South Llano River State Park

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Trails Information

Explore the southwestern edge of the Hill Country, where there’s something for everyone.

Illustration of armadillo
Nine-banded armadillo

Situated on the pristine spring-fed South Llano River, the park offers several miles of hiking and biking trails, water-based recreation and wildlife watching. Formerly a working ranch, South Llano River State Park is home to one of the largest Rio Grande turkey roosts in Central Texas.


All trails allow hiking and biking unless otherwise indicated.

This list may not include all the trails in the park.

Trail Distance Time Difficulty Description
Interpretive Trail 0.4 mi. 25 min. Easy Take a nice shaded stroll through bottomland hardwood forest which showcases a wide variety of trees from cedar elms to pecans, as well as several types of oaks such a chinquapin oak, live oak, red oak and shin oak.
Buck Lake Trail 1.6 mi. 1 hr. Easy Named for the family who donated the land for the state park, this oxbow lake was formerly part of South Llano River. You may see a family of beavers making their home here. The closest parking to this trailhead is about 50 yards down the road.
River Trail 1.6 mi. 1 hr. Easy As you walk along the spring-fed South Llano River, see how many animals you can spot. This trail winds back to the bottomland hardwood forest, where you will see a variety of trees.
Overlook Trail 0.9 mi. (one-way) 45 min. Moderate Want an eagle’s-eye view of the area? Park at the walk-in camping area, and hike the short but steep hill to a breathtaking vista. (No bikes on this trail due to steep grade.)
Fawn Trail 1.3 mi. 1 hr. Moderate As you walk along this trail that transitions from bottomland to upland area, be sure to note the changing plants and animals.
Mid-canyon Trail 2.5 mi. 1.5 hrs. Moderate Over 250 species of birds, including the endangered golden-cheeked warbler, have been spotted in the park. In addition to a variety of birds, this backcountry trail is a good place to spot porcupines, skunks, ringtails and white-tailed deer. Tread quietly for the best chance at viewing wildlife!
West Canyon Loop Trail 2.4 mi. 1.5 hrs. Moderate This trail leads you through a canyon and along a plateau before heading steeply downhill through thick stands of Ashe juniper mixed with hardwoods.
Frontera Trail 4.0 mi. 2.5 hrs. Moderate to Difficult A great trail for the long hike or mountain bike ride. Follow the park boundary and enjoy high-point vistas, winding single-track, and the solace you expect from a backcountry trail.
East Ridge Trail 2.8 mi. 2 hrs. Moderate On this great trail for mountain biking, you’ll see the edges of the Hill Country.
List of Trails

Points of Interest

GPS coordinates shown in decimal degrees.

Point Latitude Longitude Description
Cemetery and Outbuildings 30.4454° -99.8031° At least four of the original pioneers to the area are buried in this tranquil resting place. Visit the cemetery and explore some of their historic outbuildings. 
Buck Lake 30.4507° -99.7985° Once the main channel of South Llano River, this oxbow lake was cut off from the main river in a flood.
Scenic Overlook 30.4457° -99.7915° This short but steep hike to one of the highest points in the park provides great views of the river valley.
Canyon Seep 30.4276° -99.8014° Look for lizards and listen for canyon wrens in this shady spot where water seeps from the canyon wall.
Windmill 30.4162° -99.8033° Windmills dot the backcountry, remnants of the area’s ranching heritage.
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 helmet. When mountain biking, check with park HQ to match the trail to your skill level. Wear a helmet to protect yourself in case of a crash.
  • You may not be able to connect. It’s a good idea to take along a cell phone and GPS unit, but don’t count on them.
  • Check for trail closures. Certain trails may be closed during prescribed burns or for other resource management work. Daily closures to protect the Rio Grande Turkey roosting areas occur October through March, 3 p.m. – 10 a.m.

Trail Etiquette

  • Trash your trash. Keep the park natural. Pack out all of your trash and Leave No Trace.
  • Leave feeding to nature. Feeding wild animals will make them sick and more likely to harm people.
  • Don’t pocket the past. Help preserve Texas’ heritage. Leave artifacts where you find them and report their location to a ranger.
  • Take only memories and pictures. Help preserve nature. Leave all plants and animals in the park.
  • Keep pets on leashes for their safety, and to protect wildlife.
  • Campfires are permitted only in designated rings and not in the primitive camping area due to potential for ground scarring and wildfires.