Plan Your Outdoor Adventure in Kerrville, TX

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Set the out-of-office message and put your to-do lists away! If you’re seeking rest and relaxation away from a bustling city life, you’ll find a welcoming retreat in Kerrville, your Texas Hill Country destination for outdoor adventures and good times.

Kerrville is located just over an hour’s drive northwest of San Antonio and about two hours west of Austin. Founded in the mid-19th century when Texas pioneer Joshua Brown established a shingle and lumber mill on a bluff overlooking the Guadalupe River near what is now downtown Kerrville, the city and its cypress tree-lined river banks have invited visitors to the area ever since.

When you vacation in Kerrville, you will find many ways to explore the lush, hilly environment unique to this region of the state. City parks and other public venues situated along the Guadalupe River offer recreational activities galore. From hiking, kayaking and paddleboarding to canoeing, camping and bird-watching, here are the ways you can enjoy the outdoors year-round.

The Kerrville River Trail is a good place to start. Connecting points of interest along the river—including Riverside Nature Center, Louise Hays Park and Kerrville- Schreiner Park—the 10-foot-wide pedestrian and biking trail extends four miles. Many 5K races take place along the trail, offering diverse scenery for participants. Dogs are allowed on the trail, as long as they remain leashed and you clean up after them.

The Riverside Nature Center is free and open to the public six days a week. Visitors can learn about nature while roaming among wildflower gardens and a wildlife sanctuary. If you’re a birder, you may spot a northern cardinal, red-shouldered hawk, green kingfisher or any of 162 bird species found here. Guides regularly offer Bird Walk & Talk events. Also a Monarch waystation, the nature center has attracted at least 90 types of butterflies. The two-acre arboretum is home to more than 100 different native trees and shrubs and over 200 species of wildflowers, grasses and ferns. You will leave with an appreciation for the diversity of Kerrville’s natural environment.

If you are looking for a place to have a picnic lunch or an area the kids can run around, visit Louise Hays Park, the free public day-use park in the heart of downtown Kerrville. A large covered pavilion (available for rent), concrete picnic tables and a wood-burning barbecue pit make this a popular location for parties. After your meal, enjoy views of the Guadalupe River as you stroll along the river trail, play on the tennis courts and basketball courts or let the kids visit the playground. The park’s fountain plaza is a splash pad with brightly colored lights. Just above the fountain area is an iconic landmark, “Lupe,” a Guadalupe bass sculpture installed in 2017. Created by an Austin-area artist, the mosaic sculpture is comprised of hundreds of tiny tiles designed by members of the Kerrville community. The Guadalupe bass is the Texas State Fish and native to the limestone spring-fed rivers of the Hill Country.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can explore Tranquility Island, a 7-acre island in the middle of the Guadalupe River. It’s connected to Louise Hays Park by a bridge. Also adjacent to Louise Hays Park is Lehmann & Monroe Park, which includes a dog park.

It is worthwhile to check a local event calendar before you visit Louise Hays Park, as it frequently hosts events, such as a summer concert series and Kerrville's Fourth on the River, a free Independence Day celebration with live music, food vendors, kids’ activities and fireworks.

The Kerrville Triathlon Festival, held annually in September, boasts eight different distance events, including a free kids run. More than 6,000 athletes have taken part in the races, swimming in the Guadalupe River, biking the area’s rolling hills and running along the Kerrville River Trail.

A weekly series of Movies in the Park attracts families to downtown Kerrville, where free showings alternate between Louise Hays Park and the amphitheater at Kerrville-Schreiner Park. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and flashlights to enjoy popular flicks such as “Coco” and “Back to the Future.”

The city’s largest park, Kerrville-Schreiner Park has 517 acres on the Guadalupe River. Once a state park and now managed locally, the grounds include camping accommodations to suit almost any preferred camping style. RV hook-ups—many with water, electricity and sewer connections—are plentiful, as are tent campsites, rental cabins and ranch houses. An 18-foot Hillside Teepee is one of the newest additions to the park and can be reserved for overnight camping or birthday parties. A recreation hall and dining hall can be reserved here, too.

The recreation amenities at Kerrville-Schreiner Park include a fishing pier, boat ramp, and seven miles of hiking and biking trails. Whether you’re a novice hiker or an experienced trekker, you’ll find a trail and terrain fit for your skill level. Basketball, sand volleyball courts and a playground are additional outlets for fun. In August and September, you might catch sight of Texas red admiral, Texas monarch, Texas orange and South Texas black butterflies, just to name a few. Other wildlife you may spot in the park includes whitetail deer, blackbuck antelope, axis deer, rabbits, foxes and birds. Annual passes to Kerrville-Schreiner Park are $50.00 per vehicle, or day-use passes may be purchased for individuals at rates ranging from $2.00 to $6.00. Overnight camping and facility rental fees vary.

Kerrville Kayak & Canoe offers kayak, canoe, paddleboard and river tube rentals on-site at Kerrville-Schreiner Park and Louise Hays Park. You are advised to inquire with the company for exact scheduling and availability at each park. Hill Country Bicycle Works rents bicycles by the day or week in Kerrville.

Just west of Kerrville, in nearby Ingram, enjoy entertainment under the stars at the Hill Country Arts Foundation’s Point Theatre. The Guadalupe River makes for a stunning backdrop for the outdoor theater productions staged by local actors and other volunteers. Each year, a new line-up of productions is announced. Stonehenge II, an artist’s replica of the original stone structure in England, is located on the grounds at Hill Country Arts Foundation, too. Many tourists seek out the landmark when traveling in the area.

Be sure to take in a sunset while you are visiting Kerrville. Restaurants overlooking the river, such as The Boat Oyster Bar & Grill and the 1011 Bistro with a waterfront patio, are great options for dinner and drinks after your adventures.

Whether you spend your time here relaxing with family and friends, exploring the waters of the Guadalupe River or enjoying a multitude of fun activities, Kerrville promises good times in the Texas Hill Country.

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