Fall is one of the best times of year to go camping, and we have just the spot for you to enjoy it. The Texas Hill Country, located in the heart of the state is a perfect location for fall camping.
This locale combines warm, sunny daytime weather with evenings just cool enough to enjoy sitting by the fire. In fact, well into October you’ll see most days in the mid-70’s and temps that rarely dip below 50 degrees at night.
This part of the state is known for its charming towns set among a stunning landscape of rolling hills and limestone cliffs carved by tributaries of the Guadalupe and Colorado rivers. The region also boasts a diverse blend of cypress, maple, oak, sumac, and sycamore trees providing specular fall foliage to rival any autumn destination.
On the north boundary of the Hill Country is Marble Falls. One of the region’s best fall festival runs continuously through November 10 at Sweet Berry Farms. Activities for the whole family include hay rides, pumpkin painting, and scarecrow stuffing. They probably have the most unique maze I’ve even seen.
A complicated labyrinth of pathways through a field shaped like Texas. The object is to find all 12 signs that represent actual cities in Texas. The 2019 theme is “O” How I love Texas where you’ll be looking for towns that have an O in their name. Ever heard of Tornillo is?
Camp waterfront at Sunset Point on Lake LBJ.This Good Sam campground is nestled on 20 gorgeous acres with almost a mile of prime shoreline of Lake LBJ, a reservoir on the Colorado River.
Moving to the south is the town of Fredericksburg. The city’s German heritage is on display at the Pioneer Museum, which features settlers’ homesteads and artifacts.
In the nearby town square, Marktplatz, the Vereins Kirche is a replica of a 19th-century German church that once stood in the city. A highlight of the city is the National Museum of the Pacific War featuring WWII exhibits.
While you’re in area, don’t pass up a chance to hike Enchanted Rock State Natural Area! This pink granite dome rises approximately 425 feet above the surrounding terrain to elevation of 1,825 feet above sea level. With no shade on the dome, mild fall days are perfect for a hike to the summit. You’ll be rewarded with a truly spectacular view of the Texas Hill Country.
If you’re on a family camping trip, stay at the Texas Wine Country Jellystone. They have themed weekends throughout the season with organized crafts, games, and activities for the whole family to enjoy! This fall you can join in their magic pumpkin seed planting, pumpkin painting, site decorating contests, and more.
For a terrific couple’s retreat, stay at the quieter, Buckhorn Lake Resort in nearby Kerrville. It is a true resort, with beautifully landscaped full hook-up sites and an adults only hot tub and pool area set alongside a small, winding river.
Lost Maples State Natural Area
Experience one of the most scenic drives in the state as you head south to Lost Maples State Natural Area. The highway curls back and forth through the Hill Country crossing the Frio River. Experience a kaleidoscope of color as you pass bright red Sumacs, blazing yellow Cottonwoods, and burning orange Sycamores.
Lost Maples gets its namesake from the Big Tooth Maple trees that brilliantly change color in the fall. Spend your days hiking and geocaching with this large, pristine area of beautiful hills and canyons on the upper Sabinal River. The Lost Maples East Trail starts under a canopy of maples and rises 546 for has several spectacular overlooks along the 4.4-mile loop.
Fishing is also a popular activity here as the Sabinal River and Can Creek both pass through the grounds. Event better, anglers don’t need a fishing license as long as you fish from the shore or a pier.
If you’re lucky enough to get a coveted reservation, you can stay within the park at one of its 30 campsites that have both water and electricity hookups. The great thing about staying here is that it is far enough from any major city that it is well known for its spectacular evening views of global star clusters.
Be sure to head over to the Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch at nearby Love Creek Orchards. Every weekend in October you can take part in the apple orchard tours, hayrides, fun mazes, sing-a-longs, and more. Enjoy their fabulous apples, old fashioned sweet cider, and baked apple goodies!
Garner State Park
Your final destination to the southern edge of the Hill Country is out towards Garner State Park. The road climbs to some of the highest elevations in the Hill Country—up to 2,300 feet—and roadside lookouts offer great vistas of reds, greens, yellows and golds.
The park itself boasts an impressive variety of trees such as Mesquite, Texas Red Bud, Bald Cypress, Western Ash Juniper, Spanish Oak, Cedar Elm, and Pecan. Down along the river that cuts through the canyons you’ll find Cypress trees that turn a glowing orange. With the warmer fall days, you can still partake in the abundance of water activities. Bring your canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards or rent one there. You can also fish along the 10 waterfront acres of the Frio River (again without a permit).
If you’re feeling adventurous, hike up Old Baldy, the park’s iconic hill. It’s a short but challenging hike, requiring some scrambling in places to get up the 400-foot bluff. If you don’t want to brave that enjoy some of the ranger-led activities or search out one of the many geocaches hidden around the park.
Camp at one of the park’s 347 sites and get ready for some serious fall fun! Don’t forget to bring your bikes either. It really is the best way to get from the camping areas to the rest of the park. Bicycles are even allowed on some trails like the Madrone Walkway, Old Entrance Road, Highway Trail, Frio Canyon Trail, and Ashe Juniper Trail.
As you can see with terrific weather, stunning limestone bluffs, scenic rivers and all the fall foliage your heart can desire, the Texas Hill Country is a fabulous fall camping destinations.
Have anywhere in the Texas Hill Country you’ve traveled and would recommend? Leave a comment below!