Whether the day’s agenda includes canoeing or bird watching, South Llano River State Park boasts an environment well suited to a wide range of activities. Comprised of land that was gifted to the state of Texas on the condition that its turkey roost be protected, South Llano is known for its stunning - and highly visible - wildlife.
For those who prefer a more active approach to enjoying the outdoors, South Llano has 18 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, tubing and canoeing, and rustic hike-in camping.
South Llano River State Park is located in Junction, TX and is open to visitors daily throughout the year.
Even for those who yawn when “bird watching” is mentioned, it’s worth taking some time to check out the wildlife at South Llamo. Typically, guests will cross paths with a variety of animals, including wild turkey, antelope, armadillo and rabbit.
Outfitted with special bird blinds to observe the activities of the abundant wild turkeys, South Llano is one of the largest wild turkey roosts in all of Texas. Turkey roost observation is open year round, but hours are restricted from October to March.
South Llano River
The river is the park’s major attraction, where visitors flock to swim, tube, kayak, canoe and fish. South Llano includes about two miles of river, allowing plenty of space for people to enjoy floating and relaxing without feeling too crowded.
The park rents tubes to guests, and can recommend third-party businesses for those wanting to kayak or canoe.
Bonus: The South Llano River is considered one of the “most pristine” in the state, so wildlife thrives while humans feel safe spending hours playing in the water.
About 18 miles of combination hiking and biking trails give visitors a chance to explore the park at their own pace. Trails range in difficulty from all-access to moderate for hikers, and are rated “beginner” for mountain bikers.
Because the river is the main draw, the trails tend to be quiet and less crowded, perfect for anyone looking to get caught up in nature.
Many visitors have experienced limited cell phone coverage, particularly with AT&T, so plan all rendezvous times before heading out.
South Llano has a campsite for everyone. Five primitive campsites with a minimum hike-in of at least 1.5 miles are popular for getting away from busier areas. Primitive sites have picnic tables, but making a fire is not permitted.
Other campsite options include six walk-in locations and 58 additional sites that have access to water and electricity, all of which can hold up to eight people. Almost all tent campsites are spaced out within a wooded area, giving each site relative privacy from other groups.