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Old 06-13-2013, 08:58 AM   #1
danh600 OP
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Texas Hill Country - Trip Planned

I have a ten day pass once I get un-busy at work. That will be sometimes in late July or early August. I am planning a solo trip to the Hill Country. I know there are other threads on this. I have used the search function and read all of them. I just have a few questions I didn't see answered.

I think most of the road questions have been answered on other threads. I also have a Butler map of the area. I see plenty of good riding.

1. Campgrounds - In order to keep the trip kind of cheap I hope to be able to camp. Anyone have a good recommendation on a camp ground. Tent camping. Perfect world it would have shade, water and a decent bath house. Also I notice most campgrounds seem to be on the river and cater to people tubing and such. How busy are week days going to be? Do I need to have reservations or should I be able to find a campsite pretty easily most nights. Which river is the best one to camp on? I ask because it's pretty hard to get a reading on a campground from pictures on the internet.

2. Would staying somewhere around Kerrville work? Could I pretty much just do day rides and cover most of the Hill Country? That way I would have an unloaded bike.

3. What restaurants are a good now? Not really worried about doing the tourist thing and hitting the famous ones. I just want some good brisket. I can get good pork BBQ in the east. I would also like to maybe hit a German restaurant. Is Fredericksburg about the only place for that?

4. Bugs - How bad are mosquitoes in July and August?

5. I should expect temp of 95 for highs and 75 for lows with little to no rain?

Hopefully I will leave South Florida around July 26th. That should put me in the Hill Country so I can ride and camp during the week. I am thinking that should really help with the crowds.

I plan to just hit the slabs and book it there. So I am going to be on I-10 for a long, long time. How bad is Houston traffic?
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:57 AM   #2
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1. Junction is a decent area to base out of too. Morgan Shady is a nice campground, plus there is South Llano State Park and the former KOA, now called North Llano River RV park. Garner SP is on the river and very popular. Hard to get into on a weekend, but should have space during the week. Near that is Lost Maples SP. Much smaller camping area and may be hard to get space without reservations. There are many private camping areas in that area, but I don't know them so I'll leave them to others.

3. German food. Yep, Fburg is your best bet. I know of a good place NE of Austin...but kind of out of your way. Mama Chole's in Leakey has some good mexican food. Busbee's BBQ in Bandera was good the one time I've eaten there. Love's Apple Orchard Cafe (Apple Store in Google) in Medina has some good burgers and great apple products (pies and turnovers).

4. Bugs. Probably no worse than what you have in Florida. So yes, there will be mosquitoes.

5. Temps and weather. Yep, maybe a bit warmer during the day. Less humid than you are used to though, and drier on the western side of the hill country, more humid towards the central part of the state. Still not a low humidity place though.
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:41 PM   #3
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Garner SP is on the river and very popular. Hard to get into on a weekend, but should have space during the week. Near that is Lost Maples SP. Much smaller camping area and may be hard to get space without reservations.
We camped at both of these last month on a weekend and spaces were plenty. I liked Garner better. We also camped two nights in the park at Kerrville next to the airport, I do not recommend that one.

edit: Fredricksburg, not Kerrville.

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Old 06-13-2013, 03:55 PM   #4
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We camped at both of these last month on a weekend and spaces were plenty. I liked Garner better. We also camped two nights in the park at Kerrville next to the airport, I do not recommend that one.
Last month school was still in session here. Remember the long straight entrance? It will back up to the highway on a Friday in the summer.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:16 AM   #5
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Thanks guys good suggestions.

Playing around with the availability on the State Park website looks like during the week might not be too bad. I have planned the trip so I will basically be there Mon-Thurs.

Garner sounds nice but looks like a couple days there and a couple days more north. I assume Enchanted Rock is even more busy?
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:34 AM   #6
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Camping....Riding

You might want ta try stayin at Robinson Park on the river in Llano just 30 miles north of Fredericksburg. Low priced at $2 a night & right at the doorstep for day rides in all directions...be it gravel or pavement.

Your Butler map will show that there are T O N S of xclnt little paved roads all round Frburg & I always recommend them over the few larger roads down south (3 Sisters) due to the traffic issues there & the lack of many other connecting roads.

You may want ta split it up though & stay down south part of the trip....
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:06 AM   #7
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I haven't stayed there, but koyote ranch looks pretty nice but may be pricey. Not sure if they allow camping. There' also a campground in leakey that is mc only, but the owner is a bit of a jerk i hear.

There is the OST restaurant in bandera, and the pie place in medina I've heard is good.

There's a guy on two wheel texans in leakey I think, that was letting folks stay on his property so I would check there as well.

