Hill Country State Natural Area

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About Hill Country State Natural Area

Lace up the ol’ hiking boots cause you’ve got over 5,000 acres of hill country to explore! From hiking and biking over trickling spring-fed streams and rocky limestone hills to taking a plunge in the bracing cool waters of a swimming hole, you’ll stay plenty busy at Hill Country State Natural Area. Horseback riding is a top notch activity here, too; literally, as you’ll find notches high up on hitching posts as well as water for horses scattered throughout the nature area, along with miles of equestrian trails to explore. But bring drinking water for yourself - this stuff’s for galloping creatures only. When it comes to camping, choose between “roughin’ it” and “roughin’ it even more”: there’s walk-in, equestrian, and even backcountry campsites up for grabs. Designated natural areas like Hill Country are more primitive and less features-rich than state parks, so be sure to pack everything you think you’d need for a day or two of backcountry fun.

Campgrounds in Hill Country

Comanche Bluff Campground

1. Comanche Bluff Campground

Located on the far east side of Hill Country, the Comanche Bluff Campground offers overnight stays close to some rough and rewarding hiking trails...

8 Saves
Butterfly Springs Campground

2. Butterfly Springs Campground

Like its nearby neighbor to the north, Hermit’s Shack campground, Butterfly Springs is a bit of a hike from the main park hub -- three miles, to be...

2 Saves
Chaquita Falls Campground

3. Chaquita Falls Campground

Nestled next to West Verde Creek and not far from a breathtaking scenic overlook, the Chaquita Falls Campground occupies some prime park real...

Martín: Great spot for groups with mixed outdoor comfort levels. You're far enough from camp roadways and not quite "car camping" but...
2 Saves
West Verde Creek Campground

4. West Verde Creek Campground

Wake up to the sound of clear, cold water rushing over rocks when you pitch a tent at West Verde Creek Campground, named after the creek it rests...

1 Save
Chapa’s Group Campground

5. Chapa’s Group Campground

Ready for the best, most massive slumber party for you and your four-legged friends (of the horse variety)? The Chapa’s group equestrian campground...

Trailhead Equestrian Campground

6. Trailhead Equestrian Campground

Ride, Sally, ride … your horse on the 50 miles of trails that lead right out of this equestrian campground. The six sites here come with fire rings...

Bar-O Developed Equestrian Area

7. Bar-O Developed Equestrian Area

If you’ve rode into town without a campsite reservation, you and your horse can try to snag one of the first-come, first-served spots at Bar-O. But...

Hermit’s Shack Campground

8. Hermit’s Shack Campground

Hermit’s Shack is a bit of a misnomer -- with another whole campground just to the south, chances are you won’t be alone out here. Located in the...


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Hipcamper Martín

Great spot for groups with mixed outdoor comfort levels. You're far enough from camp roadways and not quite "car camping" but you're also close enough to lug in all the comforts you need to accommodate your less camp ready friends.

Additionally, the 4 lots are nicely spaced out giving you a bit more privacy and minimizing noise levels of those nearby.

We spotted wild turkey right next to camp and were able to take the nearest trail to the main part of the park rather than driving on the roads. Great spot.

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History of Hill Country State Natural Area

Hill Country State Natural Area is located in Bandera and Medina counties, 45 miles northwest of San Antonio. The 5,369.8-acre site was acquired by gift and purchase in 1976 and was opened to the public in 1984. The bulk of the site was a donation from the Merrick Bar-O Ranch with the stipulation that it "be kept far removed and untouched by modern civilization, where everything is preserved intact, yet put to a useful purpose."