Pace Bend Park (formerly Paleface Park)

Pace Bend Park (formerly Paleface Park)

As told by
Rooster
Pace Bend Park is a fantastic recreational area and less than an hour’s drive from downtown Austin.
Price:
$
Best time of day:
Anytime

What everyone knows

Pace Bend Park is on the Colorado River system of lakes known as the Highland Lakes, specifically Lake Travis.

What they don't tell you

Willie Nelson’s ranch is literally around the corner from the park’s main entry way. While enjoying a campfire, and star gazing at your campsite you might just hear him croon the lyrics to “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”.

Do it like a local

May I suggest you pack your camping gear, enough hammocks for everyone in your party, and camp atop a scenic bluff. You will be glad as you relaxingly take-in the gorgeous sunrises & sunsets the vista provides. Prior to a plunge into the lake, enjoy the 15 miles of trails that meander through the hills of Pace Bend Park, offering great lake views from the top. You will find the trail map (available at the pay booth) very helpful. It divides trails by difficulty and will lead you to the closest trail head, bathroom, or beach access point. Oh yeah, don’t forget the marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate!

For the History Buffs

I am going to share a majestic park that offers visitors a wide range of recreational opportunities. You can hike & bike, campout on the beach or atop cliffs overlooking its stunning aqua colored lake, swim in your own private cove & go fishing, boating, ride horses, and even cliff dive! You can also explore its 1,368 acres of rare plants and beautiful Hill Country wildflowers. It actually is so grandiose that it has two names. Formerly known as Paleface Park, Pace Bend Park is a Travis County Park and located in Spicewood, TX. It is located in the western region of the county, in the Hill Country of central Texas. The park has more than nine miles of shoreline along scenic Lake Travis, and is one of the most popular areas in the Highland Lakes region. Most of Pace Bend Park is easily accessible by vehicle from the six-mile, paved roadway that loops the park. The park is so vast that it can be broken up into geographic regions. The west side of the park features high, limestone cliffs and numerous rocky coves with some of the most impressive views available of Lake Travis, especially at sunset. The interior of the park contains numerous species such as whitetail deer, raccoons, fox, ringtail cats, and dozens of birds and can be reached by foot, bicycle, or horseback only. Bring those binoculars you have stored away in your closet! Its numerous trails lead into the hills and provide excellent views of the lake and the Hill Country. The northern section of the park offers a diverse array of equestrian trails, including Post Oak and Rosenbush Loop, which wind along Alfred Cove and Milam Cove. Stop at either cove and take in the beautiful views of Lake Travis. The park offers numerous “primitive sites” throughout the park, modestly equipped with picnic tables, grills and waterless toilets (first-come, first-served). Furthermore, there are 20 “improved camping” sites available for RVs and tent-camping that offer water, electricity, restrooms and showers (reservation only). If you own a boat, canoe, kayak, or S.U.P. you can make like an explorer and scout out the park’s many coves and inlets. Some of which are so remote that you may never see them all. If you do haul your boat to the park, there are boat launches at Collier Cove on the west or Tatum Cove on the east. No boat? No worries! S.U.P’s, kayaks, canoes, and other small non-motorized boats can be launched just about anywhere from Pace Bend Park. Feeling adventures and not an acrophobiac? Then you might be interested in doing some cliff diving! Pace Bend offers some of the best cliffs in Texas! Some as high as 45 feet! (In fact, that’s why the park used to be known as Paleface Park. Jumping from that height will surely rush away the blood from your cheeks! However, please take caution before you take the plunge. I highly recommend you wear shoes, because there is no ladder to get back to the top, unfortunately. You will either have to climb back up the rocks, or swim a few hundred yards around the cliffs to a beach area. In addition, barefoot divers may cut up their feet on the sharp shells of numerous zebra mussels.
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