The first trip to Blanco state park mainly was for splashing around, so on the follow-up adventure, it was essential to get on some trails and see what it’s like hiking at Blanco State Park. Make sure you visit the original post for a full park breakdown.
Two Main Trails for Hiking at Blanco State Park
This park is really small. It’s in the middle of town, and the neighborhood is literally on the other side of the fence. You’ll see the locals driving by, and you’ll hear sounds of the city, but there is a good feeling of being outdoors here.
The Blanco river is always feet away as you hike here, but you can definitely explore the entire park grounds if you want to get into the trees a little more. Especially walking around the camping loop.
The two main trails here are the Pumphouse trail (.3 miles round trip), and the Caswell nature trail (.8 miles roundtrip).
Both of these trails are rated as easy, but they both offer something a little different in terms of what you can enjoy walking around.
Caswell Nature Trail
Start from the road that leads into the camping area to access the trailhead for this trail. On the last visit the trees were abundant, so there is some shade, but know that also means the trail, in general, felt unkept and overgrown.
This is a small loop trail, but you may miss the left portion of the loop going in. Stay to the right and hike along the broken gravel road to be immersed in the trees. The sounds of the town compete with the sounds of the birds as you eventually walk along a fence line when you pass the road overhead.
Slow down for the canopy created by the bent tree branches that welcome you along the trail. Probably the best part of this trail.
Eventually, you’ll hike past a bench to rest and right after that, you’ll come to the “end” of the loop. You’ll see old Civilian Conservation Corps stonework, and from here you can hike down to view the CCC dam that still remains.
On this visit the drought in Texas had been pretty brutal, so water flow was almost non-existent. The Blanco river is not super reliable in terms of flow, but once water gets moving this whole section of the river is lovely.
With the water down you can walk across the dam and you’ll be in the day-use area of the park. Here you’ll see some areas to sit and have a picnic or just watch the ducks quack at each other.
Hike back up where you went down and you’ll see the other side of the loop a little clearer.
This side of the loop was where nature seemed to take hold of the trail. Be mindful of the plant life and pay attention to any plants that may be poison ivy.
There are a few sections here that offer some great rock cliff features, and one large enough that could have even been used as a shelter. One of the neatest parts of the trail not manmade.
The Pumphouse trail is a little more refined, but a little more open.
Right after you begin the trail on the crushed rock you’ll see a recent addition for anyone looking to catch a glimpse of some birds.
The bird blind looked fairly new, but once you walked in the scenery looked like it hadn’t been touched in some time. Empty bird baths and a sad landscape didn’t provide enough to attract any birds on this visit.
Continue on to discover a historic structure that is believed to house items that helped with the river. The pumphouse is a small building without a door, and a bit overgrown. Best to view from a distance.
This trail has a bit of a loop to it, and the section below gives a better view of the pump house.
This is also where you’ll find point of interest number 5 on the map: scenic overlook.
Truth be told, not much of an overlook and not much scenery here, but still, a good spot to take a seat and hydrate.
While hiking off trail is never promoted on this page, there can be some exceptions made in the case of Blanco state park. Just below this overlook is a path that continues onto the limestone river bank. Open space to walk along the river to where it intersects with road 102.
You can see the city of Blanco waterworks department here too and wonder what all the pipes that come out of the building into the river do. ahem.
You can take the limstone slab back up to the other end of the loop and make your way back up the trail.
Both trails are fairly simple, but not fully accessible because of the rocky terrain and overgrowth.
Like previously mentioned, this is also a great park to just walk around and explore the areas around the river, the CCC pavilion, and the camping area for some added adventure.
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