Out of all the states, Texas offers some of the best spots for hiking due to the sheer diversity in terrain. Whether you want to hike steep mountains or flat, swampy grasslands, you can find plenty of beautiful places to explore here. With over 70 national and state parks scattered all over the state, there’s never a shortage of opportunities to take in Mother Nature here. So, grab your backpack, water bottles, and best friends, because these 15 amazing hiking spots are calling your name!
15) Big Bend National Park
Arguably the best place to go hiking in the entire state of Texas, Big Bend is a hiker's paradise with over 150 miles of trails. Both experienced backpackers and day hikers alike will enjoy the boundless beauty of this West Texas masterpiece.
14) Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
West of Austin in Marble Falls, this beautiful wildlife refuge offers seven miles of trails, including one called the Rimrock Trail, which takes you to the top of a plateau and lends the perfect view to the striking beauty of the Texas Hill Country.
13) Big Thicket National Preserve
Located near Kountze, there are about 40 miles of trails in this biologically diverse national forest, and you can choose from 8 different trails. Keep your eyes peeled for butterflies, rabbits, snakes, alligators, and even carnivorous plants like the pitcher plant!
12) Pedernales Falls State Park
See those rocks? Well, you can actually climb all over them, just be careful not to fall in the river (I almost did once). Besides the area with the rocks on Pedernales River, you can also enjoy other trails, such as the Equestrian Trail, and the Wolf Mountain trail, which offers an expansive view of the hill country from 1000 feet up.
11) Guadalupe Peak - Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Located 110 miles east of El Paso, the drive way out west is totally worth it. If you can hike the 3,000 ft to the top of the peak, you will be at 8,749 feet, the highest point in Texas. On a clear day, you might even spot the distant sierras on the other side of the border. Talk about a great view.
10) Enchanted Rock
You can't really call yourself a Texan until you've seen this giant mass of molten magma 18 miles north of Fredericksburg. The hike to the top of the rock is challenging, no doubt about it, but you'll be rewarded with a panoramic view of the rugged hill country below.
9) Lost Maples State Natural Area
When you go hiking here, you will feel like you've been transported to Vermont. Located on the Edwards Plateau 5 miles north of Vanderpool, the bigtooth maples give the park its name. Obviously, you'll want to come in the fall to experience the full display of fall colors.
8) Davy Crockett National Forest
US Forest Service - Southern Region/Flickr
20 miles east of Crockett, this national forest boasts amazing views of cypress and pine trees, winding creeks, and at the base, Lake Ratcliff. The Four C National Hiking Trail makes a great day hike for people of all ages.
7) Wolf Mountain Trail
I couldn't possibly leave this one out - it offers some of the most spectacular views of the hill country from the top of the mountain. Located in Pedernales Falls State Park, the 7-mile loop makes for a wonderful day hike, and you can hear a pin drop at the summit. It's really that quiet.
6) McKinney Roughs Nature Park
Located 8.4 miles west of Bastrop, 16 miles of trails lead to rocky canyons, wide open meadows, and spectacular views of the Colorado River snaking its way through the park.
5) Palo Duro Canyon
With more than 30 miles of hiking trails, the Palo Duro Canyon located in Canyon, TX near Amarillo will leave you breathless, both from the challenging hike and the beautiful views.
4) Seminole Canyon State Park
One of the oldest cave dwellings in North America, this state park located in Comstock offers five different hiking trails and a beautiful overlook of the Rio Grande Reservoir. Plus, you can take a guided tour of the Fate Bell Shelter, where you can view plenty of ancient Native American rock paintings.
3) Garner State Park
Located in Concan, Texas, this scenic park has over 11 miles of trails overlooking the Frio River and the rocky hill country terrain.
2) Colorado Bend State Park
A whopping 32 miles of trails awaits you at this diverse state park in Bend, TX. You'll get to see impressive hills, deep canyons, and the 60 ft tall waterfall, Gorman Falls.
1) Sam Houston National Forest
Located in Huntsville, Texas, you can hike on the impressive 128-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail that winds through the forest. Spread out over 4 different counties, you'll probably have to make several trips to see all of the trails throughout the area.
Don’t these gorgeous photos of Texas’ wonderfully diverse landscape just make you want to get lost in nature for hours? Let me know some more of your favorite hiking spots so I can add them to my ever-growing list!