spring.…warm weather, cool breezes, fresh air. The ideal conditions for hiking. As luck would have it, Bryson is perfectly positioned for accessing some of the most beautiful trails in Texas — including the 3.2 miles of beautiful trails winding through our community.
Ready to dig out those hiking boots? Here are some tips for hiking safely along with some suggestions on where to spend the day.
Whether you’re traipsing around Bryson or hunting for the hidden waterfalls around McKinney Falls State Park, it’s important to hike safely and responsibly. Before setting out, follow these rules:- Plan ahead by looking at a map of the trails and choosing one appropriate for your level of experience and the time you have available. If you aren’t sure, consult a park ranger.
- Bring a friend. That way, there’s someone who can get help if things don’t go as planned.
- Tell someone before you leave. Let people know where you intend to hike, what time you are leaving and what time you think you will return.
- Have a plan for the unlikely event there might be an emergency.
- Prepare for different weather conditions. It might be sunny when your hike starts but could be raining by the time it ends. Dress in layers and be sure to wear a waterproof jacket and hiking boots.
- Pack essentials like extra food, plenty of water, a first aid kit, a compass, sunscreen and a flashlight.
Where to Hike
Bryson is surround by great trails. Here are some of our favorites.
Bryson Community Trails — One of our best amenities is our trail system, half of which follow along Bryson Creek. Residents love to hike up to The Overlook to get a bird’s eye view of our community.
Balcones Canyonlands Wildlife Refuge — Want to take a family field trip to see migratory birds? Post Oak Creek Trail is an easy .4-mile trek that’s perfect for birdwatching.
Bushy Creek Regional Trail — Less of a hike and more of a walk, this 7.5-mile paved trail offers scenic views and opportunities to catch a glimpse of wildlife.
Hamilton Pool Loop — An easy, 0.6-mile hike, this one is more about heading to popular Hamilton Pool than making a grueling hike. The scenic hike can be extended by taking a left on the Hamilton Pool Cutoff to a wading spot and swimming hole on the Pedernales River. Note, reservations for Hamilton Pool are required between March and October.
Lakeway Canyonlands to Rough Hollow Cove — Challenge yourself with this intermediate/difficult 6-mile in-and-out hike to see views well worth the effort. Follow the trail to Rough Hollow Cove, an inlet of Lake Travis where you can dip your feet in the water or go for a swim to cool off.
McKinney Falls State Park — Nine miles of trails means you will never get bored. Rock Shelter Trail is only for hikers and leads past historical campsites. The trail is seasonal, so check before you get there to make sure it is open.
Pedernales Falls State Park — Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced there is always a trail for you. The most popular is the Pedernales Falls Trail. Perfect for all skill levels, the 0.6-mile trail features a beautiful waterfall.
Upper Barton Creek Greenbelt — Head into Austin to enjoy a five-mile in-and-out hike on the Upper Barton Creek Greenbelt. If you don’t want to go the entire way, at least make it about 1.5 miles into to Sculpture Falls, a popular swimming hole in early summer. Keep going to reach Twin Falls.