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South Llano River State Park, a Treasured Hill Country Haven, is Getting a New Headquarters and Bridge
South Llano River State Park, a former goat and sheep ranch that’s now a beloved outdoors playground on the edge of the Texas Hill Country, is getting a new headquarters building, new low-water crossing bridge, and an amphitheater.
The numbers don’t lie. With nearly 7,000 named lakes in Texas and nearly 190,000 miles of river, not to mention stock tanks and ponds on private property, freshwater fishing in the state offers tons of fun and a lifetime of challenges.
The first time I seriously considered buying an RV was in the aftermath of a family tent camping trip to Kerrville-Schreiner Park …
In a state where the stars at night are known for being big and bright, summer is the optimal time for viewing the Milky Way, when it is high in the southern sky and viewable through much of the night. State parks—such as Pedernales Falls State Park near Johnson City, where the night sky reflects in the still waters of the Pedernales River—are often far enough from light pollution for decent observation. Some of the best state parks for nighttime viewing are Big Bend Ranch, Enchanted Rock, Copper Breaks, and South Llano River, which are all designated International Dark Sky Parks by the International Dark-Sky Association.
The popular Llano River is a state-owned, navigable waterway over 100 miles long, but much of its riverfront property remains in private hands, creating accessibility challenges for anglers and paddlers who want to tackle its meandering course. Texas Parks and Wildlife has made getting onto the river a little easier by introducing four new public access points, with a fifth on the way, all available for fishing, floating, canoeing and kayaking.
If you’ve ventured out to Devils River State Natural Area in Southwest Texas, you know the skies can be awfully dark at night. Now the International Dark Sky Association is recognizing the 37,000-acre property for its relatively unspoiled skies with designation as a “dark sky sanctuary.”
“As Texas’ first International dark-sky sanctuary, Devils River SNA enjoys some of the clearest and starriest night skies in the continental United States,” says Adam Dalton, a program manager with the Arizona-based nonprofit association. “Owing to the area’s commitment to mitigating light pollution, the Devils River serves as a model for dark-sky conservation within the Texas State Parks system.”
I was lured to Kimble County by my fly fisher husband—his heart set on hooking the fabled Guadalupe bass and learning a trick or two at the annual Oktoberfisch fly-fishing festival. For three days every October, the Fredericksburg Fly Fishers invite first-timers and avid anglers to their event along the Llano River in Junction. The town—known as The Land of Living Waters, a nod to the county’s abundance of flowing waterways—sits where the North and South Llano rivers meet, so it’s a prime locale for such a fest.