3 Reasons to Add Chalk Ridge Falls to Your Texas Bucket List

Chalk Ridge Falls in Belton, TX is one of our favorite Fort Hood hikes.
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Chasing waterfalls became one of our favorite things when we were stationed in North Carolina, but we never dreamed we would be able to continue it when we got to Texas.

However, Chalk Ridge Falls is only 30 minutes from Fort Hood and it is our favorite Texas hike so far!

This isn’t our first Texas waterfall. We hiked to Gorman Falls in October, but we liked Chalk Ridge Falls better.

Not only was the hike less challenging, but the waterfall was MUCH easier to access and we could swim!

Here are 3 reasons you should add Chalk Ridge Falls to your Fort Hood bucket list!

Girl sitting in the water in front of a waterfall near Fort Hood, Texas.
(I still can’t believe this is right down the road from Fort Hood!)

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It’s an Easy Hike

The hike to Chalk Ridge Falls was much easier than other waterfall hikes that we’ve taken in the past.

I’m still not sure how long the hike is. According to All Trails, the out-and-back hike is 2.5 miles, but another source I found said 1.3 miles. And yet another source said that the waterfall was only 0.25 miles from the parking lot.

There’s no way for me to know for sure, but I feel like it’s a mile or less round-trip. My kids (8 & 10) had no issue with it at all.

Unlike the hike to Gorman Falls, the trail along the Lampasas River in Belton was mostly shaded. This made the hike much more enjoyable since we weren’t baking in the Texas sun.

Plus, unlike other waterfalls, we’ve hiked to, the trail to Chalk Ridge Falls only gains 85 feet in elevation, so it isn’t super tiring. We still had plenty of energy to swim and play at the waterfall, instead of being worn out and dreading the walk back to the car.

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It Has a Cool Bridge

This is something that we had seen pictures of online (mostly on Instagram) and my kids were so excited to see it in real life!

This swinging cable bridge (I guess technically it’s called a suspension bridge) moves and creaks beneath you as you cross over. It made us feel like we were in an adventure movie!

We took several pictures and videos. And my kids ran across it 2 or 3 times before we moved on down the trail.

Crossing the suspension bridge on the Chalk Ridge Falls trail.
(My girls loved playing on this bridge!)
Another shot of the bridge!
(Another shot of the bridge.)

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You Can Swim at Chalk Ridge Falls!

Probably the BEST part of this hike was that we could get in the water and swim at the base of the waterfall.

The water comes from a natural spring at the back of the park, so not only is it cool and refreshing, but it’s clear and beautiful.

On the top of the waterfall, the water is less than knee-deep. It’s perfect for wading or sitting to enjoy the view.

At the bottom of the waterfall, the river is shallow but it opens up to a deeper spot that is chest deep.

A gorgeous view of Chalk Ridge Falls in Belton, TX.
(There are so many beautiful views of Chalk Ridge Falls.)

The only thing I would do differently is to bring water shoes!

The bottom of the river is nothing but rocks and was painful to stand on. We ended up wearing our tennis shoes and dried them out when we got home.

Several other groups were there at the same time as us, but it didn’t feel overly crowded and there was plenty of room for the kids to play.

We will be returning (multiple times!) to Chalk Ridge Falls for more hiking and swimming throughout the summer.

And we can’t wait to take some of our out-of-town guests on this fun Fort Hood Adventure!

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