Fredericksburg’s Natural Attractions
Nature hangs out her sign everywhere~ German Proverb
When people think of Texas, it is often pictured as a vast expanse of flat cattle land, with an overall brown tone. One visit to Texas’s Hill Country will shatter that myth. Texas Hill Country is located in central and south Texas and includes the cities of Austin and San Antonio. The area is known for its abundant wineries and ranches. Rolling hills are covered with limestone and short shrubs.
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Fredericksburg, Texas: More than just German food!
About twenty minutes outside of Fredericksburg we encountered one of Texas’s famous natural wonders, Enchanted Rock. This granite dome is the second largest of its kind in the United States (Stone Mountain in Georgia is larger). The busy season is from September until May. Get there early (park opens at 8) during this time period. The park sometimes is filled to capacity by 11 and doesn’t reopen again until around 5 p.m.
During the off-season, you definitely want to arrive early to avoid the Texas heat! Primitive camping is allowed, but no RVs or campers. Most people come to Enchanted Rock to hike it, with the favorite being the short 6/10 of a mile, but steep climb to the summit. Also popular is the four mile loop around the base of the dome.
We did the Summit Trail at around 9 in the morning in March. By the time we left, people were really starting to stream in. It was so windy at the top, I was thankful I had on a windbreaker, but still lost my camera lens camp in the gusts. Several people were seen chasing their hats down the rock face. I was also thankful I wore shoes with good traction.
It was very apparent why the Summit Trail is closed during rainstorms– too slippery! Looking at the girls wearing flip flops trying real hard not to fall down gave me the smug satisfaction of being prepared! Hey, I don’t feel confident very often when hiking so I need to take it when I can get it!
For camping reservations call: (512) 389-8900
Address: 16710 Ranch Rd. 965, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Pets: Leased on Trail Loop, camp sites, and day-use area, not allowed on Summit Trail
Fees: $7 per person
Willow City Loop
Just outside of Fredericksburg, heading Northeast towards Llano, the landscape will start to change. If you are blessed to visit the Hill Country during wildflower season, a drive along the thirteen mile loop is a must. The loop is a winding, 2-lane trip through rugged terrain, with meandering streams and jagged cliffs. Gas up and take a potty break before you begin because you won’t find any convenience stores during your country jaunt.
Even if the wild flowers aren’t in season, the views of the cattle, grasses, and rocks will give you plenty of photo opportunities. If it is peak bluebonnet time, go during the weekday. Weekends can find the loop pretty congested with cars stopping every few miles to get an Instagram worthy picture. Make sure someone in the car is paying attention to wandering cattle and photographers or you may have more to tweet about than you intended!
If the drive through Willow Seed Loop gets you longing for your own patch of bluebonnet heaven, take the seven mile drive east of Fredericksburg to Wildseed Farm. Located on 200 acres, it is the largest wildflower farm in the United States. The nursery offers a wide variety of plants for sell. You can also order through their seed catalog or buy the seeds available at the store. We picked up several packets to try. Cross your fingers that I don’t over or under water the beauties!
The store also has a small clothing boutique and home and garden decor. I had to have these cute dancing pigs! The Brewbonnet Biergarten offers visitor snacks, sandwiches, beers, and wine. Who wouldn’t want to sit and sip some tasty Hill Country wine while watching the wildflowers sway in the wind?
Address: 100 Legacy Drive, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Hours: Open 7 Days a Week 9:30AM – 5:00PM
Fredericksburg is a beautiful, charming Texas town, known for its shopping and wineries. However, the natural landscape surrounding it is a must see all by itself. We’ll definitely be back! Stay tuned for future posts on the food, shopping, and museums in Fredericksburg.
Please share by commenting below if you have been to Fredericksburg or other parts of the Hill County. We’d love to hear from you. It helps us feel like we are not typing into a vast void. Plus I want to hear how cute you think the dancing pigs are!
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