Explore the most popular trails in Spring Lake Reserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.


nature trips

bird watching

trail running

kid friendly



dogs on leash

wild flowers


Rocky but fun trail! nice elevation change and good for the ole heart.

bridge out
2 months ago

top notch!

Half was closed off so didnt get the full experience, but of what I saw it was pretty unspectacular. Nice for a quick stroll.

Awesome trail, mostly gravel path. A couple muddy spots. Plenty of benches for breaks along path. Will be back!

Spring Lake is a large spring fed pool of crystal clear water forming the headwaters of the San Marcos River. Part of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment on the Texas State University campus, the lake is an attraction with glass-bottom boat tours offered, as well as scuba certification and a small aquarium on site. The walk leads from the parking area (free weekends parking fee weekdays) past massive bald cypress trees on the lake shore. Live oaks, willows and sycamore trees also grow along the lake. The trail leads to a metal boardwalk over shallow marshes along the lake shore. From here you can see the resident fish and turtles in the clear waters, and its great for birdwatching. We saw cormorants, egrets, an osprey and a pair of crested caracaras. Very easy and relaxing walk great for kids.

I’ve been about five times this fall /winter. It’s so beautiful with rocky inclines and flat trails. It’s always wet from what I suspect is a full ground water system. The creek is breath taking, especially at the cascade. Very few people.

mountain biking
10 months ago

Good ride with rolling hills. Apparently I went the wrong way, starting on the east side of the park with kinda steep climbs and gradual declines. several spur options. Nice tree cover. It rained last night and is a bit muddy today but not bad. Will return.

But y B.B.

A staple of respite from the grind.

Friday, April 13, 2018

plenty of additional trails to explore, wear boots

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Beautiful trail! I went when the mountain laurels were blooming. Fantastic place if you’re a butterfly enthusiast!

mountain biking
Monday, January 15, 2018

It's easy if you're coming up from the side where the glass bottom boat tours are. However, if coming up from Lime Kiln Rd, or doing a loop and coming back up - there are some steep, rocky hills that'll give your quads a good workout. Aside from that, though, nothing exciting; but, still enjoyable.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Great trail for Seniors but I would not call it easy. Some where between moderate and easy

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

great trail, brought my dogs with me and they loved it! not much foot traffic when I went, ran into a couple people, that's it! nice and quiet

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Great hiking!

Monday, July 04, 2016

Great-perfect for the kids and dog!

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Monday, February 15, 2016

Great trail

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Lots of fun! Dogs are sacked out now. Lots of trail choices.

Monday, July 06, 2015

we've frequented Spring Lake Natural Preserve as a group for hiking and have been just about every season and each time we find something new ... we love that its not a busy trail but its saddens us at the same time that more people aren't aware of this little treasure. This Saturday we actually came upon some trails we had not seen before - Cascade and porcupine ... well we did several even some trails not listed.... started on Tonkawa - blind salamander- blue stem- porcupine and cascade I'm sure I'm missing one somewhere oh the short wickups one as well -- so much to experience the best 5.15 miles I've spent on a sm trail we shall return again and again -

mountain biking
Sunday, March 08, 2015

Lovely ride. The trail is inside aquarena golf park. The first trail Tonkawaya is uphill for about 5 mins, 6' wide crushed rock. Once you get past that you have several loop trails from easy to intermediate. Some fun uphills and down hills with rock gardens. The hills are slightly on the steep side so expect for your legs to get a workout. Traffic was light, we were only bikers there but there we're a few couples and families there. Some dog poop here and there on trail. It was nice to do the fun loops but then chill out taking it easy thru wildlife sand trail, scenic easy trail. All the trails were pretty doable, on way back down blind salamander way was more of an advanced trail, take it easy if you are a beginner. P.s. The trail head is somewhat obscure, park at bottom of Hill. Also, golf course is part of university so M-F you need a parking permit during the day. The actual trail head is across the parking lot, next to some maintenance sheds. But a tree has blue blazes on them signifying it is the trail. There is some non permit parking with port a potty on lime kiln road, go up, past the gas station about quarter of a mile and is on your left.

nature trips
Sunday, May 25, 2014

A great place to take your kids. Well marked paths. Stop by the ticket center near the Aquarena springs to pick up a trail map.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I rode the trail with my 10 year old son this morning and we both enjoyed the experience. It was our first time on this particular trail and it has maps and sign s that help you determine your position at all times. The paths are diverse I that they are composed of both gravel and naturally formed by high traffic. We will frequent this trail in the future.

mountain biking
Sunday, April 14, 2013

I live near this trail and use its long uphill section for exercise. The trails are short, especially in the spring and summer when half of them are closed for golden-cheeked warbler nesting season. The main trail up the hill is crushed gravel and there are some rocky loops that take you around the hill.

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