Located in Marble Falls, Texas is the outdoor paradise of Turkey Bend Recreation Area.
It is located just about 45 miles away from downtown Austin and can be easily seen on a day trip from the state capital.
If you are coming from Austin, then the trip via US 183 North which winds through Balcones Canyonlands has just gorgeous views. You will be treated to classic Texas Hill Country landscape views and understand why this region of Texas has enchanted visitors since ages.
As you near the recreation area, US 183 gives way to FM 1431 west of Cedar Park. This is a beautiful scenic road connecting Lago Vista and Marble Falls. In the spring, it is covered with beautiful wildflowers.
This huge nature preserve is over 1100 acres and located on the northern shoreline of Lake Travis on the Colorado River. We definitely recommend this on a trip to Marble Falls or elsewhere in bluebonnet country.
Also Read: Best Things to do in Texas Hill Country
Things to do in Turkey Bend Recreation Area
Turkey Bend definitely deserves a trip if you are visiting Central Texas. Here are some of our favorite activities to do in the area.
Enjoy the bluebonnets in spring
Turkey Bend Recreation Area is most popular to visit during spring. If the weather and conditions are right, then the whole area around the lake banks are carpeted in a sea of bluebonnets.
In fact, Turkey Bend is one of the best places to see bluebonnets in Texas. However, the flower display and density varies every season, so make sure there is a big bloom before you go.
The area usually peaks in the first or second week of April. Along with the bluebonnets, you will also spot other Texas wildflowers like white poppies and the crimson Indian paintbrush flowers at Turkey Bend.
The image of a blue landscape of bluebonnets growing along the waters of Lake Travis is one of the iconic photos of the Texas Hill Country.
Enjoy kayaking or swimming on Lake Travis
The easy access to the lake is perfect for activities such as canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, and swimming.
The calm waters of Lake Travis make the area a perfect place to learn kayaking in Texas for beginners. However, the area does not have a boat ramp for larger boats.
Camp along the water’s edge
Turkey Bend Recreation Area is also a popular camping destination in the Texas Hill Country. The sites are shaded by oak trees, surrounded by bluebonnets in spring, and just a few steps from the water.
It has a total of 29 campsites, which can be reserved in advance. We highly recommend the advance reservations as the sites get full early on.
Enjoy a picnic at Turkey Bend
Along with campsites, you will also find picnic tables and grills, making it perfect for day trips too.
We recommend packing a picnic lunch and having a nice relaxed day out in the fields.
This is very popular with families during bluebonnet season.
Hike along the classic Texas landscape
The park has many hiking trails and also holds interpretative nature events with naturalists.
These guided walks are perfect to understand the geology, natural and cultural history of the Highland Lakes.
Mountain bike the terrain
The undulating nature of the landscape here makes Turkey Bend perfect for mountain biking too.
The trails are perfect for beginners as well as expert mountain bikers.
Also, bikes are a great way to cover this simply huge area.
Pet friendly fun
Pets are allowed in the recreation area, making it very popular with families with pets living in the greater Austin area.
Dogs must be kept on leash, however we have also seen dogs running through the fields on several visits.
Go horse riding at Turkey Bend
Turkey Bend Recreation Area also allows horse riding and is perfect for equestrian fun. There are several trails in the park for avid horse lovers.
Also if you go in the bluebonnet season, you can get a photo of the gorgeous horses in the bluebonnet fields.
Turkey Bend Recreation Area fees and hours
Turkey Bend Recreation Area is managed by the Lower Colorado River Authority. The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Entry for adults is $5 while campsites cost $25.
The address is 4000 Shaw Dr, Marble Falls, TX 78654.
We recommend visiting the following nearby attractions while visiting Turkey Bend Recreation Area if you have enough time.
Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area
A beautiful and serene park, Muleshoe Bend recreation area is a great place for those who enjoy outdoor activities.
It is located near Spicewood, on the southern shores of Lake Travis.
Similar to Turkey Bend, Muleshoe Bend has a variety of bluebonnet trails, campsites, fishing opportunities, and much more to offer.
Spicewood, Texas is a small town near Austin.
The Spicewood area offers a number of different attractions including fishing spots, waterfalls, camping, hiking, and more.
Visitors can also enjoy swimming holes, horseback riding, or nature walks.
Marble Falls, a small town in Texas Hill Country, is known for its natural beauty, quaint shops and friendly people.
It offers many activities for tourists from fishing in the lake to bluebonnet road trips. If you’re looking to stay overnight, there are plenty of hotels and B&B’s available to suit your needs!
Austin has a lot to offer for all kinds of visitors and makes a perfect destination to explore the Texas Hill Country.
The first thing you should do when visiting Austin is head over to Lady Bird Lake and take in the panoramic views of the city.
The view of downtown Austin on one side and Barton Creek Greenbelt on the other is one of our favorites in Texas.
Other attractions include the Texas State Capitol, Mt Bonnell, nightlife, and dining scene.