Hill Country SNA
Hill Country State Natural Area is located in Bandera and Medina Counties, 45 miles northwest of San Antonio. The 5369.8-acre site was acquired by gift and purchase in 1976 and was opened to the public in 1984. The bulk of the site was a donation from the Merrick Bar-O-Ranch with the stipulation that it “be kept far removed and untouched by modern civilization, where everything is preserved intact, yet put to a useful purpose.”
Tucked away in the rugged terrain southwest of Bandera is Hill Country State Natural Area, an undeveloped and secluded retreat. Approximately 40 miles of multi-use trails wind up grassy valleys, cross spring-fed streams, and climb steep limestone hills. Equestrians, hikers and mountain bikers can enjoy exploring the trails. Primitive and backcountry camping areas are available to equestrian and non-equestrian campers.
The 79.5 acres occupied by Fort McKavett State Historic Site was acquired and purchased from December 1967 through the mid-1970s, by deeds from Fort McKavett Restoration, Inc., Menard County and private individuals. Some property structures were acquired through condemnation. The park was opened to be public in 1968.
Originally called Camp San Saba because it overlooks the headwaters of the San Saba River Valley, it was established by five companies of the Eighth Infantry in March of 1852 to protect frontier settlers and travelers on Upper El Paso Road. The camp was later renamed for Capt. Henry McKavett, killed at, the battle of Monterey on September 21, 1846. The fort was abandoned March 1859 and reoccupied April 1868. By 1880, the fort was no longer needed and was abandoned June 30, 1883. Fort McKavett was once called by General William T. Sherman “the prettiest post in Texas.”