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Austin, TX: Inks Lake State Park

Scramble over granite faces, clamber past cacti-peppered rock gardens, and wind your way through Texas Hill Country on this 4.9-mile loop on the south side of Inks Lake State Park.

Rating

This lollipop loop begins near park headquarters and winds south, tracing the southeast edge of Inks Lake, before starting a 4.2-mile clockwise loop. The wide, easy trail wanders toward the Pecan Flats area—look for the shady trees that are native to the area—and through the park’s backcountry campground. You’ll pass a primitive restroom facility at mile 1 and begin looping west alongside a granite ridge. The trail narrows and gets more rugged (look for the quartz that covers the ground in places). You’ll bypass several right-hand trails that shortcut segments of the loop, but this route stays left, alternating between shade and open areas with stunning Hill Country views around every corner. The trail crosses several drainages, follows a dirt road briefly, and crosses swaths of granite as cruises cedar and oak woods.
After passing under a large powerline, pause for nice views of Inks Lake before rounding the loop’s northwest corner and turning left to cross the park road. This route turns right at the T-junction with the green-marked loop and offers more nice lake views before dipping toward its shore and closing the loop. Backtrack just 0.3 mile to the parking lot.
-Mapped by Melissa Gaskill

To Trailhead

From Austin, drive north on I-35 and take exit 240B onto US 183 N. In 26 miles, turn left onto TX 29 and drive 32.4 miles west, through Burnet, to Park Road 4 W. Turn left onto Park Road 4 W and drive 3.4 miles to park headquarters and the trailhead on your right.

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