Prettier than Expected
Lacy Point Nature Area
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Distance: 7.00 Miles
Hiking at the Lacy Point Nature area is mostly flat, prairie hiking, though parts of it do run by the lake. I didn't expect much going there, but I was pretty overwhelmed by the largeness of the sky and the wildlife I encountered. I also enjoyed the length of the trails. You can go on several, and it is very long. Sadly, I moved from Waco before exploring everything the nature area offered, but I enjoyed my time there thoroughly.
Great Place in Town
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Distance: 6.00 Miles
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.