Texas Hill Country

The Texas Hill Country could easily be considered the state’s most beautiful natural area, especially from a cyclist’s point of view. A network of small, paved ranch roads winds and rolls through soft, scrubby hills and green valleys with limestone cliffs as a backdrop. Fields of wildflowers and clear, sparkling streams lined with cypress and oaks are visual gems. The Hill Country is incredibly inviting!

Our routes take you through ranch country, passing through small settlements and communities of German heritage. You’ll have opportunities to taste the famed “Texas barbecue” and down-home country cooking at small cafes.

Of course, the bluebonnet (the state flower) is often in bloom in mid-March, decorating the countryside with a carpet of blue. Other colorful flowers such as Indian paintbrush, black-eyed Susans, and primrose complement the colorful palette.

We spend three nights in Fredericksburg at the new Inn on Barons Creek, which features two-room suites, heated pool, spa facilities, and all the amenities you would expect at a luxurious lodge. Located two blocks from the historic area of downtown Fredericksburg, the inn is set on a picturesque creek bank. It is a short walk to the quaint shops on Main St., which evoke a strong feel for the frontier days of Texas cowboy heritage. The National Museum of the Pacific War offers exhibits that tell the story of the Pacific Theater battles of World War II. This center also houses the Admiral Nimitz Museum and the Plaza of the Presidents with an outdoor tribute to the 10 American presidents who served in the armed forces during WWII.

You will have an opportunity to sample the local wine at two well-known wineries in the small town of Stonewall. Becker Vineyards features a reproduction, 19th century German stone barn and acres of grapevines. Grape Creek Vineyard is known for its antique roses, tasting room, and the only fully underground wine cellar in Texas.

The riding on this tour is generally rolling and hilly, following rural roads. Cyclists can choose to shorten each day’s ride with a shorter option. These rides could be negotiated by a dedicated athletic beginner. They will also prove enjoyable to the cyclist who wants more mileage and hills.