Hill Country Trail Region


It may be a stretch, but the Leakey area is known as the “The Swiss Alps of Texas,” with elevations ranging from 1,500 to 2,400 feet and deep canyons cut by the Frio and Nueces rivers. The cool clear Frio is a magnet for visitors, who rent cabins and tubes, and also bring their hiking shoes to explore this scenic place on foot. The river irrigated the farms of early settlers, and cypress trees along the banks supplied lumber and wood to make shingles. Leakey is named for the pioneer settler, businessman, and Indian fighter John Leakey, who arrived in 1853. The town became the seat of Real County in 1913, and the 1918 county courthouse is a rustic example of Hill Country charm. Architect H.A. Reuter designed the building, which was constructed of native limestone from a nearby quarry. Additions and renovations to the courthouse were completed in 1978, but the building retains its original character. Just off the courthouse square is the Real County Historical Museum. Exhibits include a replicated log-cabin parlor, kitchen, and bedroom with furnishings donated by local families. Stone dart points used by Native Americans, and an ornate, 1880s horse-drawn hearse that’s used in local parades also are part of the collection. A former blacksmith shop on the museum grounds is filled with ranch equipment, including a hand-powered machine used to shear wool and mohair (Leakey is known for goat ranching, and registered Angora goats produce fine mohair). Outdoor exhibits feature farm implements, a log corncrib, and jail cells from the early 20th Century