By Kate Siber
Wolf Mountain Trail
For non-Texans, Hill Country comes as a surprise: A verdant rolling landscape of oak-dotted hills and vineyards, it sooner resembles California wine country than the arid Texas of Western lore. Within 45 miles of Austin, hikers can walk through lush forests and past springs at Pedernales Falls State Park.
Get Hiking: The park’s Wolf Mountain Trail is one of the region’s most beloved hikes, winding past fern-lined canyons, the ruins of a settler’s house, beautiful views over the Pedernales River Valley, and finally to the mother of all Hill Country vistas at the peak.
Après Hike: Just west of Pedernales Falls, the stretch of Highway 290 between Johnson City and Fredericksburg is dotted with wineries and farm stands selling fresh peaches and other produce. Stop at Pedernales Cellars, one of the best Hill Country wineries, for tastings of their famed tempranillo.
More Info: Pedernales Falls State Park (tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/pedernales_falls) and Pedernales Cellars (pedernalescellars.com).
Photograph by Tim Wright/Alamy