Day Trips: San Saba River Nature Park
Take a hike in a historic pecan forest along the San Saba River
San Saba River Nature Park in San Saba opens a pecan forest to the public for exploring and enjoying. In season, the tasty nuts litter the paved hiking path like forgotten Easter eggs.
Claiming the title of "Pecan Capital of the World," the town was the birthplace of the modern pecan industry in Texas. We have Edmund E. Risien to thank for many of the improved varieties of the state nut that make delicious pies and candies.
A cabinetmaker from England, Risien landed in San Saba in 1874 on his way to California. One of many projects before his death in 1940 was to improve on the small native pecan. Risien found a pecan tree that became the mother tree of more important varieties than any other pecan tree in the world. Descendants of Risien still own his orchard and sell pecans and baked goods under the Millican Pecan Company brand not far from the nature park.
The 40-acre park contains the remains of the town's first waterworks. A 1.5-mile hike-and-bike trail winds through pecan trees to a fishing area and several historical sites along the San Saba River. The trail also leads to Risien Park, a gift to the town from the talented horticulturist. Some of the bridges over Mill Creek are former railroad cars.
San Saba River Nature Park is east of the county courthouse off U.S. 190. It is owned by the LCRA and is open from sunrise to sunset.
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