This past spring we experienced the Colorado Bend State Park for the first time and loved it! I would have never guessed there’s this sanctuary of lush greenery and aquatic splendor located in the Northern portion of the Texas Hill Country. I happened upon the Colorado Bend State Park almost by accident. Our family was looking for a new camping destination, and after the heavy rainfall ended our hopes of camping/canoeing in the Big Thicket National Forest, I started searching last minute for an alternate location. Thank goodness for Google Maps! I searched for campgrounds in the Hill Country area and discovered a number of excellent spots but Colorado Bend stood out to me for all the possible activities and water features. Located an hour and 45 minutes North West of Austin, it is a true Hill Country gem.
We weren’t able to camp in the state park itself because of our plans were last minute but fortunately there are a few private campgrounds in the area. As it would be, we’re actually glad we stayed elsewhere because it was also beautiful and adding another element to our experience. We camped at the Sulphur Springs Campground right along the Colorado River. How often can you camp right along a river?? Along the road in and out of the campgrounds, as in miles from the actual campsites, we saw a massive rattlesnake crossing the road. As interesting as it was to see one of those in the wild, I was thankful to be viewing the snake from the safety of our vehicles.
The State Park
After breaking camp that next morning we headed to the state park for the day, eager to soak up all that it had to offer. First on our list is always to find the nearest swimming hole.
These springs were stunning and great way to cool off on a warm Texas day. What I loved most about these springs was the several clear pools were spread out one after another. It was so fun to explore each of these along the picturesque trail that ran along the pools. And getting to the springs themselves involves a short, shaded hike that is also very pleasant.
When visiting the Colorado Bend State Park one simply does not miss the Gorman Falls. At 60′ in height, these falls are the tallest in the state and offer such lush splendor to the park visitors. It really is the strangest thing to come across such a magnificent waterfall in an otherwise somewhat arid landscape. The 2ish mile hike RT to the falls is a delight in itself which all kinds of Hill country flora and critters running wild. We saw deer and armadillos while on our hike. Be aware though that while the hike to the falls from the parking lot is mostly level, there are some descents right before the falls that require a bit of agility. For those short on time, once a day the park offers a shorter version of the hike from a restricted access entry point.
The park also offers mountain biking, caving, fishing, remote hiking and kayak rental which we will definitely check out next time when we have more time to spend at the Colorado Bend State Park.