If you’ve been led to believe the Lone Star State is pancake flat, this weeklong bike tour through the rolling Texas Hill Country will prove otherwise.
This extremely popular cycling adventure begins and ends in New Braunfels, a small town deep in the heart of Hill Country. From there we’ll make our way on quiet farm and ranch roads through this region of Texas celebrated for its dazzling displays of spring wildflowers — most notably bluebonnets — which grow so thickly they sometimes appear to be distant lakes on the horizon. We’ll visit historic settlements including Blanco, Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, and Johnson City, riding along crystal-clear streams and oak-covered hills, and camp beside rivers with names that evoke the old Southwest (e.g., Guadalupe and Pedernales). Along the way, we can visit German-style beer gardens and sample Texas barbecue and Tex-Mex specialties.
|Start Date:||Apr 11, 2015||End Date:||Apr 17, 2015|
|Start Location:||New Braunfels, TX||End Location:||New Braunfels, TX|
|Total Days:||7||Riding Days:||6|
|Average Daily Mileage:||51.5||Surface:||Paved|
|Riders:||60||Airport:||Austin-Bergstrom Int'l or San Antonio Int'l|
|Tour Leader:||Greg Edwards||Meals:||Catered meals|
|Accommodations:||Camping, Motel Options||Type:||Supported|
|Physical Difficulty:||Intermediate||Level of Support:||Fully Supported|
New Braunfels. We’ll gather with tour leaders and the rest of the group in the afternoon in New Braunfels, a town full of old-world heritage and small town Texas charm. Here, we’ll have a hearty meal, an orientation meeting, and some time for the tour mechanic to help tune our trusty steeds. When it's time to hit the hay, we'll snooze beneath the starry Texas sky, dreaming of bluebonnets and barbeque to come. But before bed, stop in and have a look — and maybe a Texas-brewed Shiner Bock — at Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas.
New Braunfels to Johnson City, 51 miles. On our first riding day, we’ll get a taste of what the “Hill Country” is all about. We'll have plenty of ups and downs as we head north over Devil’s Backbone overlook, with views of the rolling hills and sweeping valleys dotted with oak, juniper, and cactus. Pedernales State Park, designated in 1971 after the state acquired the former Circle Bar Ranch, will be our campground tonight. The park is located along the banks of the scenic Pedernales River. Be sure to take advantage of the easy hike to the scenic Twin Falls when we reach our destination.
Johnson City to Fredericksburg, 58 miles. The climb up from the Pedernales River will get your blood pumping early, but you can take a break in Johnson City and visit the boyhood home of Lyndon B. Johnson. Don’t blink or you might pedal through Luckenbach, Texas without realizing it. As we travel through this tiny town, we'll want to keep a sharp eye out for Willie and Waylon and the boys. We will top off this fabulous day by spending the night east of Fredericksburg in the heart of Texas wine country.
Layover Day in Fredericksburg, Optional 46 miles. Today has many options. You can hang out at our fabulous campground, ride to nearby wineries, or visit Fredericksburg by bicycle or shuttle. Fredericksburg has a brewery, several wineries, restaurants, and museums. Once in Fredericksburg, you can park your bicycle and walk to most anything you wish to visit. In addition, there will be an optional ride that features Fredericksburg, Luckenbach, and the famous Alamo Springs General Store & Cafe.
Fredericksburg via Willow City Loop, 66 miles. Today, we’ll start by following the Willow City loop, known for its picturesque display of wildflowers. From there, we’ll ride to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. The park’s imposing namesake, a Herculean dome of pink granite, covers a full square mile and rises 425 feet above the surrounding countryside. Our destination, Fredericksburg, is renowned for its German-style biergartens — perfect places to kick back with a drink and some good food.
Fredericksburg to Blanco, 40 miles. Our route to Blanco takes us through Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. The visitor center contains a wealth of interesting information about the region and the 36th President of the United States. We’ll camp at Blanco State Park, where a series of low water dams create outstanding swimming holes.
Blanco to New Braunfels, 48 miles. Today, as we return to our start in New Braunfels, we will climb Devil’s Backbone overlook and enjoy one last view of the “Hill County’s” rolling hills and sweeping valleys before saying farewell to Texas and our new compadres.
"The Texas Hill Country tour was a great spring 'warm up' for more challenging riding this year."
2009 Tour Participant
"The wildflowers were awesome. The food was just oustanding. The tour leaders went above and beyond the call of duty. Cannot say enough about how good the food was-- it is hard to be at home and realize that dinner is not ready for me."
2012 TOUR PARTICIPANT
"The camaraderie of the group was fantastic and camping made it fun to share all the experiences together. I really enjoyed the water stops and lunch stops and just sharing stories and experiences with the other riders. Having a big group just meant that many more interesting people to get to know."
2013 Tour Participant
"The route was great - mostly rural roads with little traffic; the food was terrific."
2013 Tour Participant