Explore Hill Country State Natural Area

The Texas Hill Country region is located in central Texas. Because of its hilly scenery, this is one of the more popular areas in Texas for outdoor recreation.

Great hiking and beautiful scenery make Hill Country State Natural Area in Bandera, TX worth visiting.  Hill Country State Natural Area spans in Bandera and Medina Counties, 45 miles northwest of San Antonio. The 5369.8-acre site was received by gift and investment in 1976 and opened to the public in 1984. The majority of the site was a gift from the Merrick Bar-O-Ranch with the condition that it “be kept far removed and untouched by modern civilization, where everything is preserved intact, yet put to a useful purpose.”

The regular opening schedule is March 1 through October 31 when the park is open 7 days a week. From November 1 through February 28, the park is public from Friday noon through Sunday at 10 p.m.


The Hill Country State Natural Area is a spectacular mosaic of rocky hills, flowing springs, oak groves, grasslands, and canyons. The terrain ranges from flat, wide creek bottoms to sheer, rocky canyons up to 1900 feet in elevation. The West Verde Creek has numerous spring-fed streams, and tanks in the park provide various swimming holes with limited fishing for perch, catfish, and largemouth bass. Springwater is available for horses, but people should bring their drinking water.

Hill Country State Natural Area
Hill Country State Natural Area

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.


Recreational activity centers around 36 miles of 23 designated, multi-use trails open to backpacking, horseback riding, and mountain bicycling. Four miles are reserved strictly for horses and hikers. The park offers a backcountry environment for pursuits such as primitive camping, backpacking, limited swimming, fishing, mountain bicycling, hiking, horseback riding, equestrian camping, and flora and fauna observation.

Hill Country State Natural Area trail
Hill Country State Natural Area trail

Various adjacent ranches offer horse rentals, tours, and other accommodations through the Natural Area. Please contact the Bandera Convention and Visitors Bureau (1-800-364-3833) for more information on fees and schedules.


Hill Country State Natural Area is located at an elevation of 1900 feet. Temperatures within the park range from an average January minimum of 31 degrees and an average July maximum of 94 degrees. The park has an average annual rainfall of 35 inches. Current weather conditions can vary from day today. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.


From Bandera, travel south on State Highway 173, go across the Medina River and stretch for almost 1/4 mile to State Highway 1077, turn right and proceed 10 miles on State Highway 1077 to end of the blacktop. Proceed on the caliche road and follow the park signs to the park offices.

Endless amount of walking trails. We didn’t run into anyone until hour and a half into the trail. It was so peaceful. We had hiked for about an hour when we came onto a landing where it was utterly quiet. You couldn’t hear anything not even the wind. That moment was worth the trip.

Hill Country State Natural Area, RR 1 Box 601 , Bandera, TX, 78003, Phone: 830/796-4413


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