This is designed as a road trip from the Dallas area, centered around exploring the many beautiful state parks in Central Texas. Several nights are camping (both for money-saving reasons and because that’s a great way to enjoy state parks), although if camping isn’t your thing you can certainly stay in nearby towns: San Saba, Fredericksburg, Johnson City, and Marble Falls, respectively.
Recommended time of year is spring (Mar-Apr) or fall (Oct-Nov) as summer (May-Sep) would be brutally hot. Winter (Dec-Feb) could be nice although it could also be cold/windy.
|Day||Start point||End point||Distance||Drive time||Speed||Leave start point||Time at stop 1||Time at stop 2||Time at stop 3||Arrive end point||Explore end point||Comments/stops||Lodging||Map|
|1||Dallas||Colorado Bend SP||210 mi||4.75 hrs||44 mph||9:30 AM||0.5 hrs||0.5 hrs||3:15 PM||4.75 hrs||via Legacy Plaza in Goldthwaite, lunch in Coleman. Lunch at either Tomahawk’s or Dogs ‘n’ Links. Hike Spicewood Springs Trail after arrival in PM.||camping||map|
|2||Colorado Bend SP||Fredericksburg||104 mi||3.25 hrs||34 mph||10:00 AM||0.25 hrs||1 hr||2:15 PM||5.75 hrs||via Willow City Loop, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Dinner at Chase’s Place Cocktails & Kitchen in Fredericksburg.||B&B/hotel||map|
|3||Fredericksburg||Pedernales Falls SP||63 mi||2.25 hrs||28 mph||10:00 AM||0.75 hrs||0.75 hrs||2.5 hrs||4:15 PM||3.25 hrs||via Old Tunnel SP, Luckenbach, Lyndon B. Johnson SP & NHP. Breakfast at Nurys Restaurant in Fredericksburg, dinner at Ate-o-six Provisions food truck in Johnson City.||camping||map|
|4||Pedernales Falls SP||Inks Lake SP||117 mi||3.5 hrs||33 mph||9:30 AM||2 hrs||1.5 hrs||1.5 hrs||6 PM||2 hrs||via Hamilton Pool, Balcones Canyonlands NWR, Marble Falls. Dinner from The Real New Orleans Style Restaurant in Marble Falls.||camping||map|
|5||Inks Lake SP||Dallas||207 mi||4.25 hrs||48 mph||10:00 AM||2 hrs||4:45 PM||via Longhorn Cavern SP. Takes back roads.||map|
|total||total||701 mi||18 hrs|
|average||average||140.2 mi||3.6 hrs||39 mph||9:54 AM||5:09 PM||2.86 hrs|
Total accommodations cost: $210
Total food cost: $150
Total gas/petrol cost: $81
Total cost minus entry fees: ~$450
Obviously, this trip could easily be adapted to start from anywhere in Texas. It would be very doable, with far less driving, if starting in the Austin area.