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January events at state parks in the Highland Lakes

Explore Inks Lake State Park (pictured), Pedernales Falls State Park, and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area during several January events. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell

Get your blood pumping in the cold weather with an outdoor adventure at one of the Texas state parks in the Highland Lakes. Events are scheduled throughout the month of January at Inks Lake State Park in Burnet County, Pedernales Falls State Park outside of Johnson City, and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area near the Llano-Gillespie county line.


The park, located at 3630 Park Road 4 West in Burnet, has several repeating activities and special events. Entrance is $7 for ages 13 and older and free for children 12 and younger. A day-pass reservation is encouraged and sometimes required. Check each event's listing or contact the park at 512-793-2223 or visit its webpage for details.

Cowboy Coffee — Join a park ranger for a cup of coffee and a dutch oven treat and learn how cowboys on the Old West trails made their own morning brews. Be green and bring your own non-disposable cup or thermos. The event is free with park entrance. Takes place from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Jan. 8, 15, 22, and 29.

Guided Nature Hike — Take a 0.2-mile hike to Devil's Waterhole to learn about native plants and local geology. Hikes are free with park entrance and take place from 2-3 p.m. Jan. 8, 15, 22, and 29.

Fish with a Ranger — Learn the ins and outs of fishing at a free clinic hosted by a park ranger. Everything is provided during this family event. Takes place from 10-11 a.m. Saturdays, including Jan. 8, 15, 22, and 29.

Looking ahead: The Austin Astronomical Society is hosting a stargazing event on Feb. 5 from 6-8:30 p.m.


The park is located at 2585 Park Road 6026 near Johnson City. Daily entrance is $6 for ages 13 and older and free for ages 12 and younger. Call 830-868-7304 or visit the park's webpage for more information on events and reservations.

Stories in the Stars — On Jan. 7, visit the park's Star Theater for a view of the night sky. Presentation starts at 6:30 p.m.; open stargazing from 7:45 p.m. until the park closes at 10 p.m. Free with park entrance.

Prehistoric Hunting with the Atlatl — On Jan. 8 from 1-2 p.m., learn how ancient peoples hunted their food in this hands-on activity for ages 8 and older. Adult supervision required. Free with park entrance.

Hiking Through History — On Jan. 8 from 2-3 p.m., learn about the park's history from modern times to 300 million years ago. The 1-mile trek is child- and dog-friendly. Free with park entrance.

Pedernales Falls State Park is closed Jan. 9-13 for maintenance.


Located at 16710 RR 965 in Fredericksburg, daily entrance is $8 for ages 13 and older and free for ages 12 and younger. The park quickly reaches capacity, so reservations are encouraged as well as required on weekends, holidays, and school breaks. Call 830-685-3636 for more information on events. Visit the park's webpage for reservation details.

Birding 101 — Take a birding hike on Jan. 7 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. All experiences welcome. Bring binoculars if have them (the park has a limited supply). Free with park entrance.

Guided Summit Hike — Hike to the top of Enchanted Rock with a park ranger or Master Naturalist. The 1.5-mile hike takes about two hours. Elevation gain is 425 feet. Takes place from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Jan. 8, 15, 22, 23, and 29. Free with park entrance.

Sunset Summit Hike — On Jan. 14 from 4:45-6:45 p.m., hike to the top of the rock as the sun sets around you. The 1.5-mile hike takes about two hours. Elevation gain is 425 feet.

Almost Full Moon Hike — Registration is required for this Summit Trail hike from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 15.

For more state park events, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website. And check out the Highland Lakes Hiking Guide before you head out for useful information.

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