The 5 Best Hiking Trails at Canyon Lake, Texas
Taking in jaw-dropping views of an expansive lake and gorgeous foliage while your heart is pumping from a hike is a must-do Texas experience. It’s no secret that Texas is home to plenty of beautiful open land, but many of us don’t spend enough time exploring the hidden gems in our own backyards.
Canyon Lake is a beautiful destination right in the heart of Texas Hill Country that will make you grateful to live in the Lone Star State. If you have never actually visited Canyon Lake — or you are simply for the best trails the area has to offer — we have all the information you need.
Canyon Lake 101
Spanning over 12 square miles, Canyon Lake is a gem of Texas that sits on the Guadalupe River. Given the landscape of the forested area surrounding the river and lake, you might be able to spot white-tailed deer, foxes, roadrunners, and other animals native to the area. Peek through the mass of oak trees on the waterside to get a glimpse of the wildlife.
However, animal sightings are not the main attraction of the area. Most people visit Canyon Lake for water activities such as swimming, boating, and fishing, but it’s also a breathtaking location for picnicking, golfing, and hiking.
The Best Hiking Trails
The forested area surrounding the lake is fairly large, meaning you have more than a handful of areas to explore on foot. To make choosing your daily hike easier, we have compiled a list of our favorite hikes around the lake.
Guadalupe Park Trail
The Guadalupe Park Trail is a 1.8-mile out-and-back hike that is rated as a moderately difficult hike. The trail takes you along the river for the entire way, which makes it a popular choice for people wanting to fish. Take a break from walking and cast a line in the rushing stream to hopefully catch a trout as you admire the river-side foliage.
If you don’t love to fish, you will still be able to enjoy the peaceful sounds of the rushing water and the views of the forested area and wildflower meadows you will pass along the way.
Madrone Trail Loop
Madrone Trail Loop is one of the best choices for an immersive view of the lake. Located in the heart of Canyon Park, which sits on a peninsula in the lake, this hike has views of the lake on both sides of you for the entire way.
This trail is a one-mile loop that is easy in difficulty since it only has a 72-foot elevation gain. The terrain is often rocky, so we suggest wearing supportive shoes to guide you through.
The Overlook Park is only a 0.6-mile loop and usually takes less than 20 minutes to complete. The allure of this trail is not the hike itself but the lookout point it brings you to midway through.
Overlook Park’s viewpoint sits on the southeastern point of the water, giving you an unobstructed view down the entirety of the lake. Additionally, this viewpoint expands to an entire park, meaning you can pack a to-go dinner to enjoy against a stunning backdrop.
Canyon Lake Dam Loop
The Canyon Lake Dam Loop is also located within Overlook Park, so you can guess that you will have remarkable views of the lake on this hike as well. This trail is a 0.7-mile loop and is rated moderately difficult due to rocky patches and a few steep hills.
For half of the loop, you will be walking alongside the dam, giving you a smooth pathway on which to soak in the water-side views. This trail also takes you to a popular spot to settle in for an afternoon of swimming, giving you the perfect opportunity to cool off after your hike.
James C. Curry Nature Loop
Located more inland than the previous few trails, the James C. Curry Nature Loop is a wonderful option for views of the rolling hills and beautiful forested areas. This 0.9-mile trail is considered accessible for hikers of all skill levels, giving the entire family an opportunity to spot the area’s wildlife and admire the lake in the distance.
Where To Stay Near Canyon Lake, Texas
After a day of hiking and exploring, you will probably want to put your feet up and rest your muscles. If you don’t want to get back in the car for a late-night drive back home, you can stay on our Collective Retreats ranch, located just next to Canyon Lake.
At Collective Retreats, our guests don’t have to choose between luxurious accommodations and a weekend getaway immersed in nature.
Our Summit Tent provides a king bed or two double beds with plush duvets and high thread count sheets for you to fall back on after a day of swimming and hiking. Additionally, the air conditioner in the tent will provide a cool oasis from the Texas sun.
Our Summit Tent comes with an en suite bathroom with flush toilets, a rain shower, a vanity setup, and spa-quality complimentary toiletries.
End your night by curling up on the lounge chairs that sit on your private deck, located just outside your door. Count the stars in the sky, listen to the sounds of rushing water, and breathe in the fresh air.
What Else Is There To Do Near Canyon Lake?
Once you take your day trip to Canyon Lake and turn it into a weekend getaway, you might be wondering what else the area has to offer. Luckily, Collective Retreats offers access to daily Hill Country-inspired activities to our guests.
Beyond hiking, there are other ways to strengthen your body while also enjoying views of the outdoors. Our daily morning yoga sessions will work your muscles, center your mind, and relax your body against a backdrop of the Hill Country landscape.
After your full-body flow, our on-retreat chef will provide you with homemade green juice to give you a true wellness experience.
There is a good chance that your back, quads, or glutes will be sore after your day hiking around Canyon Lake. Whether you are feeling the burn from the day before or just need a little bit of pampering, be sure to book a massage through our concierge.
For ultimate comfort, our qualified massage therapists will come to your tent for an in-house massage. You can choose between a 60-minute and 90-minute session that will relax your entire body.
For another wellness-inspired activity focused on rest and relaxation, take advantage of our meditation sessions offered to Collective Retreats guests. An expert will lull you into a peaceful state with singing bowls and other calming sounds. You will be provided with a fuzzy blanket, pillow, and yoga mat to facilitate this deep period of relaxation.
After a weekend of hiking, you might be ready to explore the outdoors in a new way. If you want to view Hill Country as Texans have for hundreds of years, do it on a horseback ride. No matter your level of experience, everyone is welcome to join our intimate horseback tours.
A local expert will take you through safety training and give you all the gear you need before starting the tour so that you feel comfortable and ready to go.
The tour takes you on a two-mile trail throughout the ranch that will better acquaint you with the landscape and history of Hill Country from a unique perspective.
Hiking Hill Country
It’s amazing that while living in a city, you can forget how much beauty, peace, and wonder the countryside can bring. Especially in Texas, there is so much to explore in the outdoors that it can be difficult to choose what to do first. Thankfully, Canyon Lake has everything you could ask for: wonderful views, hiking, swimming, and more.