Perfect for a outdoorsy day trip, find hiking, biking and paddling. Then sample some of the cuisine overlooking the Colorado River, all within an hour from Austin. Read on to plan an Austin Day Trip to Bastrop.
About 30 miles southeast of Austin, Bastrop is at convergence of the Colorado River, the Old San Antonio Road and the western edge of the Southern Pines. Bastrop’s historic downtown overlooks the Colorado River. With 131 residential and commercial historic buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, Bastrop retains the title of Most Historic Small Town in Texas.
McKinney Roughs Nature Park
With over 1,100 acres, hike or bike 18 miles of trails though wildflower meadows and next to the Colorado River. Start at the nature center to learn about the native plants and animals, including live animals.
In addition to hiking and biking, find a scenic overlook, or spot a deer munching on grass.
Located at 1884 Highway 71 West, in Cedar Creek. Day use adult (12+) admission is $5. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Zip Lost Pines
As the only dual line canopy tour in Texas, see the trees below on the six dual zip lines. Or better, race your buddy.
Located at 1760 Highway 71 West, Cedar Creek, TX 78612. Tours start at $95 for one-and-a-half hour experience. Open Thursday to Monday and reservations required. Night tours also available.
Paddling Trails on the Colorado River
Paddlers can find two different water trails passing groves of cottonwood trees and past grazing cattle.
The Colorado River is a paddling destination for kayakers, canoeists and SUPers. Wilbarger Paddling Trail is a 14.3 mile section of the Colorado River. Enter at Utley Bridge on FM 969 and float or paddle until Fisherman’s Park.
El Camino Real Paddling Trail is a 6.4 mile section, immediately following the Wilbarger Paddling Trail. Enter at Fisherman’s Park and continue until Lost Pines Recreational Trails.
Bastrop River Company
Rents single kayaks, double kayaks, canoes and SUPs by the hour. It also arranges trips from half day to all day trips on both paddling trails. Trips include a one-way ride to-or-from Fisherman’s Park. Trips start at $40 including the equipment.
Located at 1400 Willow Street. Reservations recommended for weekends and holidays. Season runs from March until the end of October.
Lake Bastrop LCRA Parks
Along the shores of Lake Bastrop, the Lower Colorado River Authority owns two parks about three miles from downtown Bastrop. The 900-acre lake offers lots of boating opportunities with a boat ramp, rental water crafts like kayaks and SUPs, along with hiking and picnicking.
North Shore Park is outfitted with a dock and a boat ramp, this the place to launch your boat. Find a fishing pier and trailer parking as well. South Shore Park offers a large campground along with rental kayaks and a mini-golf course.
Lake Bastrop North Shore Park is located at 603 FM 1441. Lake Bastrop South Shore Park is located at 375 South Shore Road. Each park charges everyone 12-years-old and older a $5 entrance fee. Open from dawn to dusk daily.
Bastrop State Park
Visit for the recreational opportunities and the history. During the Depression the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built cabins along with the Refectory, a National Historic Landmark. Bastrop State Park also offers hiking with 8.5 miles of trails. And some of the trails can be used for biking as well.
Bastrop State Park is connected to its sister park, Buescher State Park. Drive or bike down Park Road 1C. Be sure and stop at the historic scenic overlook for views in every direction.
Located at 100 Park Road 1A, in Bastrop. Day-use adult admission (12+) is $5.
Along the shores of the Colorado River, Fisherman’s Park is a gathering place for your river journey. If not paddling, then walk along the June Hill Pape Riverwalk Trail for a wide .5-mile multi-use trail.
Located at 1200 Willow Street. Find free parking along with restrooms, picnic tables and a playscape.
Bastrop County Museum and Visitor Center
Learn about the history of Bastrop from Native American artifacts recovered in the area to recent times. Walk through displays explaining the importance of cotton to coal mining.
Located at 904 Main St. Open from Thursdays to Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Adult admission to the museum is $5 and kids 12 and under are free.
Where to Eat
For a hearty breakfast, head to Maxine’s Cafe and Bakery. A Main Street mainstay for decades, it dishes up standards, like omelettes along with Migas.
Also find a lunch menu with salads, sandwiches and burgers. Or head next door for cakes, pies or cookies to go.
Located at 905 Main Street. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Grab a table on the back deck overlooking the Colorado River for one of the nicest views in Bastrop. At Neighbor’s Kitchen and Yard, find a menu with salads, sandwiches along with stand-out pizzas. The unique cocktail menu make Neighbor’s the place for happy hour.
Located at 601 Chestnut St. Suite C, behind the Bastrop County Museum and Visitor Center. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Looking for a treat or snack, then duck into the Tough Cookie Bakery. With a daily assortment of cookies, bread and baked goods, grab a sweet to-go. It also offers coffee along with breakfast and lunch items.
Located at 601 Chestnut St. Suite D, next to Neighbor’s. Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.