SOUTH LLANO RIVER STATE PARK
Located on the western edge of the Hill Country, South Llano River State Park is a unique combination of rocky upland backcountry and a lush pecan grove river bottom.
The South Llano River is unique among west and central Texas rivers it has never run dry in recorded history. Two large springs, in addition to many smaller springs, supply most of the water in the South Llano.
The South Llano and North Llano rivers meet in the town of Junction. There they become the main Llano River, which flows into Lake LBJ and the Highland Lakes some 100 miles downstream.
In dry years, the Llano River provides most of the water for the Highland Lakes, a main source of drinking water for people in Austin and downstream all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Your efforts to keep the South Llano pristine and pure can affect a lot of people
South Llano River State Park is an International Dark Sky Park.
Stay late to marvel at the night skies.
Walter White Buck, Jr. moved to this area with his family in 1910 when he was 18 years old. They lived in the house that is now park headquarters, and the younger Buck took over the family ranch after his father died.
Buck felt strongly about conserving the land. After his father died, he reduced his 1,000 head of sheep, goats and cattle by nearly half. Eventually, he ran only 125 head of cattle, which he later sold. Caring for the land and not overgrazing his livestock allowed him to survive a five-year drought in the 1950s.
In two of the best years, Buck harvested 75,000 pounds of pecans. He enjoyed caring for the pecan trees, which included both native and cultivated varieties.
A bachelor all his life, Buck used to say that this land was his one great love. He donated his whole property to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1977 for wildlife conservation or park purposes. The park opened in 1990.
South Llano River State Park expanded from about 600 acres to 2,600 acres in 2011, when the Walter Buck Wildlife Management Area became part of the state park. This backcountry area offers hiking, mountain biking, and primitive camping.