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Colorado Bend Professional Review and Guide
"About 40 miles NE of Llano. An easy day hike through typical oak-juniper Hill Country. Special Attractions: Lush Hill Country grassland. Permit required for camping."
--Laurence Parent, Hiking Texas (Falcon Guides).
The Spicewood Springs trail is the real jewel of this park. It is best started at the top across the road from the primitive camping parking area. The trail descends downhill along the park boundary until it comes to the creek. From there, the trail follows the creek down to the river as it flows over rock outcrops, falls and travertine deposits. I enjoy wading straight down the creek, sometimes swimming across large pools. The best part of the hike is at the bottom where the creek forms a large, clear pool that is probably ten feet deep in spots. It's a great spot to stretch out in sun and take a nap, especially during the week when you will probably have it all to yourself. There are also numerous side springs and creeks along the way worth exploring. Additionally, the mountain bike trails near the entrance of the park provide a great tour of the area's Karst topography.
We were a little disappointed in our overall experience at this state park. The description leads you to believe that the scenery is lush, an oasis in the Hill Country, and very rural. The River Hiking Trail was like any other part of the Hill Country in Texas - vegetation-wise. We hiked the 2.2 miles in and made camp along the river. To our surprise, there were weekend homes on the other side of the river! :( The Gorman Waterfalls were the saving grace (looks like something in Hawaii), but it is a 7 mile drive from campground headquarters and only by guided tour (tickets $3 adult and $2 child).
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