Lyle Lovett and Matthew McConaughey swam here. Robert Rodriguez filmed onsite. And countless families have created wonderful memories at this family-owned oasis 30 miles west of Austin. The site made the National Register of Historic Places thanks to its Native American middens, but folks come for the 30-plus springs on these 115 acres.
While Spicewood proper may be nothing more than a few buildings tucked away down a country road, the town’s real charm lies hidden in the surrounding hills. And if you know where to look, you’ll find plenty of reasons to support the locals’ claim that “life is good in Spicewood.”
Iâ€™m terrified of heights, so naturally, I wanted to go on an adventure that would challenge that fear. Yes, Iâ€™m a little insane. But isnâ€™t that the way to conquer fears? Well, I suppose a healthy fear is good for survival, but I found what I thought would be a safe way to face that fear head-on â€“ ziplining. I highly recommend the experience.
After revisiting an article that we ran in Texas Highways last August, I decided that this was the year I would brave it. Luckily, one of my best friends in Houston had the same idea (always on the same wavelength â€¦ thatâ€™s why weâ€™re buds). Within a weekâ€™s time, we drummed up a group of 10 friends (me in Austin, the rest from Houston) to visit the Cypress Valley Canopy Tours in Spicewood. What fun!
I put on my brave hat while shaking inside, but after the first leap, I was having a blast. Youâ€™re so securely harnessed in and connected to the zip line that itâ€™s hard to truly feel vulnerable. Plus, our trusted guides, Lindsey and Andi, used their expertise and a bit of humor to take the edge off and make it fun.Â Granted, this probably isnâ€™t as high or as long as zipling down a mountain in Costa Rica, but itâ€™s a fun adventure just the same. And it was just my speed, so to speak.
I didnâ€™t even mind the three rope sky bridges we had to traverse (and Iâ€™ve never gotten on them, even at amusement parks, because Iâ€™m even more terrified of them!), but the harness helped quell that fear, too. We zipped along six lines from one tree platform to another (up to 40 feet high), passing up Lofthaven, the furnished tree house that you can zip to and rent for the night.
Thanks to the drought, there was little water running through the property, but Iâ€™m sure it adds an extra dimension of excitement and natural wonder, so, I definitely hope there will be water on my next visit.
When I go again â€“ and I will â€“ I will try the more challenging tour, which has longer zip lines, and challenges that they say ranges from â€œmoderate to difficult.â€ Iâ€™m up for it!
If youâ€™ve ever had a curiosity about ziplining, but are being held back by fear, I say DO it! If I can, you can.
If you've been, what was your experience like and where did you go?