Dante's Trail through Purgatory Creek Natural Area

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Purgatory Creek Greenspace

Dante's Trail through Purgatory Creek Natural Area is a 7.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near San Marcos, Texas that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.9 miles Elevation Gain: 452 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

The 463-acre Purgatory Creek Natural Area is within the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, is home to Purgatory Creek, and includes upland meadows, canyon bluffs of 40 feet or more, dense juniper thickets, champion oaks, and a flood control dam.

1 month ago

Lots of rocks at the beginning of the trail. Most of the trail is surrounded by trees and offers plenty of shade. The second half of the loop was closed March-may 2020 due to nesting, so you have to turn around and come back the same way. Overall great trail to check out

This trail was a little confusing, wasn’t sure where the trail actually was, a few paths that never connected, but we found one that went a while. Had 3 kids under 5 and a small dog, everyone was great. Tons of mosquitos right now, so wear bug repellant!!

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent trail for walking or biking. The kids love it! Perfect balance of inclines. Lots of flat trail as well. Possibly our favorite family trail!

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is great! Some spots along the trail are rocky and require you to pay attention. Our first time out here was fun but at times was difficult to navigate. I brought my dog and he very much enjoyed the long walk. Make sure to bring plenty of water for both you and your dog. And have trail worthy shoes.

Really beautiful, busy trail. Very rocky, so be sure to have a good footwear. Lots of pretty wild flowers and scenery. I definitely recommend a trip.

hiking
blowdown
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Very very rocky. Many opportunities for a broken ankle so def wear hiking boots. I’d advise against running. It was quiet on a March Thurs lunchtime. Very pretty and easy. I’d mark it as easy if it weren’t for the rocks. Time: 2h 45mins. Not rushing. 1160cals.

hiking
bridge out
rocky
3 months ago

Pretty fun! Except for when you’re right by the highway, you can’t even tell it’s in the middle of San Marcos. Will be back!

Awesome trail, great weather, definitely not a trail for weak ankles.

hiking
4 months ago

very rocky but nice trails. clearly marked but must wear good shoes.

hiking
5 months ago

Perfect weather, very few people on the trail due to the holidays, beautiful scenery, quite a few dogs - all on leashes. It is quite a bit rocky, so if you have weak ankles, wear ankle support shoes. All in all it was simply a great hike!

Heavily trafficked trails, nice scenery, very busy! You can easily turn this into a very long hike. Rocky in lots of areas and watch for sink holes on trails, especially if you are running or biking. Lots of warnings about snakes, so be cautious. Graffiti kinda takes away from the beauty of these trails.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice, shaded trail with some elevation. look out for mountain bikes!

hiking
9 months ago

Love this trail. It’s so quiet when you get about about 2 miles in. I’ve seen a coral snake there on two occasions now!

running
10 months ago

Probably my favorite place to train that is within 30 mins of my house. Great technical sections with good sweeping open single track so you can get some speed work in too. I suggest parking at the upper lot and doing and out and back throwing in some of the loop trail in for added flavor on the lower section.

hiking
rocky
11 months ago

A deer flew past us on the part of the trail that’s like a big meadow. Also, 4 baby raccoons were walking past us on the trial too. 5 out of 5 yo. Warning!! Super hard on your feet. Maybe don’t bring tennis.

hiking
bugs
private property
rocky
scramble
11 months ago

first things first. this trail is not for the faint of ankle. there are plenty of jagged rocks and bedrock to keep you company. take every step with care and take plenty of breaks and come prepared if you have weak ankles. there are nice bits of of trail of course but mostly rocks. make sure to bring lots of water for you and the doggo. dont let the map fool you, all of the rivers are dried up. the only water source is at the trail head. this hike was more of a work out than a pretty hike. granted I am 240 lbs and didn't bring enough water for myself (i gave most of it to the dog) we ran into plenty of deer and bugs and it was a good way to burn a few summer hours.

Sat May 11 2019

I go all the time. Nice hike

hiking
Sat Apr 27 2019

Beautiful and we'll maintained trail near San Marcos with many variations of routes to take, bit there are clear trail markers. I still recommend printing a map or downloading a map app because although marked, there are still some areas can can be confusing. Highly recommend this beautiful nature preserve.

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