Bluffs of the North Fork – San Gabriel River – Georgetown, Texas

Bluffs of the North Fork - Good Water TrailTrail: Good Water Trail

Directions: From Austin, take I-35 North.  Exit 261 onto TX 29 West.  Follow TX 29 to 183 and turn right onto 183 North.  After crossing over the San Gabriel River, turn right onto CR 258.  The Tejas Camp is on your left after you cross back over the San Gabriel River. 

General Information:

Terrain: This entire trail stays near the shoreline of the San Gabriel River as well as Lake Georgetown.  It is flat and comprised of sandy soil.

Distance: We took a portion of the entire trail, about 4 miles out and back, but the entire Good Water Trail is over 20 miles long and goes around Lake George.

Family Oriented: This is a great family trail.  It is flat and wide in some parts.  You can go as far as you like and then head back.

Dogs Allowed: Yes.

Bluffs of the North Fork - San Gabriel River - Good Water TrailHours: Open all year round.

Fees: Free

About:  The Good Water Trail was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  It follows the path of an old roadbed and stays near the shoreline of the San Gabriel River and Lake George.  The trail itself is rather flat with almost no elevation change.  At the start of the trail, there are bluffs on the opposite side of the river.  Further along, bluffs appear on the trail side.  Many hikers traverse between the bluffs to obtain an amazing view from the top.

Good Water Trail - San Gabriel River - Bluffs of the North ForkYou pick up the trail at the parking lot.  There is a set of outhouses at the trailhead.  The first half mile of the trail is tree lined and shady.  After that point, it opens up to large fields on the right and the river on your left.

Continuing on, the trail intersects with an old roadbed, turn left here.  Continue on until you see a stone column with a sign that reads 1.8 to the Tejas Camp.  Pass by the sign and continue on around the river bend.  You will then see a 9 mile post.  This sign indicates that it is 9 miles to the Cedar Breaks Park.

If you turn around here, you will have hiked about two miles in, thus creating a four mile hike.  If you do want a longer hike, you can go to the 8 mile post or even further.

San Gabriel River - Good Water Trail - Bluffs of the North ForkThe Hike: This hike was in early October, another warm day in Austin.  Not a cloud in the sky and almost no breeze.  We arrived at the parking lot around 10:00, so the sun was already high.

We welcomed the shade at the beginning of the hike.  At this time, all of Texas had been experiencing a drought for over a year.  Because of this, the river, at least in this section, was a dry river bed.  No water in it at all.  We were disappointed at this, but there was still greenery and birds around.

The fields were filled with dried foliage.  It appeared that beautiful flowers had bloomed a few weeks earlier.  All that was left were the stalks.

The bluffs that rose above the valley floor were a brilliant white.  They towered above the river bed.

After we had walked about a mile and a half, the sun was really beating down on us.  We reached the 1.8 mile marker and went a bit further before deciding to go ahead and turn around.

Tips:

  • Make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen.  A lot of this trail leaves you exposed to the sun.
  • We were met by a man at the parking lot that warned us that hunting season had begun and to make sure that we did not deviate from the trail even a little bit.  Be very careful during hunting season.

 

Hoping you next hike is Relaxing, Safe and Inspiring,

Russell

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