What is your first thought when thinking of Waco, Texas? It’s understandable if your checklist includes a particular home-renovation TV show couple or Baylor University. But you’d be missing the bigger picture of what makes Waco such a great place to visit.
Waco has a thriving arts scene, a dizzying array of great restaurants, one-of-a-kind shopping malls, attractions worthy of a big city, and numerous ways to enjoy the outdoors. Waco is a treat for all senses, surrounded by the scenic views of central Texas and home to picturesque rivers.
One outdoor activity people like to do in Waco is hiking, given their numerous hiking trails. So, whether you want to go hiking, trail running, biking, or exploring other outdoor activities, Waco, Texas, has it all.
Are you searching for the best hiking trails in this stunning Texan city? We’ve got you covered with the best hiking trails you’ll love!
Cameron Park is a beautiful 7-mile loop trail located near Waco, Texas.
This park is home to one of Texas’ most well-known natural trail systems. The trails zigzag and move up 100-foot bluffs overlooking the Bosque and Brazos Rivers in an area known for farmland. The daring can tear down trails like Root Canal and Vortex, while those looking for a slower pace can stroll along the bamboo-filled California 56 and River Trail.
The trails offer multiple outdoor adventures with varied terrain, handcrafted bridges, and breathtaking views. The local ecosystem is displayed throughout the park, with wildlife and native vegetation.
Hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, trail runners, and dog walkers use Cameron Park. You are also free to canoe and fish there. The trail system provides scenic views of the nearby landscape and is an excellent location for viewing wildlife and wildflowers.
The Cameron Park Trails, which host community events, mountain bike races, and weekly walks, provide a place for people of all ages to enjoy the Great Outdoors. There are restrooms, picnic areas, water fountains, trail maps, frisbee golf, and activity guides at the park’s entrance.
Hale Bopp And Highlander Loop
Discover this 2.74-kilometer loop trail near Waco, Texas. It takes approximately 51 minutes to complete this moderately challenging route. Although this is a popular trail for walking, hiking, and other nature excursions, you can still find some solitude during quieter times of the day. This trail is best visited between May and September.
The Woodway Trail
The Woodway Trail is 2.4 mile a loop trail surrounded by a lovely lake.
This trail is dog-friendly, suitable for children and people of all skill sets, and popular with mountain bikers. It’s also ideal for hiking and bird watching. This trail offers numerous opportunities to see wildflowers in the spring.
Woodway Park has a disc golf course, a playground, two pavilions with BBQ grills, and views of the lake. The grounds are well-kept, and the nature trail is easy to navigate.
Woodway Park is an incredible place to spend your night in or any time of day. There are a few pavilion-style table groups and plenty of tables. It also has a clean beach area with enough waterfronts for a few hundred people.
The Mother Neff State Park Trail
The Mother Neff State Park Trail is a 3.3-mile loop that runs alongside a beautiful river and is suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
This trail is popular among birders, hikers, and nature enthusiasts, and it features a remarkable cave that is fun to explore. Dogs are welcome at Mother Neff State Park, but you must keep them on a leash. The trail is open all year and features beautiful wildflowers in the spring and autumn colors.
The entrance fee to the state park is $2 per adult, and you can also camp there.
The Chalk Ridge Falls Trail
The Chalk Ridge Falls Park Trail, located just outside of Belton, Texas, is a moderate hike that features numerous waterfalls and streams.
The trail has one main waterfall and an interesting suspension bridge; the hike to the stunning waterfall and bridge is only about a half-mile walk from the parking lot. The trail is approximately 2.5 miles long and is an out-and-back trail.
It is mostly obscured and follows the creek. This Chalk Ridge Falls Park Trail is perfect for a day out with your family. Dogs are permitted, but you must keep them on a leash and cleaned up after! Parking is also abundant and easy to access.
The main trail is mostly flat but not paved, making it accessible to people with disabilities. The trail does decline once you reach the waterfall, which is challenging to descend, but you can see it from above. Several elevated side trails are not handicap accessible.
Midway Park has a 7,000-acre lake that is easily reachable from the park. At this riverside area with campsites and lake access, visitors can enjoy hiking, boating, fishing, swimming, and birding. Picnic tables can be found throughout the park and even inside the large pavilion next to the playground.
The staff maintains every area of the park. The non-sewer plots at Midway Park are well-spaced and have plenty of room.
Cotton Belt Trail
Built on an uninhabited St. Louis Southwestern Railway corridor, Waco’s Cotton Belt Trail debuted in 2013. The Cotton Belt Railroad, which connected Texas with Missouri and Arkansas, was later assimilated into the Southern Pacific system.
The wide trail that connects the Harris Creek neighborhood on Waco’s west side has a short loop trail with Hannah Hill Road at the new Trail Blazer Park, closer to Lake Waco. The Cotton Belt Trail primarily traverses a flat landscape of open ground dotted with trees.
The highlight is unquestionably the winding route beneath Old Lorena Road that leads to the spectacular bridge over the Bosque River. The bridge is illuminated so that travelers can use it at night.
Trail Blazer Park has parking for the Cotton Belt Trail on Harris Creek Road.
Take your camera with you on whatever trail you choose to capture memories. Bring some water and dress for the weather. Enjoy your hike!