Falling Water and Big Trees, Chalk Ridge Falls Nature Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Belton, Bell County, Texas

Dana Peak Park is on the northern shore of Stillhouse Hollow Lake. To the east near the dam is a small but great hiking venue at Chalk Ridge Falls. A good waterfall in this part of Texas is rare. There are many places for water to fall, there’s just no water. And here I found some of the biggest trees I have seen so far in Texas!

Stillhouse Hollow Lake from the dam
Stillhouse Hollow Dam

Stillhouse Hollow Lake is on the Lampasas River. It was built in 1968 to provide flood control downstream and water for surrounding communities. Below the dam a spring fed tributary of the Lampasas River has a wonderful waterfall that flows year round. On this day I was fortunate enough to view the falls through a light fog.

Chalk Ridge Falls

The park is small and after the falls I crossed the suspension bridge. I hiked down the Lampasas River looking for the second waterfall that is supposed to be here.

The suspension Bridge

The Lampasas is a pretty big river. In this park was something I hadn’t seen much of in a while, huge trees! They like water or are just not that plentiful in central Texas.

Regular trees!

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

John Muir

Excited over trees…. I guess I have been in Texas too long already. Most of Central Texas is covered in Ash Juniper (called mountain cedar in Texas), Live Oak, and Mesquite trees none of which grow very big. So, to have a leafy canopy and shade on a hike is somewhat rare. Especially trees this large.

I continued down the Lampasas but soon the trail was so overgrown with tall grass that had fallen across I figured winter might be the time to locate this other waterfall. Snakes you know…….

Lampasas River

On my second trip here, I found a trail I had never been on. It took me up into the canyon where the creek begins.

Small canyon above the falls

I doubled back because the trail became very faint. I ended up on the other side of the creek and got some better shots of the falls.

Chalk Ridge Falls
Chalk Ridge Falls

I ended up with about 4 miles on this trip. A small but very beautiful place!

Chalk Ridge Falls.

Here’s another story, yep it’s story time. The picture above of Chalk Ridge Falls is one I posted on Facebook in a group I am in called, “Texas Backroads”. Unbelievably this picture got 844 likes, 114 shares and 92 comments. WOW! I didn’t even know that was possible.

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