Six Great Nature Spots in San Marcos and Austin

todayApril 6, 2022 71 1

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By Autumn McGowan
Web Content Assistant Manager

The weather is finally warming up, the green is returning to the trees and summer is well on its way. This means we can finally start to enjoy time outside and soak up the sunshine.

Thankfully, living in San Marcos and near Austin means there are no shortages of charming nature spots to spend the day with a group of friends or even to visit solo. If you recently moved to the area or just want to plan an exciting spring and summer filled with outdoor activities, keep reading!

Sewell Park

If you’ve lived in San Marcos for any amount of time, you know that Sewell Park is a great destination for those warmer spring and summer days. Located right on the San Marcos River, students have enjoyed this park for years by laying in the sun, playing frisbee or cooling off in the pristine river water.

There are even picnic areas and volleyball courts, making Sewell the perfect destination for swimming, sweating and BBQing.

The Meadows Center

Pictured is a lake with a few mossy areas on the left and right and in the distance is a tree line. The sun is out and shining and reflecting on the lake.
The sun shines in the background casting light over a wild plant at Purgatory Creek Natural Area.

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment is an important and gorgeous part of the San Marcos community. If you’ve taken any classes at Texas State, you’ve most likely been introduced to The Meadows Center in one way or another.

There are several great activities at The Meadows Center including glass-bottom boats, kayaking, scuba diving classes and sunbathing.

Visiting this Texas State landmark is not only a gorgeous way to spend your day but can also be an educational adventure as you learn about local endangered species and Hays County history.

Five Mile Dam

Five Mile Dam Park is a beautiful local spot situated on Old Stagecoach Trail. During the summer, students and families gather at this expansive park to experience the waterfalls and swimming holes that it has to offer.

There are also great hiking opportunities with views of rocky cliffs and amazing local flora and fauna.

Mary Moore Searight Park

Pictured is a field with slightly overgrown brush and above are lots of clouds in the sky.
A field at Mary Moore Searight Park.

Located in South Austin and taking up over 300 acres of land, Mary Moore Searight is a dazzling city park with several hiking and biking trails, grills, a disc golf course and more. 

It’s far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Austin that you can’t hear any traffic noises, and large enough that you can find yourself walking for a while without seeing another person on most days. There are large fields for picnicking and relaxing in and sometimes there are even secret concerts

Lost Creek

Pictured is a swimming hole with a few people seated in the middle talking to each other. On the sides and in the background are trees and bushes.
Lost Creek Swimming Hole.

Lost Creek is not exactly “lost” anymore, with hundreds of people flocking to the area every month during warmer seasons to experience the spots’ swimming holes and hiking trails, but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth the trip!

Take a ride down to Austin towards the Lost Creek Country Club, park right near the entrance, pay the entrance fee (if you dare) and begin the roughly one-mile hike down to the perfect sunny day spot that is Lost Creek.

Pro tip: If you feel like you’ve been on the trail too long, just walk a little ways further and soon you’ll hear a hoard of excited voices and splashing water.

Enchanted Rock

Pictured in the upper half of the image is a blue sky with speckled clouds and in the lower half of the image is various trees and plants on an incline at Enchanted Rock State Park.
Enchanted Rock State Park.

If you’re willing to take a little drive (almost two hours to be exact) from San Marcos to just north of Fredericksburg, you’ll find yourself at the amazing Enchanted Rock State Park.

Enchanted Rock is a pink granite mountain that offers hikers a challenging route to test out their skills. If you’re just wanting to check out the sights, there are plenty of picnic tables and even a Kona Ice truck near the base of the steepest climb, where you can relax and marvel at nature’s glory.

Hopefully, you check out some of these breathtaking spots this spring and summer. Happy trails and don’t forget your bathing suit!

Featured Image by Autumn McGowan

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