A nice walk
Balcones Canyonlands NWR - Doeskin Ranch
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Distance: 3.70 Miles
My wife and I decided to get out of the house on a gorgeous fall afternoon and drove from northwest Austin out to Doeskin Ranch. The drive out on 1431 was scenic, and the park was easy to find. We saw one other couple out hiking, but only in the last quarter mile of our hike. There were more cars than that parked in the little parking lot, so I presume everyone hikes in the same direction (we looped counter-clockwise, which is the way the signs point you). The scenery is interesting with both substantial grassland (in late fall, the grass waving in the breeze and sunshine is very beautiful) and the mixed oak/cedar forest on the hillside. The trail that circles the top of the grass-covered hill is just an old jeep trail, and does not visit the high point of the hill. The best view of the hike was from one of the trail bends on the way down. Unfortunately, once we got down the steeper hillside and crossed the gully, the remainder of the trail to the creek is just an old jeep trail that is straight and gravelled, which is both a little uninteresting and occasionally slippery in spots. Overall, the terrain is very representative of central Texas, and does not seem to be very crowded even on weekend afternoons with excellent weather.