A few years ago, my college program made a weekend trip to Colorado Bend, Texas, which is only less than two hour away from the bustling city of Austin. Colorado Bend is a state park in the Hill Country region of the state, so we were able to spend some time hiking and exploring caves during our days there.
The weather was unexpectedly cold when we arrived, although hiking certainly warmed us up. A couple of us hiked to Gorman Falls, a spectacular waterfall formed by fern covered Travertine, by following the Gorman Spring trail (only about 1.5 miles round-trip). The highlights of the park trails are a travertine creek on the east, and a large waterfall with caves on the west.
There was also an opportunity to have a guided tour one of the wild caves, which was surprisingly warm since the heat gets trapped inside. Three little baby bats were also hibernating there, and we were able to see a wide variety of cave inhabitants (mostly bugs) and pretty amazing stalagmite and stalactite formations.
We spent the night at the Barefoot Camp & RV Park, a privately owned campground surrounded by a working cattle ranch. It was a very cozy place to stay during the cold weather, although a few brave souls decided to camp out in the cold (they said it wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t know haha).
All in all, it was a good two-day getaway, and given its short distance from Austin, I would recommend it to anyone looking to escape the city for a day or two!