The Best Beginner Hikes in Texas

The Best Beginner Hikes in Texas

  • Enchanted Rock Short Loop
  • Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail 
  • Gorman Falls
  • Oak Cliff Nature Preserve 
  • Santa Elena Canyon 
  • St. Edwards Park Trail 
  • Hiking doesn’t have to be challenging, strenuous or intimidating! At ToughCutie we wanted to break away from outdoor industry stereotypes and let you know about some easier hikes that are short, with little incline. Whether it’s your first time on the trail or you have hiked a handful of times before, these beginner friendly hikes are a great place to start. Enjoy the best beginner hikes in Texas!

    Enchanted Rock Short Loop

    One of the best beginner trails in Texas for hiking is the Enchanted Rock Short Loop Trail. This is the easiest trail in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and should be on everyone’s hiking bucket list. Located in Fredericksburg, Texas the short loop trail is exploding with wildflowers in the spring and meanders through a pond on the short 1.4 mile loop. This trail provides views of the pink granite mountain, but if you want to summit Enchanted Rock, the trek is more challenging. If you are feeling adventurous and ready to level up your hiking experience, the Enchanted Rock Summit Trail gains 419 feet of elevation and is a 1.3 out-and-back trail. It has a steep incline, but is also a great option for beginner hikers in Texas. 

    Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail

    Big Bend National Park in Texas is known for desert and mountain hiking with epic views. If you are looking for a beginner hike in Big Bend, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail is a half mile loop that offers the same breathtaking views as other more strenuous hikes in the park. Known as a little oasis in the middle of the desert, this nature trail is a biodiverse environment with several species of plants and animals. If you are planning on hiking in Big Bend, this is the most beautiful, easy trail, to start your trip. It is recommended to go early in the morning to avoid crowds since the Nature Trail is a popular hike.

    Gorman Falls 

    Another one of the best beginner hikes in Texas is the Gorman Falls Trail in Colorado Bend State Park. This is a great weekend hiking trip to take for beginners in Texas due to its close proximity to several major Texas cities. You can be at Colorado Bend State Park within 4 hours or less of driving from most major cities. This trail is a 2.8 mile out-and-back trail that gains a little over 300 feet of elevation and brings you to a beautiful waterfall at the end of the trail. Wear proper hiking boots and bring trekking poles since the route is rocky. This trail provides great practice as a beginner hiker on more rocky routes that aren’t too steep!

    Oak Cliff Nature Preserve 

    One of the best north Texas hiking trails for beginners is exploring Oak Cliff Nature Preserve near Dallas. The Oak Cliff White Loop is an easy-moderate 2 mile loop which is popular for birding, hiking and mountain biking. It’s a great place for beginner hikers to check out during the heat of the day since the trail offers a lot of shade. It’s a great place for first time hikers in Texas to enjoy outdoor recreation close to the city. Make sure to keep your eyes and ears up for bikers on your hike since this is a multi-use trail system. 

    Santa Elena Canyon

    Another beginner hiking trail in Big Bend National Park is Santa Elena Canyon Trail. This 1.3 mile trail at the base of two towering cliffs weaves you through the canyon. The 1,500-foot towering cliffs will leave you in awe and it’s one of the best beginner hikes with stunning views in the entire state of Texas. At the end of the trail, the Rio Grande river meets the canyon walls which provides a perfect spot for a lunch break or to take in the beauty of Santa Elena Canyon. This specific hike proves that hiking in Texas for beginners can also bring you to incredible views. You don’t need to summit the highest peak in order to hike to beautiful locations!

    St. Edwards Park Trail 

    If you are looking for beginner hikes near Austin, the St. Edwards Park Trail is one of the best hikes in the area. Conveniently located in the city, this is the best easy hiking trail in Austin to completely immerse yourself in nature. The St. Edwards Green and Red Loop is the perfect length for a quick walk in nature and is only 1.9 miles long. This popular forested trail is a great place to try hiking for the first time in Austin. It’s also a great place for your first time on the trail due to the short length and natural beauty. It has a few moderate climbs and the trails can be a bit rocky, so make sure to wear your hiking shoes to provide ankle support and your ToughCutie socks to prevent blisters!

    The best beginner hikes in Texas will help you ease into hiking so you can explore new areas and test your physical limits. Shorter hikes with less incline are a great way to see amazing views and get your body moving on the trail. There are hundreds of trails to explore all over Texas and the options are endless. The more you hike, the more confident you will feel on the trail mentally and physically. Now that you know where to go hiking in Texas as a beginner, grab your friends and hit the trail!

    Want more? Check out our friends at the Texas Trailhead

    Written by: Lydia Schuldt

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