A Highland Lakes Getaway

Published in the La Vernia News on November 30, 2017

Plan a quick getaway to the Highland Lakes

Vanishing River Cruise

     With a total of six lakes composing the Highland Lakes there are unlimited opportunities for boating, fishing, camping, and water sports. There are also some great things to do away from the water.

Go Deep 

   Longhorn Cavern can be found between Burnet and Marble Falls on Park Road 4. A 90-minute guided tour of the cavern is just over a mile round trip, although over 11 miles of the cavern has been explored. Once you make your way down the 52 steps to the cave entrance, the remainder of the tour is mostly level.

      Wear comfortable non-slip shoes and since the cave stays at a constant 65 degrees, you may want to bring a light jacket. Many of the rooms are large enough to host private events, such as weddings, birthday parties, or musical performances.

       In addition to the cave tours, Longhorn State Park is a beautiful place to spend the day. You can hike several well-marked trails, have a picnic at a shaded table or enjoy the Grill and Snack Bar inside the Visitor Center. Explore the Observation Tower and learn more about the creation of the park at the park museum housed in the original Visitor Center

Everyday Journeys

   Harry and Linda Kaye Perez

      There is no fee charged to enter the park or use any of the facilities, except for the guided cave tours, ranging from  $12 to $16 per person. If you have a Texas State Parks Pass you can get a $3.00 discount. Dogs are allowed to visit the outside areas of the park if kept on a leash; pets are not allowed inside the cavern or buildings.

Treetop Tours


       If you are up for the a breathtaking adventure, try the zipline experience at the Cypress Valley Canopy Tour that includes a series of five ziplines, two sky bridges, and a rappel exit. The longest zipline is over 350 feet and participants launch and land onto platforms up to 40 feet high in the trees. You will be outfitted with specific gear and through a detailed orientation session, guides will carefully point out all the safety features and procedures to assure you of the safety precautions taken to protect you. They also will point out some of the things that you will see during the course of your 90-minute tour.

      At the end of the tour, most guests will exit the course by rappelling off the last platform; however, an alternate exit is available for those not inclined to venture down the rappel. 

Eagles in Flight

Vanishing Texas River Cruises offers a variety of cruise options and we suggest you visit their website to see which cruise is perfect for you. The best time to see eagles is from November 15th through February when they are nesting; however sightings are never guaranteed. These cruises run about $25.00 per person.

The Freedom Flight cruise sounds really exciting. Rehabilitated birds of prey are released back into the wild, and gives guests an up close look at these birds. This cruise is slightly more expense with a portion of every ticket going toward these rehabilitation efforts. All crusies offer excellent opportunities for viewing regional and migrating birds including the wintering Blad Eagle, native Texas Wildlife, cascading warerfalls and towering cliffs.

Pilot Knob Winery

     Tastes of Texas  

     Wineries: The Highland Lakes Region is part of the Texas Wine Trail with at least a dozen local wineries open for business.  If you are serious about wine, you might consider taking a wine tour with Heart of Texas Wine Tours. Traveling in a comfortable van with friends or other wine enthusiasts, they will take you to a variety of wineries for a day of wine tasting before delivering you back safely to your meeting point.  Or, you can visit them on your own.

    The Highland Lakes, although at the upper reaches of the Hill Country, serves as the prime example of the best that Texas can offer visitors. It can even surprise us Texans with its diversity.

Longhorn Caverns and State Park,  830-598-2283 (Burnet, TX), www.longhorncaverns.com

 Cypress Valley Canopy Tours, (512) 264-8880 (Spicewood, TX), www.cypressvalleycanopytours.com

 Vanishing Texas River Cruises, (512) 756-6986 (Burnet TX), www.vtrc.com

 Heart of Texas Wine Tours, (512) 755-0937 (Marble Falls, TX), www.heartoftexaswinetours.com



   © Harry Perez 2012