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Young woman in black athletic clothes holding a paddle and standing on a stand-up paddleboard with her dog on a sunlit river

6 SWEET STATE PARKS WITHIN 50 MILES OF BUDA

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Coolly located in Buda, Texas, Carrington Oaks places you between funky Austin and historic San Antonio, with endless options for exploring in between. To help you build your list of summer adventures, here are six state parks within 50 miles of Buda you’ll love visiting. Happy local travels!

McKinney Falls State Park

Located in Austin just a few minutes northwest of Buda, McKinney Falls State Park is no secret – but it’s very popular for good reason. The accessibility makes it easy to visit McKinney Falls as often as you’d like, and it serves up delightful natural beauty every time. Drop a fishing line in Onion Creek or Williamson Creek (with no license required), or cruise the 2.8-mile Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail for some active fun.

Bastrop State Park

East of Buda on Highway 21, Bastrop State Park invites you to get lost in its sprawling forest. When you’re not trekking the 7 miles of beautiful trails, you can borrow fishing equipment and try your luck in the half-acre Lake Mina. While the park lost some of its older trees to floods and fires a few years ago, Bastrop still offers plenty to see and do. Definitely check out their historic cabins for your next overnight stay.

Buescher State Park

Located in Smithville just east of Bastrop, Buescher State Park makes an ideal second stop. You can bike or drive the scenic 12-mile Park Road 1C between the two parks to see as much as possible. When you arrive, you’ll find a lot to explore on and around Buescher Lake. Paddle the lake on your kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard, or head out for a challenging hike on the Pine Gulch Trail or the Winding Woodlands Trail.

Lockhart State Park

South of Buda in Lockhart – where you’ll definitely want to stop for some barbecue – Lockhart State Park offers plenty of ways to play. Bring the golf clubs for a round or two at the historic nine-hole golf course built by the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps. You can’t beat the $9 weekday and $11 weekend and holiday rates. You’ll also find a seasonal pool, a series of interconnected hiking trails, and a fishing hole in Clear Fork Creek.

Blanco State Park

Head west of Buda for a trip to Blanco State Park, a small but lovely 1-mile stretch along the Blanco River. If you’re looking for a cool spot to swim on a warm summer day, this is the place. Hop in the water anywhere along the river, and bring along your stand-up paddleboard, canoe, or kayak. You can rent out the park pavilion to enjoy meals in the shade, then float the river all day long.

Pedernales Falls State Park

Though it’s a bit of a drive northwest of Buda, Pedernales Falls State Park has plenty to reward you for the effort. Follow the Pedernales River through the 5,200-acre park as it flows across huge slabs of picturesque limestone. If you’re a mountain biker, be sure to check out the new 10-mile Juniper Ridge Trail for some challenging singletrack, and if you love horseback riding, you’ll have a blast on the rocky trails.

Wherever you’re headed this summer, enjoy every outing near beautiful Buda! For more ideas on fun local spots to explore, make sure to check out the Carrington Oaks blog.

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