Cameron Park

10.00 Miles
3point5stars (3.88)21
2stars (2.10)
3stars (3.19)
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A beautiful riverside trail within the Waco city limits
By rplemmons on 7/4/2012
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: N/A

A nice hike in Waco along the Bosque and Brazos rivers. Start outside the park at the McLennan Community College boat ramp trailhead. Go east  along the Bosque river until it merges with the Brazos (coming in from the north) at Cameron Park. Lots of side trails to explore. Fairly heavily used by runners and mountain bikers, but if you go early in the morning there aren't that many people around.

Most of the hike is under a thick, shady canopy of cottonwoods and other large trees. Some mild changes in elevation, but mostly flat along the river. Dramatic changes in elevation on the trails leading away from the river (very popular with mountain bikers). Beautiful limestone cliffs in Cameron Park.

Some critters, including a copperhead lying just off the main trail. Lots of butterflies and wildflowers, but vary  depending on the time of year. Some interesting birds as well. Mostly just a really pretty place to take a walk in the woods, but for the fewest interruptions by runners (often in groups) and mountain bikers go very early in the morning (before 8 AM). 

Great Place in Town
By jcpj on 2/26/2011
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 6.00 Miles Duration: N/A
I really love Cameron Park. I set a goal last summer of covering every one of the 40-ish trails in the park (even the small, connecting ones), and I kept track. The park has some beautiful spots along the river and up on the bluffs along it. It has some additionally good walks across the road from the river, in a complex of trails that seem mainly designed for mountain bikers. I avoid this particular set of trails on the weekends (I'll admit to not liking mountain biking--it tears up the trails too much), but they're fantastic in weekdays. They're beautiful, sometimes challenging, and at most times solitary. The very best hike in the system is the Highlander Trail. I like to start on the easy, but pretty and long, River Trail and go its whole distance before reaching the Halle Bopp trail and then go from it along the long Highlander Trail. It loops around a while until it comes back to the river trail and then take back to my car. I may be off, but I'd estimate that whole route at around 5-6 miles. I've never felt unsafe once going there (though I do occasionally take some pepper spray when I'm not going on a weekend). On the whole, it's a well-maintained, beautiful, and fun spot right in Waco.
Nice loop in North End of Park
By millerdw on 9/22/2007
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 4stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 3.50 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes

I'm from Waco, and I've never understood why most people in town are scared to go to Cameron Park.  Its really funny.  There's a beautiful park on the Brazos River, with a really nice trail system that meanders along the river and up into the bluffs overlooking the river.  The upside is a really nice park right in the heart of old Waco with very little traffic - other than the occasional mountainbiker. 

For a really nice ~3 mile hike with some elevation (and scenery) change, try the following:

Start at the parking area near Lover's Leap and the Baseball Fields.  You can here by following Park Lake Drive east from N 19th St in North Waco.

Take the "Thor" trail down to the river.  This trail decends through cedar upland down to lush riverbottom.  From there, you can head south along the river to check out the base of Lover's Leap.  This is a really nice limestone cliff (~70 ft) right on the river.  Its pretty cool b/c you can see where two ecosystems converge (cedars up top to riverbottom at the base).

From there, you can continue along the river as far as you like, but for my favorite "loop" hike, backtrack to MCC trail, and go right.  Follow this trail briefly ~.2 miles to Highlander Trail and take a left.  I think this trail is supposed to be hikers only, but I'm not sure, and I have seen mountain bikers on it.  Anyway follow Highlander trail back to the trailhead near the ball fields.  Along the way, you'll meander up and down through the bluffs along the river.  You'll encounter sections of bottomland, oak forest, and cedar upland reminiscent of the Hill Country, so its really quite nice for such a short in-town hike. 

Overall, this hike is about 3 miles, but can be extended further downstream to visit another limestone cliff (Circle Point) similar to Lover's Leap, and the Mouth of the Bosque, where the Bosque River feeds into the Brazos.  Just retrace your path back to MCC trail to complete the loop section in the north side of the park...

By gabegober on 3/28/2007
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: N/A
Cool hiking spot in the middle of Waco
By Peter Maurer on 7/9/2004
Rating: N/A Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 5.00 Miles Duration: N/A
Although a favorite spot for mountain biking, the many trails and beautiful scenery make for great hikes of many different lengths. Trails can be accessed from many different points. The main trail runs along the river, but the more interesting ones wind up and down the hillsides. There are many unofficial trails that do not appear on the map, and the map is somewhat inaccurate. Many of the unofficial trails lead to breathtaking cliff-edge views, but be warned that the cliffs are not stable and can be dangerous. The trails shown on the map are easy (the rating is for bicycles, not for feet) but some of the unofficial trails require the use of both hands and feet.
By Eveline on 8/9/2003
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 6.20 Miles Duration: N/A
By Eveline on 3/14/1998
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 6.80 Miles Duration: N/A
By Eveline on 6/30/1996
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 6.80 Miles Duration: N/A
By Eveline on 11/18/1995
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 6.80 Miles Duration: N/A
By Eveline on 7/9/1995
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 6.80 Miles Duration: N/A

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