This is a four-night camping trip in state properties in the western portion of the Texas Hill Country and goes at leisurely pace, covering small distances each day, to allow you to relax and soak up the natural beauty at each park. Although most think of the Hill Country as being north of San Antonio and west of Austin, a significant portion of it lies west of San Antonio, southwest of I-10.
On the first day, drive to Kickapoo Cavern State Park and set up camp.
Tour the caverns in the morning, then pack up and head out about noon. Drive through the town of Rocksprings (the highest in this part of the state at 2400 ft/732 m) and stop by Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area. This sinkhole is home to millions of bats that emerge at dusk every day in the summer.
Continue south through ruggedly scenic countryside to the tiny town of Camp Wood; eat an early dinner at Camp Wood Cafe (with coffee/tea and dessert at Rushin' Tea Room & Coffee Bar). Head east on Ranch Road 337, called one of the most beautiful roads in Texas. At Leakey, head south on US 83 and set up camp at Garner State Park. This is one of Texas's most famous and beautiful state parks, with the Frio River flowing beneath tall hills. Swimming, rafting, hiking, and climbing are all found here.
Hike up Old Baldy, on the south side of Garner State Park, if you feel up to it. Leave Garner about noon and eat lunch at Bent Rim Grill in Leakey. Continue east on the spectacular Ranch Road 337 to Vanderpool, then north to Lost Maples State Natural Area. In the fall this park is aflame with changing leaves, but it is beautiful any time. Set up camp and enjoy your evening.
Pack up camp a little bit earlier, about 10:30 am, drive back to Vanderpool and continue east on Ranch Rd 337 to the town of Bandera. Eat lunch at either The Hen's Nest or The Dough Joe, and take some time to see the other sights in town, including the Frontier Times Museum, the county courthouse, and St. Stanislaus Catholic Church.
When you've seen enough in Bandera, proceed to Hill Country State Natural Area and set up camp. There are 40 miles of hiking trails here.
When you're ready, pack up camp and head home. If it's on the way, stop in the cute little town of Comfort and eat at Food for the Soul Bistro and/or Lani's Cheesecakes and Coffee House.
Drive safe and enjoy your trip!