23. Take A Hike!
One thing I enjoy about living in Texas is that you can get outside and walk almost any time of the year. Not gonna lie-Texas Summer is Insanely Hot! To go for a walk or hike during the late afternoon in Summer around here is basically like asking to be turned into a little pile of smoking ash…at least when you’re a German/Irish girl from Chicago. Hello! So, I just stick to long morning or evening walks with my dog at this time of year. With that said, the rest of the year is great for getting outdoors at any time of day!
Last week, I hit the trail at Brushy Creek Lake Park in Cedar Park. Lots of folks were out and about enjoying the day and the wide open spaces. I saw people jogging, walking their dogs, and quite a few folks fishing. Apparently, this is a good spot to catch catfish, bass, and crappie.
This 90 acre park has lots to do for the whole family! You can canoe and kayak, play sand volleyball, let the kids run wild at the splash pad, relax in a shady picnic area, or poke around with your camera, like I do, and look for nature shots!
There are loads of parks and hiking trails to explore in the greater Austin area and these are just a few of the popular ones in the north burbs, where I live…
The park is beautiful in the spring. There’s a playscape, fishing pond, donkeys to feed, running/walking trails, camping, pavilions to rent for parties, bathrooms, and lots and lots of pecan trees (i.e nuts!!). Definitely make the pilgrimage here with the family. Bring lunch, do nut picking and stay awhile. Feel free to bring Fido-they are dog friendly.
This park is a bit rocky but dogs love it! I recommend hiking shoes because the rocky terrain can be slippery with just gym shoes. Cedar Breaks is an excellent hiking spot because, even in the hottest months of the year, you’ll stay pretty comfortable because most of the trail is shaded. There is a lovely waterfall to enjoy about 3 miles from the parking lot.
Lake Georgetown is a heavenly spot for hikers with beautiful views of the lake all the way around on the San Gabriel trail. The intensity level is moderate given a rolling landscape with places you need to watch your footing due to rocky formations. There’s plenty of insect and animal life to be spotted along the trail and look for spectacular wildflower displays during the early spring. A section of the trail runs next to private property where you can see iconic Texas longhorns lazily grazing. There’s even a small waterfall! This hike is ideal for anybody who enjoys nature photography.
Helpful Hint: If you’re a budding nature photographer like me, this is a top rated DSLR camera for beginners who want to create professional pics and have a ‘user-friendly’ experience!
One of the great things about Blue Hole Park is that it is conveniently located just five blocks north of the downtown Georgetown Square along North Austin Avenue. The park features picnic areas, restrooms, and wading areas. It’s nicely kept and can get quite crowded in the late afternoon. You can bring a tent for some shade, a small grill, canned beers (no glass containers). Don’t forget to bring your floats and wear water shoes or sandals with good tread-the rocks are slippery! Free public parking is available at the corner of 3rd Street and Rock Street in the parking lot or the parking garage.
If you don’t feel like getting in the car and driving anywhere, you can always just head right out your front door and go for a walk. Enjoy the fresh air, get those steps in, and, if you’re into taking pics, the Summer skies in Texas offer a Yuge variety of photo ops! I took these pics right in my neighborhood this last week as a storm was approaching…
Friendly Tip: If you do go out and about during the Texas Summer, make sure you wear sunscreen and drink lots of water! Happy Hiking!