Hiking is an enjoyable experience that also offers a whole-body workout with both physical and mental benefits. This time of year is perfect for hiking and checking out the fall foliage. The parks and trails listed below are family-friendly with absolutely gorgeous outdoor views. So put on your hiking boots and go exploring this weekend.
30 minute drive from Austin
This park offers all outdoor activities for you and your family. Even though it’s on Lake Buchanan, they have more to do than just water sports. You can play mini golf and sand volleyball, in addition to kayaking and fishing. This is a perfect weekend trip because they have RV campsites and waterfront cabins that sleep families up to five.
One hour drive from Austin
These parks are also lakeside. However they cater to those who love to camp in style. They offer cabins, RV sites, and of course, glamping tents for the families who want to explore the outdoors without going completely off the grid. Fish for bass, compete with your family in mini golf, or go through the scenic trails on a mountain bike. They have pontoon boats and golf carts at the park as well.
An hour and a half drive from Houston
This family and furbaby friendly park is great for an outdoor picnic. Spend the day canoeing and kayaking on the Lower Colorado River. They’re open from sunrise to sunset with free entrance. While this isn’t a sleepover getaway, it’s the best place for the day.
Less than a two hour drive from Houston
This park is along the Texas Gulf Coast. Your family can spend the day on the beach kayaking, fishing, or bird watching. If you’re sick of the sand, check out their golf cart rentals and mini golf course. They allow RVs, but if you want to feel like you’re on vacation, reserve one of their 10 beach bungalows opening this year. The bungalows allow up to a family of eight with a waterfront view, large deck, and even a kitchen.
1 hour and 43 minutes from San Antonio
There are over 10 miles of trails with hidden geocaches, breathtaking cliffs, starry nights and plentiful wildlife. They have campsites for the glampers with water and electricity but they also have campsites you can backpack to which are more primitive. The site sits by Medina Lake where you can also fish and swim.
43 minutes from San Antonio
Tube or canoe down the four mile river or find a more serene place in the woods where you can hike, mountain bike, or horseback ride. They have glamping tents and also provide tent equipment for those who don’t have one. This spot has activities for those experienced in the outdoors or for those looking for a guided outdoor tour.
None of these hikes are nearby? Don’t worry, there are more than 40 parks near San Antonio along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. Check out Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) Parks for another family getaway.
17 minutes from Dallas
This spot is super close to Dallas if you don’t have a lot of time for your outdoor escape. They still have hiking and biking trails but they’re less of a drive to get to. There are also places to kayak as well as rental places nearby. For a more casual day, find a spot to picnic and bird watch with the fam.
2 hours and 39 minutes from Dallas
This is definitely a spot for those looking for more water activities. While it is a bit of a drive from the city, trust me, it’s worth it. They still have the normal outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, swimming, and fishing but it is definitely more of a water experience. If you want to stay the night, they have camping sites, as well as cabins and hotels.
Cover Photo Courtesy Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations, Inc.
Maddie Rhodes is a graduate student at Syracuse University. She aspires to work for a travel magazine when she graduates.