Inks Lake State Park

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Trails Information

Explore this oasis in the Hill Country!

ink drawing of great blue heron headDespite its size, the park has lots of ways to discover the wonders of nature as you cross creeks and walk over rocks more than a billion years old. You'll find a plethora of wildlife viewing opportunities and places to connect to the outdoors on over eight miles of trail.


This list may not include all trails in the park.

Trail Distance Time Difficulty Description
Connecting Trail 0.6 mi. 30 min. Moderate As the name suggests, this connects the Pecan Flats Trail to the Woodland Trail. Experience rocky outcrops and hilly sections while seeing a diversity of cactus and tree species.
Fisherman's Trails 1 mi. 30 min.  Easy Single track trail that leads from the South Fishing Pier and camping loops to the lake, and provides access to several great fishing spots.
Lake Trail 1.2 mi. 45 min. Easy to Moderate Trek through wooded lowlands and a riparian area along Stumpy Hollow to reach large rock outcroppings and vernal pools. These pools are home to unique plants and animals, like fairy shrimp and rock quillwort, so it’s important to stay out of them. Park at trailhead parking lot near Park HQ to access this trail or connect to it from the Fisherman’s Trails.
Pecan Flats Trail 1.8 mi.  1.5 hrs. Moderate Hike through two distinct ecosystems on this trail. The first 0.75 miles travels through an enchanting pecan forest and is wide and level enough for strollers and some wheelchairs. Once you pass the Cutoff Trail, the path becomes rugged and leads to several scenic views. In spring and summer, this stretch is a great place to see wildflowers. Park either at the trailhead parking near Park HQ or in the designated parking lot on Park Road 4 (no overnight parking permitted on Park Road 4).
Valley Spring Creek Trail 0.9 mi. 45 min. Easy Starting at Devil's Waterhole, this scenic trail takes you along Spring Creek before looping back through oaks, juniper and mesquite woodlands.
Woodland Trail 2.2 mi. 1.5 hrs. Moderate This rugged backcountry trail takes you through oak woodlands, over rocky outcrops, and provides scenic views. Much of this hike is unshaded — bring plenty of water for this remote trail and plan to hike in the morning during the summer. Parking is available along Park Road 4 or park at the trailhead parking lot near Park HQ and hike the Lake Trail to connect with the Woodland Trail.
Devil's Backbone Nature Trail 1.2 mi. 45 min. Moderate Enjoy vistas of Inks Lake while you discover more about the plants that line the lakeshore and the granite. You can access this interpretive trail from either the Valley Spring Creek Trail or the Bird Blind, two miles north of Park HQ on Park Road 4. The gate code for the Bird Blind is available at Park HQ.
Devil's Waterhole Nature Trail 0.2 mi. 7 min. Easy This short trail takes you from the parking lot to Devil’s Waterhole and the Valley Spring Creek Trail. After a steep section at the beginning of the trail, the terrain levels off and is accessible by strollers and some wheelchairs.
List of Trails

Points of Interest

GPS coordinates shown in decimal degrees.

Point Latitude Longitude Description
Bird Blind (Wildlife Viewing Station) 30.7470° -98.3686° Built by Master Naturalists, this beautiful viewing station is an excellent spot to go birding.
Devil's Waterhole Scenic Overlook 30.7480° -98.3609° Stop off Park Road 4 to get a great view of Devil's Waterhole and the east end of the park.
Valley Spring Creek Waterfall 30.7485° -98.3566° When Spring Creek is flowing, you can't miss this gorgeous waterfall - it also makes a great place to swim!
Devil's Waterhole 30.7477° -98.3593° An iconic swimming hole where Spring Creek and Inks Lake meet. Makes an excellent kayak/canoe destination. Swim at your own risk!
Spring Creek Delta 30.7465° -98.3613° A very shallow part of the lake caused by a delta formation from sediments carried into the lake by Spring Creek. Perfect for fishing, swimming, and as a kayak/canoe destination.
Park Road 4 30.7372° -98.3684° This 15-mile historic road was built by the CCC and offers a beautiful drive through the Hill Country.
Stumpy Hollow 30.7322° -98.3679° A popular fishing area and wildlife viewing spot where a section of the lake did not get cleared, leaving many treetops poking up out of the water.
1000 Foot Overlook of Inks Lake 30.7305° -98.3644° At exactly 1,000 feet of elevation, the overlook has a grand view of Inks Lake, Buchanan Dam, and the Hill Country that surrounds you.
List of Points of Interest

Staying Safe

  • Know your limits. Prepare for sun and heat. Wear sunscreen, insect repellent and appropriate clothing/hiking shoes.
  • Drink plenty of water. Your body quickly loses fluids when you’re on the trail. Bring a quart (32 oz.) of water per hour of activity.
  • Tell others where you’ll be. If possible, avoid exploring alone. Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Wear a life jacket. The law requires that all children under age 13 wear one with adult supervision while boating.
  • Weather changes quickly. Check forecasts before you leave and prepare for changes in the weather.
  • Potentially harmful plants and animals live here. You’ll see them more easily if you stay on trails. Do not approach wildlife!

Trail Etiquette

  • Trash your trash. Pack out all of your trash and Leave No Trace.
  • Leave feeding to nature. Feeding wild animals will make them sick. Please do not feed them.
  • Take only memories and pictures. Please don't disturb or remove any of the park's plants, animals, rocks or artifacts.
  • Keep pets on leashes for their safety, and to protect wildlife.
  • Campfires are only permitted in fire rings due to potential for ground scarring and wildfires.
  • We need to know about your caches. Please obtain a permit from HQ before placing geocaches within the park.