• Six beautiful places to get away to nature in Waco

    Hikers on a Cameron Park trail through woods

    Baylor is regularly named among the most beautiful college campuses in the United States — but sometimes, you just want to get off campus and into more natural settings.

    Thankfully, Waco has plenty to offer those looking for a serene getaway. From hiking trails near the Brazos River to sunsets in Woodway Park, here are six of our favorite places to escape the daily grind and enjoy the beauty of Central Texas!

    Cameron Park Located literally down the street from Baylor’s campus, Cameron Park is a 416-acre oasis with shaded hiking and biking trails, two rivers, cliffs overlooking the Brazos, and a multi-use National Recreation Trail System. There are also spots to fish, disc golf, and picnic — an easy escape from the hectic life.

    Brazos River The longest river in Texas, the Brazos runs more than 800 miles — including right through the Baylor campus! Named the Río de los Brazos de Dios (“The River of the Arms of God”) by Spanish explorers, the Brazos offers a multitude of activities, including boating, kayaking, a river walk, fishing, and recreational water sports. Rent a kayak, canoe or boat and float down the river right by our very own McLane Stadium!

    Lake Waco Located about 20 minutes from campus, Lake Waco visitors enjoy fishing, camping, boating, swimming, and trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding — basically everything you need to escape day-to-day life. Fun fact: Lake Waco is the largest lake in the United States to be located entirely within a single city’s municipal boundaries!

    The Carleen Bright Arboretum A quick 15-minute drive from campus, “the Jewel of Woodway” boasts 16 acres of botanical gardens, hike and bike trails through native woodlands, fountains, a certified Monarch Butterfly waystation, event space, and more.

    Woodway Park Just around the corner from the arboretum sits Woodway Park, one of the best spots in Waco for viewing the incredible sunsets over Lake Waco. While you’re waiting for sunset, enjoy a round of disc golf or a picnic in one of the pavilions.

    Lake Waco Wetlands One of the lesser-known Waco getaways, the wetlands were created in 2001 to mitigate habitat loss from the raising of Lake Waco. All told, the wetlands offer 3.5 miles of nature trails for hiking, bird watching and photography, as well as spots to learn about water quality and conservation.

    Sic ’em, Waco nature lovers!