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Visiting Texas Hill Country with Dogs

Visiting Texas Hill Country With Dogs from the Pet Travel Experts at GoPetFriendly.comFor the past few years we’ve spent a good chunk of the winter parked in pet friendly Austin, Texas, and we’ve had a fantastic time! But this year’s travel theme is to explore places we hadn’t been before – and we all know that there’s no time like the present.

So, rather than heading back to the capital city, we opted for a spot a couple of hours west of Austin. We’d previously done a dog friendly driving tour of Texas Hill Country, and this was the perfect opportunity to spend a couple of weeks investigating the area more thoroughly.

We choose to stay in Kerrville, a bit west of our original track through Hill Country, and it was a terrific choice! The town of Kerrville has a paved River Trail that runs along the banks of the Guadalupe River.

There are benches along the way, so if you want to stop for a bit of birdwatching, there’s no better place. It was a peaceful place to walk the boys, and the trail was plenty long enough for us all to get a bit of exercise – plus they were constructing an extension while we were there, so we’ll get to see a new section of the river next time through.

Dog Friendly River Trail in Kerrville, T Dog Friendly River Trail in Kerrville, T Dog Friendly River Trail in Kerrville, T Dog Friendly River Trail in Kerrville, T

As you can see, the boys thoroughly enjoyed it (even though they weren’t allowed to splash in the fountains behind them). On one of our treks, we even got a glimpse of some of the local wildlife!

Dog Friendly River Trail in Kerrville, T Dog Friendly River Trail in Kerrville, T

Rails Café on Schreiner Street has a beautiful, dog friendly patio, and made a perfect stop for lunch after we worked up an appetite walking.

We can also attest to receiving wonderful care at the Kerrville Veterinary Clinic when Buster woke up feeling ill one morning. They hustled us right in for an appointment, and Dr. Vanicek was terrific! She was calm and patient with me, and took very nice care of Buster, too.

Stonehenge II and Easter Island Heads

For a bit of fun one afternoon, we buckled up the boys in their Sleepypod harnesses and drove them over to Ingram to see Stonehenge II and the Easter Island Heads of Texas. This amusing art project was created by the late Al Shepperd and his friend and neighbor, Doug Hill.

Stonehenge II and Easter Island Heads - Ingram, TX

It only took a few minutes to walk around and read the plaques, so we wandered over the grounds of the Hill Country Arts Foundation and enjoyed sitting on the bank watching the river drift by. It would have been the ideal spot for a picnic – we’ll remember that for next time!

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

UPDATE: On March 1, 2016, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area announced that pets are no longer allowed on the Summit Trail. Leashed pets are allowed on the Loop Trail below the rock, the day-use area, and campgrounds and may not be left unattended.

For the icing on the cake, we took the boys to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. There are more that eight miles of hiking trails here, as well as a playground, interpretive center, picnic area, restrooms, and primitive campsites … not to mention the views!

Enchanted Rock with Dogs - Hill Country, TX Enchanted Rock with Dogs - Hill Country, TX Enchanted Rock with Dogs - Hill Country, TX

Enchanted Rock’s pink granite hump rises 425 feet above the surrounding terrain, providing a stunning panorama. We opted for the flat Loop Trail (Ty’s not much for climbing these days) and found that we had it almost entirely to ourselves! It was quiet, peaceful, and there were plenty of places to pull over and rest along the way.

Enchanted Rock with Dogs - Hill Country, TX Enchanted Rock with Dogs - Hill Country, TX

In some places the rock looks like it’s skin is peeling.

Enchanted Rock with Dogs - Hill Country, TX

On the way home, we stopped in Fredericksburg to get a bite to eat. Having visited this quaint German town many times, we always enjoy a stroll up and down Main Street admiring the shops, and following our noses into one of the local eateries. This time we fixed our sites on Cultures Grill & Bar, where dogs are welcome on the covered patio. The food was good, the boys were comfortable, and we all left happy.

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  • MRG says:

    Hi, I really liked your post. I am thinking of visiting Enchanted Rock with my dogs but was having doubts about not being able to use any other trail than the one mentioned “Loop Trail”. Thanks for clarifying. Makes me feel better to take them, what time of year did you go?

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      Thanks so much for your note, MRG! We visited around the middle of April, and it was already starting to get hot. If you’ll be visiting during the summer, consider protective boots for your dogs and be sure to pack plenty of water. In fact, here’s a blog post with some additional tips that might be helpful: https://blog.gopetfriendly.com/7-essentials-desert-hiking-dog/

      I hope that helps, and that you have a great trip!

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