Enchanted rock is a bit out of the way,

If you get that far, you can camp for free on lake amistad by Del Rio on the west end off of 90, about as secluded and quiet as you can find.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:14 AM   #8
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Inks Lake State Park near Burnett is nice. Was there last week.
Good Swimming hole, OK but not great fishing , hiking trails, lots of wildlife. Close to Long Horn Caverns if your interested in that. Also not far to Llano , Coopers BBQ there is good. Speaking of wildlife, watch out for deer along the roads.
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:03 PM   #9
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Inks Lake also has A/C cabins for $50.00 a night. Very basic but at least it will be cool. The Frio River which Garner State Park is on is a great river for swimming. Frio is cool in Spanish and it is. It is also a great location to ride the best roads in the Hill Country.

Check out Frio Motorcycle Stop in Leakey ad Lone Star Motorcycle Museum north of Vanderpool. Owned by an Aussie with a nice collection of bikes and Aussie food.

Lost Maples Cafe in Utopia,TX has good food and great Pie. Enjoy our state.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:41 PM   #10
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I haven't stayed there, but koyote ranch looks pretty nice but may be pricey. Not sure if they allow camping. There' also a campground in leakey that is mc only, but the owner is a bit of a jerk i hear.

There is the OST restaurant in bandera, and the pie place in medina I've heard is good.

There's a guy on two wheel texans in leakey I think, that was letting folks stay on his property so I would check there as well.

Enchanted rock is a bit out of the way,

If you get that far, you can camp for free on lake amistad by Del Rio on the west end off of 90, about as secluded and quiet as you can find.
I love Koyote Ranch but it is pricey for camping, $25 the last time I was there. I learned recently that they had been bought out. Smack in the middle of great riding, convenience store, gasoline, showers. You can also rent cabins of various sizes.

OST restaurant is good. There is also the restaurant behind the River Oak Inn just down the road. It is always good.

One of these days I want to try the camping at Big Oak in Camp Wood.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:48 AM   #11
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You'd better not miss out eating BBQ at Coopers in Llano.

Then climb Enchanted Rock to work it off.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:49 AM   #12
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You'd better not miss out eating BBQ at Coopers in Llano.

Then climb Enchanted Rock to work it off.
And Coopers is just down the steet from the lake. Lairds in Llano has excellent Q too. Not much shade at E Rock and it will be even hotter climbing on all that granite. I thought I saw a private campground just north of E Rock?
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:55 AM   #13
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Thanks Guys!

You have given me lots to think about.

What is the water level like now? You guys still having a drought?

Which river is the best one for swimming?

The plan right now:

Leave South Florida on Fri 7/26. It takes a full day just to get out of Florida. Then another day to get to Texas. So I should hit the Hill Country on Sunday afternoon about the time the weekend crowds thin out.

I plan to just slab it over there. I can hit I-10 in North Florida and just book for ......well about 1,000 miles. Not the best ride but it will get me there almost a full day quicker.

I might want to take a more scenic route home. Anybody have a good scenic route plotted from TX to FL?
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:16 AM   #14
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Kerrville is not a bad place to use as an hq. The YO Ranch Hotel is very reasonable, they have patios with overhangs where you can keep your bike close, and a nice, interesting lobby/restaurant area, pool, etc. It is also close to Lowe's Walgreens and other places in case you need to fix your bike or yourself. You can pretty much see most of Texas Hill Country in 3-5 days of healthy riding. Be sure you get to the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum by Vanderpool, and right down the road from Kerrville is a recreation of Stonehenge, worth a couple minutes of your time. The Sisters are great roads to occupy your time. SA is not that far away so you can nip into town for some Riverwalk action. When you leave Kerrville there are multiple ways to go. 16 South can be a handful if you are a nooby rider, but it is a good road that climbs over some hills and demands your full attention. There is a road out of Kerrville, the name of which escapes me, but it follows the river I think. You will pass a sign as you begin getting into the main part of this road that tells you how many motorcyclists have died on this road in 2013, lol. Don't let it own you, just loosen up on the bars and pay attention, the road has many places where water can come over it, so sand is always a consideration, enjoy the place it is nice.

With regard to your route back to FL, lol, you'd be better off just burning across the bayous until you get to Fl, then take the long way down south on, uh, I don't remember now if it is old 41 or 19, past Ocala, etc, lots of mossy-covered trees overhanging the roads through the horse country, Castro Farms, etc. Been many years since I went through there, so memory could be faulty.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:19 AM   #15
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Well, this is the 3rd year of the drought so its severe. Look at the bright side though, you won't be crashing at any low water crossings. Garner state park is likely the best for swimming if the river isn't dry, but the frio river from kerrville to parts west would likely have some good swimming as well so I would look for some campgrounds there.

Can't offer a route besides I 10, I suppose you could take us 90 but it runs roughly the same path, and its all flat until you get back in the fla panhandle anyway. You would have to go through arkansas to pick up some good roads on the way back.
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