Camp at Inks Lake's Pecan Flats
Austin › Pecan Flats Trailhead
Added by Sarah Vaughn
Pecan Flats offers secluded, primitive campsites and great options for canoeing, cliff jumping, and swimming.
Inks Lake is located northwest of Austin and is home to about 200 campsites. For a more unique experience and to be set away from the parks many visitors, choose the Pecan Flats Trail Primitive Camp which is about a mile hike from the Pecan Flats trailhead.
Once you enter the park, the Pecan Flats trailhead is located in the parking lot directly beside the parking lot for the headquarters. An interpretive guide is available specifically for this trail so you can follow along with the wildlife and plant life that you see along the way (and you can find that here. At some points in the trail you will come across large areas of limestone that are fun to explore, but can make following the trail a little difficult. Look out for the trail markers to keep on the right way. About 0.4 miles in you will need to turn left, you will know that you have made the correct turn if you come to a road crossing. Once you have passed the road it is only about another half mile until you reach the primitive campsites. The campsites are set off of the trail a bit for privacy and along a creek. There are nine sites total, and sites 1-6 are next to the creek. You can take the time to pick out the one you like best, set up camp and get ready for day 2!
Once dawn has broken through your tent, you can get ready to hike back in to the main area of the park aka Inks Lake. Priority number one is to be an early riser in order to beat everyone to the lake and have the pristine waters to yourself. This is the best time to go not only because less people of course, but it is the best chance for you to get a glimpse of the wildlife at the park. Once you are out exploring the lake by canoe you will want to paddle towards the Devil's Waterhole on the northeast section of the lake. While you are heading here take the time to float near the banks of the lake. It is here you will have a good chance of seeing some water snakes or even the infamous Water Moccasin basking out in the morning sun near the water. Finally you will arrive at Devil's Waterhole. In this small canyon-like area you can swim, cliff-jump, and even hike further upstream to find a few waterfalls and enjoy that Texas sun.
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A Sunny Review
Been to Inks a handful of times and have yet to do the same thing twice, there is just so much to do! Devils watering hole | where you can do some cliff diving (just be careful!) or just cool off and swim. Kayaking | loads of space to explore, there isn't a loop but it's still fun to paddle out! Food Truck | After hours on the water, naturally, we were ready to grub! As we came out of the water from where the boats dock is there is a small convenience shop. Right next to it is a food truck with a super friendly guy and super yummy food. Definitely worth a try! Hiking | Getting to Devils watering hole is a mini hike in itself but there are so many other hikes there too. So far I've only done the self guided Pecan Flats trail. (There is a printable guide with loads of awesome info on their website or you can ask for on at the park entrance) This hike includes the highest point in the park, what a view! And it is pretty well marked too (was a little tricky at the fist turn for us but we cracked out the map and were fine). Easy enough for all ages but also with the incline and change of terrain it isn't a 'walk in the park' either. We had a blast learning about all the things were passing and my dog Sunny had fun exploring all the new smells. That's all I've done so far and all I can give my 2 cents about but there is still so much more! More hikes, camping, fishing, boating, and they have guided tours as well sometimes.
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