Summer weather may be coming to a close, but the Texas heat is just beginning to settle. You and yours have plenty of chances to get off the couch, cool down, and enjoy the great outdoors. Pack your bags and adventure out this fall – see something new and beautiful that brings you joy and feeds your spirit.
Start your journey with a visit to Guadalupe River State Park, less than thirty minutes from Boerne. Most visitors come here to cool off with a swim in the spring-fed waters. The riverbanks entice those looking to fish, tube, and canoe. If you are hoping to stay dry, the park itself lends itself to a plethora of outdoor activities. Have a picnic, find peace bird watching, or do some thrill seeking with mountain bikes or horseback riding. Explore 13 miles of hike and bike trails. There are so many ways to enjoy the epic hill country scenery, with its beautiful cliffs and towering cypress trees. Camping is also an option – just make sure you check the Texas Parks And Wildlife website for any closures. Remember to keep in mind that Styrofoam and glass are not allowed along the riverbanks and while in the river.
If you aren’t willing to settle for just one state park this fall (and why should you?), let your curiosity lead you to exploring Blanco State Park, 104.6-acres stretching along a mile of the Blanco River. This hilly and diverse park contains several wildlife viewing stations, along with places to camp and picnic. The park even offers screened shelters along the river which allow up to eight people per site. The cabins include water, electricity, picnic tables, and a fire ring with a grill if you are looking to take your camping to the next level. For those who can’t get enough time in the refreshing waters, take to making a splash. The Blanco River is wonderful for swimming, fishing, paddling, and boating options. Fishing enthusiasts do not need a license to fish from shore within the park and will find the river teeming with trout and large mouth bass, especially during the winter season when Texas Parks and Wildlife stocks the river with trout.
Outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers should add at least one more stop to your fall travel checklist. Check out the Old Tunnel State Park, the historic railroad tunnel of the Fredericksburg and Northern Railway, which stopped its operations in 1942. Since being reclaimed as a state park, the deserted railroad tunnel now hosts over 3 million Mexican free-tailed bats and 3,000 cave myotis bats. You can catch this amazing sight through the end of October. Arrive before the sun sets to witness the bats as they take flight into the night. You will have the choice to view the bat emergence from the two free upper viewing areas, or you can participate in a lower viewing area tour. If you are interested in enhancing your overall bat knowledge, there are several educational programs that take place throughout the week. Contact the park for more information on how to participate. Additionally, be sure to inquire before you visit due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. At this time, no more than ten people are allowed in each bat viewing area. With a little extra planning, you can still witness this extraordinary occurrence.
With so many of us cooped up indoors, struggling to find inspiration from behind our computer screens, it’s time to step outside and into the sunshine. There are many outdoor options just beyond your backyards. We hope these suggestions will inspire you to want to explore more. Step outside, take in a breath of fresh air, and take on a new adventure. Play safely as you hit the open road.