If you’ve been led to believe that 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:||5|
|Average Daily Mileage:||59.6||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 and 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, 57 miles. 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, Waylon, and the boys. We'll top off this fabulous dayby spending the night east of Fredricksburg in the heart of Texas Wine Country.
Fredericksburg Willow City loop, 66 miles. Today 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, rising 425 feet above the surrounding countryside. The Willow City loop is known for its wildflowers.
Layover day in Fredericksburg. We can embark an optional loop ride exploring the hills surrounding Fredericksburg or lose the bike for a day and explore Fredericksburg, one of the most popular Texan getaways in Texas. Attractions here include a string of wineries and the community's large collection of art galleries.
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 we'll end our tour back in New Braunfels, celebrating downtown with an end-of-tour toast to Texas and our new compadres.
"The great weather and seasonal timing made Austin hill country w/ blooming wildflowers an amazing experience."
2014 Tour Participant
"The Texas wildflowers were completely stunning, definitely the high point of the trip. The food was great as well!"
2012 Tour Participant
"Loved the camaraderie of the group the most with a ton of laughs every day. Our group leaders fostered an environment of structure that I love bit so much flexibility. They started bringing in found treasures om the road with particular meaning for some rider...by the final dinner we all were participating and rolling on the floors. Just awesome...don’t know if we were just lucky and this group was special but we sure think so."
2014 Tour Participant
"The leadership and staff could not have been better. They were great."
2011 Tour Participant