How to Visit Chalk Ridge Falls Park (A Hidden Gem Near I-35)

Pay a visit to the tranquil and beautiful Chalk Ridge Falls Park in Belton, Texas, and you just may forget that the congested traffic of the I-35 corridor between Austin and Temple is located mere minutes away.

Featuring beautiful, cool water, an idyllic waterfall, and even a suspension bridge, Chalk Ridge Falls is a must-see when in Belton, or the perfect roadside stop when looking for a break when on a road trip along I-35.

Here’s what to know before visiting Chalk Ridge Falls Park!

jeremy storm and ranger storm in creek at chalk ridge falls park belton tx

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Where is Chalk Ridge Falls?

Chalk Ridge Falls is located near the Stillhouse Hollow Lake Dam in Belton, Texas.

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The park is well-marked, easy to find via GPS navigation, and there’s a parking lot on-site.

It’s about a 10-minute drive from Belton’s courthouse square, 25 minutes east of Killeen, or an hour north of Austin.

views of a hiker with his dog at a swimming hole in texas

What’s it Like to Visit Chalk Ridge Falls Park?

We absolutely loved visiting Chalk Ridge Falls!

The waterfall itself is absolutely gorgeous, and it is one of the best waterfalls in Texas.

The trails are not particularly well-marked–more on that below–but the falls are easy to find, and the short, shady hike there is beautiful.

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In addition to the falls themselves, the surrounding creek is lovely.

The trail is noted as heavily trafficked online, however, we only shared it with a handful of other families on a beautiful, sunny, weekday afternoon. Weekends are no doubt much more crowded.

We’d love to go back to swim one day!

jeremy storm and ranger storm on top of chalk ridge falls belton texas

What to Know Before Hiking to Chalk Ridge Falls

It’s free to visit.

Visiting one of the prettiest waterfalls in Texas for free definitely qualifies as a great deal.

There are composting toilets at the trailhead.

Nothing fancy, but they’re nice to have in a pinch.

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Don’t miss the suspension bridge!

If you walk downstream from Chalk Ridge Falls, you’ll quickly come across a narrow, swinging suspension bridge.

Cross it for a beautiful view of the falls, and also for the experience.

We enjoyed it, but our dog, Ranger, was less than thrilled.

suspension bridge at chalk ridge falls

Dogs are welcome.

However, please keep them leashed.

The park is open daily.

Hours are from 8:00 AM to sunset each day.

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The trails aren’t well-marked.

You’ll see the Chalk Ridge Falls hike noted as being a 2.5-mile trail online, but it took us a fraction of that distance to get there–and we were actively trying to follow the main trail!

There are lots of spin-off trails, so to speak, in Chalk Ridge Falls Park, some of them built up with wooden bridges and the like, so it’s easy to end up on a different route.

Ultimately, though, the sound of the falls will make sure you hear them before you see them, and it’s hard to get terribly lost.

Consider this less of a hike and more of a beautiful, shaded park to explore!

young woman sitting in the center of the falls at chalk ridge falls park belton texas

2 thoughts on “How to Visit Chalk Ridge Falls Park (A Hidden Gem Near I-35)”

  1. How is the trail to the the waterfall? Have almost 1 year old trying to take up with us and want to know if our regular stroller could make or when to figure something else out to get her up there


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