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Lime Kiln Loop



1.3 mile 2.1 kilometer loop
91% Runnable


Ascent: 172' 52 m
Descent: -177' -54 m
High: 752' 229 m
Low: 605' 184 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 15% (8°)


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Trail shared by Danny Laurel

This loop in the eastern part of the park offers something for everyone!

Danny Laurel

Features Birding · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


This is a fun loop in the Spring Lake Natural Area that is great for beginners and seasoned runners alike. The terrain can go from smooth to rocky pretty quick, so be mindful if you’re taking the bike. Along the route there are wonderful overlook views of San Marcos, birding, and even some fishing in the pond.

Need to Know

This is a free park. There is a portable toilet at the Lime Kiln trailhead but no water sources, so bring plenty of hydration!

Runner Notes

It can get rocky in parts, just be advised.


The Spring Lake Natural Area has 12 different trail systems and three different trailheads from which to choose. This particular route starts at the Lime Kiln Road Trailhead, and it uses the Blue Heron Trail, Exogyra, Blue Stem, and Buckeye back to Blue Heron to complete this particular loop.

From the trailhead, head south on Blue Heron Trail before connecting to Exogyra by taking a left at the fork. Follow this south to Wickiups and take a left up to the viewpoint. On the way back down, take a left to head to Blue Stem. Follow this north past the junction with Sink Link and at the junction with Buckeye take a right. Follow Buckeye east until you reach Blue Heron Trail and follow this left back to the trailhead.

There are plenty of wonderful hill country views along this route, and even a pond where you can pause and enjoy the silence. Some of the trails here have rocks and tree roots, so it may be tricky for little kids.

There are various signs along the way if you didn’t bring a map, and other signs that showcase various sightseeing focuses in the area.

Flora & Fauna

This part of Texas provides nesting grounds for the Golden Warbler. Trails are usually closed from March until the end of May. Plenty of birding and wildlife viewing. Cacti are a plenty, but all off of the trail.

History & Background

According the SM Greenbelt Alliance website, the Spring Lake Natural area consists of 251 acres of parkland (making it the second biggest park area in San Marcos) just above the San Marcos River. This area supports five endangered species as well. I recommend visiting the website to learn all of the great history San Marcos parks have to offer!

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in Texas


60 Views Last Month
900 Since Jun 5, 2018



Fish in the pond
Jun 5, 2018 near San Marcos, TX
Nice overlook on the trail
Jun 5, 2018 near San Marcos, TX


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