Central Texas is a beautiful place. Waco is perfectly situated for easy access to a plethora of outdoor activities. With miles of hiking trails, multiple bodies of water, historical landmarks, and outdoor sporting activities, Waco is a fantastic city for outdoor enthusiasts to live. Today, we’re going to talk about some must-do outdoor activities in Waco, as well as the surrounding area.
Explore Cameron Park
Cameron Park is a 416-acre wonderland that is located just minutes from Downtown Waco. The park offers stunning scenic overlooks, serene walking paths along the river, and 20 miles of winding trails. Hikers, bikers, and even horseback riders all enjoy trails that range from beginner to advanced. There are plenty of pavilions available for picnics and parties. Make sure to check out Lover’s Leap, a beautiful historical overlook with a tragic backstory.
Cameron Park is renowned for the disc golf courses in the area. William Cameron Park course is located within Cameron Park near Redwood Shelter. This course is a 23-hole course that welcomes all skill levels. For more of a challenge, disc golfers should head to Brazos Park East, also affectionately known as “The Beast”. This course is near Cameron Park, but offers more of a challenge. The front nine holes are described as “open, but demanding”, while the back nine is forested and requires “pinpoint accuracy”.
Enjoy Serenity at Carleen Bright Arboretum
The Carleen Bright Arboretum is a 16-acre oasis with many beautiful things to see. The grounds feature beautiful botanical gardens, even including a nature trail that winds through peaceful woodlands. Visitors looking for a Zen escape can visit the Massey Meditation Grove and connect to nature in peace. The arboretum grounds even include a certified monarch butterfly waystation! I remember spending warm spring afternoons with my grandmother in the butterfly gardens. Carleen Bright Arboretum is a wonderful place to spend a serene day.
If you’ve never been paddle boarding, you need to give it a shot. There are several companies offering rentals for standup paddle boards and kayaks. Pura Vida Paddle offers two water locations, one on Lake Waco and one on the Brazos River. If you paddle on the Brazos River, you’re close enough to downtown Waco to enjoy a drink after your adventure!
Take A Hike! (At Meridian State Park)
This gorgeous hill country park is only 50 miles from Waco! Meridian State Park features five miles of forested hiking trails. Enjoy stunning views of limestone bluffs and the 72-acre Lake Meridian. The 2.2 mile Bosque Hiking Trail circles the lake and takes you to some beautiful scenic overlooks. Hikers with sharp eyes can even spot some of the plants and wildlife that are indigenous to the hill country! Meridian State Park has more to offer than just hiking, though. Visitors can fish, swim, or go for a tranquil paddle. Visit Meridian State Park and enjoy one of the finest outdoor refuges around Waco!
Lake Whitney Cliff Jumping
Lake Whitney is a beautiful lake located just about 30 miles from Waco. While the lake offers fantastic hiking trails, beautiful views, and excellent fishing, the true attraction is the cliff jumping. Lake Whitney is said to be home to the best cliff jumping in Central Texas. The two most popular cliffs are Walling Bend and Soldier’s Bluff. A quick YouTube search will bring up dozens of videos of thrill seekers enjoying the cliff jumping at Lake Whitney. Is there a better way to spend a summer day?!
Miller Springs Nature Center
This gorgeous park is a 260-acre nature refuge located in the historic Tennessee Valley, which is near Temple and Belton. Access to the nature preserve is easy for explorers coming from Waco, and the trip is well worth it. Hikers and bikers can enjoy the 10 miles of trails. However, the real draw to Miller Springs is the wildlife. The park features 25 acres of wetlands, which makes the area perfect for bird watching and wildlife viewing. Miller Springs is open to the public every day, at no charge.
Waco is a wonderful place to live if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. But the city has much more to offer! Make sure to check out some of the coolest craft bars in Waco after spending your days adventuring!