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Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area, Texas

Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area, located in Spicewood, is one of our favorite outdoor destinations in the Texas Hill Country. The area is located just under 40 miles west of Austin and can be easily reached in an hour. 

The park is 654 acres large and has about 10 miles of hiking and biking trails. The recreation area is located on the southern shores of Lake Travis and is also popular for water recreation on the Colorado River. 

The park is named after its shape and location adjacent to a muleshoe shaped bend of the Colorado River. The land here gently slopes towards the water and creates a beautiful lush scenic landscape. 

Its location in Spicewood adjacent to the popular Krause Springs nature preserve, make Muleshoe Bend one of the outdoor gems in Central Texas. The area makes a perfect day trip or weekend getaway from Austin

Also Read: Best Things to do in Texas Hill Country

Things to do in Muleshoe Bend

Here are our favorite things to do on a trip to Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area. 

Go hiking along the shores of Lake Travis

Hiking at Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area is a favorite with Texas families for generations. The trails are gentle enough for even the youngest hikers. Pets are also allowed in the area. 

The main loop is 6.5 miles long and is called the ‘Great Escape’ trail. It has many branches which interconnect various parts and you can go for a short hike or as long as you desire.

On the hikes, you will be treated to scenic views of the lake and the wildflowers in spring. You can also spot wildlife while hiking the reserve.  

Enjoy mountain biking at Muleshoe Bend

Muleshoe Bend is a paradise for mountain biking lovers. The landscape here is uneven and continuously goes up and down the gently rolling hills.  

Some of the interconnecting trails are more challenging: the Recycler and the Derailleur are favorite with mountain bike enthusiasts.  

Spot the wildlife

Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area is also great for watching wildlife. You can easily spot deer, rabbits, chipmunks, and other small animals on the trails. Birds are also plentiful in the area.  

Camp under the starry skies

Camping is one of the best ways to experience the amazing natural scenery at Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area. The campsites are large and secluded; they also have picnic tables and grills for your enjoyment and comfort. 

Camping allows you to experience the dark night sky at Muleshoe Bend. You will be able to see millions of stars come out and shine over the lake. 

There are 34 campsites at Muleshoe Bend and all of them can be reserved in advance. We highly recommend this especially during the popular bluebonnet season. 

Go horseback riding in Central Texas

Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area also allows horseback riding. This is a great place to hit the equestrian trails and enjoy time outdoors in the Texas 

Have a family picnic amidst the scenic views

The recreation area also has many picnic tables with grills and is perfect for day use too if all campsites are full. Or you can even spread a picnic blanket on the green fields and lounge while the kids play around. 

We recommend either cooking here or getting your packed food somewhere in Austin or Marble Falls. Or make a pit stop at the nearest Bucees and get all your supplies! 

Kayak or paddle board the lake

Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area is a paradise for water recreation lovers. You can launch a canoe or kayak or enjoy stand up paddle boarding on the lake. 

Muleshoe Bend also has a boat ramp which you can use to launch a boat. Fishing is allowed at Muleshoe Bend and watercraft rentals are also available. 

You can rent kayaks, fishing kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards per hour or for the entire day. This is a great option if you don’t want to bring your own gear to Muleshoe Bend. 

Muleshoe Bend, because of the scenic views, is one of the best places to kayak in Texas.

Cool down by swimming in the lake waters

Let the kids enjoy splashing fun and go for a swim in the lake. The cool water feels especially amazing on a hot and humid summer day. 

Enjoy the bluebonnets of Texas

Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area is one of the best places in Texas to enjoy the annual wildflower blooms. The state flower, bluebonnet, blooms profusely all over Muleshoe Bend. 

The peak usually occurs in early April and if you visit the park in this season, you will be hiking among a sea of bluebonnets. The 5 mile long loop is the perfect way to enjoy the endless flower fields. 

Make sure you take a camera and stoop low to catch the never ending blue against the lake waters and the sky. Also look out for rattlesnakes and make sure to not trample the wildflowers. 

This is also one of the most crowded times for Muleshoe Bend, so we recommend visiting early in the day to have the area to yourself. 

The amount of bluebonnet blooms vary every year depending on winter temperature and rainfall.

Some years we have visited Muleshoe Bend to enjoy seas of dark blue, while another year we haven’t seen even a single flower. 

We recommend checking the wildflower reports before you plan a visit to Muleshoe Bend for the flowers. 

Enjoy the attractions in Spicewood

Spicewood, Texas also has many other attractions including the famous Krause Springs waterfall, which is one of the best waterfalls in Texas and Opie’s barbecue, an iconic joint. 

Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area Fees and Hours

Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area, managed by the Lower Colorado River Authority, is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Fees are $5 per adult and $25 for camping. Children under 12 are free. 

The address is 2820 Co Rd 414, Spicewood, TX 78669.

Nearby Attractions

We recommend visiting the following nearby attractions while visiting Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area if you have enough time.

Turkey Bend Recreation Area

Turkey Bend Recreation Area is also a beautiful place to visit. It is located on the opposite shore of Lake Travis from Muleshoe Bend.

It has many different activities including camping, plenty of trails, scenic overlooks, and bluebonnet fields. 

Spicewood

Spicewood, Texas is an interesting place to visit. 

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly destination or a more secluded getaway, this quaint town has it all. 

Nearby lakes offer fishing and boating opportunities as well as scenic views of the rolling landscape.

You can also find some great shopping downtown where the shops carry everything from antiques to handmade goods by local artisans.

Marble Falls

Located in the Hill Country outside of Austin and San Antonio, Marble Falls is one of our favorite romantic getaways in Texas.

From outdoor adventures like hiking or kayaking on the Highland Lakes to indoor activities such as shopping or enjoying live music, Marble Falls has it all. 

Austin

Austin is a great city to explore. 

It has tons of sights and attractions, from the iconic Texas State Capitol Building to the picturesque Zilker Park. 

The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum features interactive exhibits that are a must for history lovers. 

The Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail is amazing to spend some time in nature.