Colorado Bend State Park is located in the Texas Hill Country 10 miles above Lake Buchanan and west of Lampasas. This 5,328 acre park has numerous activities to offer, both on land and in the water.
The park currently offers the outdoor enthusiast access to primitive camping, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, swimming, paddling, birding, wildlife viewing, and guided tours of caves and waterfalls.
Colorado Bend State Park has several miles of Colorado River frontage which eventually flows into Lake Buchanan. When the river levels are normal paddlers can travel upstream as well as down to explore or access the park by river. When Lake Buchanan is near normal levels, the river is navigable from the park’s boat ramp all the way to the lake, approximately 10 miles. In this area the river is characterized by slow moving water through the beautiful canyon lands of the Colorado.
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Texas Outside enjoys hiking, mountain biking, swimming in the river, and kayaking or tubing the Colorado River.
There is nothing like waking up to the sounds of birds singing and the river trickling along. Everything at Colorado Bend State Park is in perfect harmony and it's a contagious feeling. Not long after opening our eyes, out comes the percolator and the fresh coffee beans! Then a leisurely morning is spent cookin' up a tasty Over The Campfire breakfast. While the food is cookin', we love to sit around the campfire and just take in this amazing place.
The unique beauty of this park touches each and every campsite. Breakfast is Monkey Muffin's and Sausage In A Sleeping Bag, with fresh coffee, and orange juice. Now that the tummy is fueled and at maximum happy, time to hit the trails! No matter how many times we visit this park, you can never go without paying a visit to Gorman Falls. The hike down Gorman Falls Trail offers a challenge to the beginner hiker and should be as easy as the breeze for intermediate hikers. Beautiful perfectly stacked rock formations line the trail. You will come across a variety of trees, fields of wild flowers (depending on the time of year), cactus, and amazing Hill Country views.
Wildlife is extremely abundant at this park so don't be surprised if you encounter a herd of deer eating on the native vegetation. Then the reward at the end of the trail, Gorman Falls. A spectacular 65 foot water fall and several smaller falls are not the only thing you'll be in awe of. You would think it was Photo Shopped if you weren't seeing it with your own two eyes. This area has been graced with unique beauty!
After the hike, it's river time! Down at the river, the backdrop of your view is the amazing brown, orange, red, and gray mountain with typical Texas Hill Country tree's, grasses, and cactus at the top. With Bald Eagles and other birds flying circling overhead - sitting in the water observing nature is one of our favorite things to do at the park. Many times we have had deer cross the river within 10 yards of us.
If you want some more action, then grab your river tubes - we know of a secret swimming spot not too far down the river or break out your fishing pole because the fish are abundant!
Now rejuvenated from the water activities, it's lunch time! That's right, we take food times seriously! How about some Campfire Bock Bock - fire grilled chicken rubbed with our signature seasonings, served with BBQ sauce, and our Dutch Oven Corn Bread on the side. After lunch the tummy is once again at maximum happiness. This signals one thing, nap time! The windows in the tent are down, the breeze is sweeping through, and we are like fat cats on our cots.
Although it would be easy to sleep the day away, there's to many fun things to do. With such great hiking opportunities we usually hit the trails again until evening. Then it's time to build a fire, break out the Dutch Ovens, Cast Iron Skillets, and the camp stoves! That’s right, it's dinner time! This evenings menu consists of:
- Garden Herb Pork - pork tenderloin marinated in a variety of herbs, then open flame grilled to perfection
- Corn On The Cob - buttered, seasoned, then wrapped in aluminum foil, and placed over the fire
- Rosemary Potatoes- red potatoes cooked with rosemary, extra virgin olive oil, and other wonderful seasonings
All we have to do now is remember to save room for the Dutch Oven Apple Cobbler. After the feastin’, comes the relaxin’! With a mesmerizing campfire, we usually tell stories, and share our enthusiasm for the days adventures to come.
Time can be nearly lost in the beauty, so when the adventure draws to an end, you will take the memories with you for a lifetime.
Less than an hour away is Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Enchanted Rock was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1970 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
The Rock is a huge, pink granite exfoliation dome that rises 425 feet above ground, 1825 feet above sea level, and covers 640 acres. It is one of the largest batholiths (underground rock formation uncovered by erosion) in the United States. Adventurers can enjoy primitive backpacking, camping, hiking, technical climbing as well as rock climbing, picnicking, geological study, bird watching, and star gazing.
Free Spirit Adventures has a Colorado Bend State Park and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area Combined Exploration Adventure available in June 2011.
Some of the content and pictures is thanks to Texas Parks & Wildlife and Free Spirit Adventures.