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Hill Country State Natural Area

10600 Bandera Creek Rd
Bandera TX 78003

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Tucked away in the rugged terrain southwest of Bandera is Hill Country State Natural Area, an undeveloped and secluded retreat. Approximately 40 miles of multi-use trails wind up grassy valleys, cross spring-fed streams, and climb steep limestone hills. Equestrians, hikers and mountain bikers can enjoy exploring the trails. Primitive and backcountry camping areas are available to equestrian and non-equestrian campers.

History: Hill Country State Natural Area is located in Bandera and Medina Counties, 45 miles northwest of San Antonio. The 5369.8-acre site was acquired by gift and purchase in 1976 and was opened to the public in 1984. The bulk of the site was a donation from the Merrick Bar-O-Ranch with the stipulation that it "be kept far removed and untouched by modern civilization, where everything is preserved intact, yet put to a useful purpose."

Picture of water at Hill Country State Natural Area.

Activities: Recreational activity centers around 40 miles of designated, multi-use trails. The park offers a backcountry setting for activities such as primitive camping, backpacking, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, equestrian camping, flora and fauna observation, and limited swimming and fishing (3 designated swimming areas are on West Verde Creek. Moderate fishing opportunities for catfish, perch, and large-mouth bass. Tours: Various adjacent ranches offer horse rentals, tours, and other accommodations through the Natural Area. For information call the Bandera County Convention and Visitors bureau at 1-800-364-3883 or visit their web site at www.banderacowboycapital.com

Special Notes:

Area Attractions: Nearby interests are Guadalupe River State Park and Garner State Park; Lost Maples State Natural Area; Kerrville-Schreiner Park; numerous dude ranches; kayak/tube rentals on the Medina River; regional rodeos; and other special events in the towns of Bandera, Medina, and Pipe Creek. For information more information on this area visit the Bandera County Convention and Visitors bureau web site at www.banderacowboycapital.com

Volunteer Information: For information on volunteer opportunities contact the park or their Friends Group: Hill Country State Natural Area Partners (S.N.A.P.) P.O. Box 2282, Bandera, TX 78003. Go here for information on volunteer and Park Host opportunities at other Texas State Parks.


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Natural Features: The Hill Country State Natural Area is a scenic mosaic of rocky hills, flowing springs, oak groves, grasslands, and canyons. The terrain ranges from flat, broad creek bottoms to steep, rocky canyons up to 2000 feet in elevation. The West Verde Creek has several spring-fed streams, and tanks in the park provide several swimming holes with limited fishing for catfish, perch, and large-mouth bass. Spring water is available for horses, but people should bring their own drinking water.

Large numbers of birds live in the park. Deer, armadillos, raccoons, ringtail cats, rabbits and rodents as well as various reptiles can also be viewed. In addition, several different plant communities reside in the park.

More information on the wildlife mentioned here:

Elevation: Up to 2000.
Weather: Average January minimum 31, average July maximum 94, average annual rainfall 35.


Directions: From Bandera, travel south on State Highway 173, go across the Medina River and continue for approximately 1/4 mile to State Highway 1077, turn right and go 10 miles on Ranch Road 1077 to end of the black top. Continue on the caliche road and follow the park signs to the park headquarters.

Current conditions including, fire bans & water levels, can vary from day to day. For more details, contact the park.

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