Assembly Point: New Braunfels
Pickup time: 4/5- 2pm Drop off time: 4/11- 4pm
Tour Cost: $2,045
Additional Single Occupancy Lodging Cost: $375
To go on the Texas Hill Country Cycling trip of south-central Texas may be bicycle touring's best-kept secret and perhaps among the last frontiers of adventure cycling in the U.S.
Visualize a vast network of 2-lane farm-to-market country roads traversing a vast undulating expanse dissected by deep green valleys, rolling hills, rushing creeks, and rugged limestone cliffs, and no more than a scattering of small villages, and you then can begin to appreciate the absolute allure of the Hill Country as a bike touring opportunity. Notwithstanding its proximity to the major population centers of San Antonio and Austin, the Hill Country is astonishingly rural and unpopulated a nostalgic reminder of a past era. It is an area that retains its rich cultural heritage and identity. Fredericksburg and Boerne are characteristic of the early German immigrants who settled and homesteaded in the Hill Country in the 1840's. The Hill Country is also cattle country and the region's many historic ranches are reminders that we are in Texas.
And, lest we forget, the Texas Hill Country is Bluebonnet Country and these hills in the spring are ablaze in an array of bluebonnet blooms. Not coincidentally, we've planned a spring visit to the Hill Country.
Our Texas Hill Country Cycling trip assembles in Gruene, just outside of New Braunfels on the Guadalupe River and we'll ride through the Guadalupe River Valley early morning of Day 1. By mid-morning, expect to be jolted out of our early reverie as our route begins to undulate in earnest. The climb to Devil's Backbone is a poignant reminder that we are, after all, in Hill Country. Country-style hospitality awaits our arrival in Blanco, where we'll spend our first night at the Blanco Settlement.
We'll ride south from Blanco along the Blanco River on Day 2. Count on a fair number of Texas-sized "rollers" that we'll likely chat about over dinner in Boerne that evening. Day 3, it's on to Fredericksburg the following morning, but not before a visit to Luckenbach of Willie and Waylon fame. Fredericksburg is a fascinating town, richly endowed by its German cultural legacy, with an abundance of intriguing museums, craft shops, restored early settlement structures, and, of course, its biergartens. We'll spend our next two nights at the Inn on Baron's Creek.
Day 4 includes several tantalizing options. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, located 18 miles north of Fredericksburg, offers an outstanding hiking opportunity. Another option suggests a leisurely day of exploration of the wonders of Fredericksburg, including some quality pool time at our lodge. We are, though, cyclists to the core in the midst of an extraordinary bike tour, and an irresistible option on this day is the not-to-be-missed Willow City Loop that is a true Hill Country classic. In the course of this ride, we'll visit Enchanted Rock Park and climb this remarkable granite batholith.
Our bike tour continues on Day 5 as we ride to Kerrville, where we'll spend our final evening at the Inn of the Hills Resort. An early arrival in Kerrville on this relatively short day presents the excellent optional opportunity to ride out along the Guadalupe for a burger at the historic Hunt Store.
We had to choose between two alternatives for our final day, Day 6 a pleasant, but relatively uneventful return ride to New Braunfels to complete our loop, or one final "rock & roller" ride, including lung-buster Eagles Nest, with its magnificent panoramic Hill Country vista, through Medina and Center Point. Guess which one we chose? We'll end our cycling tour at Center Point and van shuttle back to San Antonio, where our Texas Hill Country cycling trip concludes.
|Day 1||New Braunfels - Guadalupe River Valley-Devil's Backbone - Blanco||63 miles|
|Day 2||Blanco - Boerne||43 miles|
|Day 3||Boerne - Fredericksburg||48 miles|
|Day 4||Cycling and hiking options: Cycling - Willow City Loop - Hiking at Enchanted Rock State Park||57 miles|
|Day 5||Fredericksburg - Kerrville-Hunt - Kerrville||62 miles|
|Day 6||Kerrville - Medina Loop; van shuttle return to San Antonio||46 miles|
Total Mileage 326