Love snow and skiing?
Other than those folks, the Fort Hood area has a lot to offer the sporty types. Here are some thrilling ideas to sate your competitive spirit or slake your adventurous side.
1. N Land Surf Park (AUSTIN)
Texas isn’t known for surfing. While it has plenty of beach (second only to Florida), there are only a few good surfing spots. Most of those are close to the border at South Padre Island. While South Padre is totally worth a visit, the 14 hour round trip means it’s not going to be a regular thing.
Enter N Land Surf Park in Austin, an hour away from the Fort Hood area, but totally worth the day trip. This brand new surf park is the first of its kind in all North America. The size of nine football fields, full of 11 million gallons of water, this park generates surfable waves – over three hours away from the nearest beach. It even has three different levels of wave – steep ones for experienced surfers all the way to small waves for newbies just learning. Of course, they provide many tiers of surfing instruction for all levels as well. They provide the surf boards, too. While taking a breather, they’ve got a restaurant and juice bar to chill out.
2. Hidden Falls Adventure Park (MARBLE FALLS)
Photo credit: Nan Palmero
Everything is bigger in Texas, and you’ve come to the biggest. Welcome to the largest off road trail park in Texas, deep in the incredibly scenic Texas Hill Country. This park advertises over 240 miles of trails for all skill levels. You can come out and camp overnight for a full weekend of off-roading. Bring your dirt bike. Don’t have your own stuff? They’ve got rentals. All of this just a brisk one hour drive from the Fort Hood area.
3. Desert Storm Paintball (HARKER HEIGHTS)
Ready to put your tactical training to use in simulated combat, where defeat stings just a little? Welcome to our local paintball options. Located handy here in Harker Heights, it would make for a great unit event. The venue features both woodball and speedball, and is available for private parties. Looking for more course options or more traditional speedball options, Waco has a great paintball course, too.
4. Heights Sports Park (HARKER HEIGHTS)
Americans aren’t crazy about watching soccer like in other countries. But we sure like to play it. Heights Sports Park is an indoor adult soccer league. It is geared toward all types of soccer fans, whether passionate fútbol aficionados or just those looking for some cardio that beats running on a treadmill. It also features leagues for kids. Get a team together yourself or inquire through the organization if there is a team looking for a new addition.
5. Boulders Sport Climbing Center (HARKER HEIGHTS)
Photo credit: Boulders
Open since 2000, this is the best rock climbing experience in the Fort Hood area. Featuring 40 foot walls with 30 rope stations, lead wall, free-standing boulder and 30 foot rappel tower, this is a great place to keep your climbing skills sharp. Or make it a birthday outing. They offer summer camps, after school programs, team building events, and more. You can even use it for a special PRT session with your unit. They have shoe rentals and offer instruction for first-timers or those needing a refresher.
6. Skydive Temple (TEMPLE)
It’s like Airborne School, but a LOT more fun. Fort Hood is home to plenty of sky diving opportunities, one of the best just next door in Temple. Affordable packages for tandem dives, and a full skydiving training package with a total of 8 jumps. They offer video packages, affordable deals for experienced jumpers, and even wedding packages for those who want to share their “I dos” at terminal velocity. Military discounts available!
For a slightly different experience, jump in the wind tunnel at iFly Austin, an indoor sky diving venue.
7. Scuba Diving (BELTON, CORPUS CHRISTI, SOUTH PADRE)
Are you guys for scuba? Of course, for a weekend of some ocean scuba diving, Corpus Christi is a worthwhile four hour drive from the Fort Hood area. The Texas South Padre Islands are another scenic, albeit further, adventure. For something closer to home, either for learning, getting your open water certification and keeping your skills sharp, there is scuba diving in Stillhouse Hollow Lake available.
8. Lake Travis Zipline Adventures (LEANDER)
Featuring 5 different zip lines, including the longest in Texas, try out this family friendly fun just an hour from Fort Hood. The event is packaged as a three hour “tour” of the five zip lines, ranging from a modest 250 feet to the 20 story, 2800 foot zip line over Lake Travis. The location along the Lake Travis beach offers additional water sports entertainment and relaxation. They even have night time zip lining.
9. Longhorn Cavern State Park (BURNET)
Welcome to the Edwards Plateau and its cavernous limestone depths. That’s right, spelunking is on hand in the Fort Hood area. Not only is there the Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown, but also the Longhorn Cavern with its own “wild cave” tours (ages 16+). In the past, concerts have been performed in the cave. Nearby is also the Inks Lake State Park for more outdoor recreation like hiking, fishing, swimming and camping.
10. Peloton Ridge Country Club (HARKER HEIGHTS)
This classy country club in Sun Meadows, Harker Heights, features tennis, a junior Olympic sized saltwater pool, and even beach volleyball area. It is the best place in the Fort Hood area to get your kids some tennis instruction, or play tennis yourself. The setting and accommodation is perfect for private events, as well. When finished up, clean up in the locker rooms and then enjoy a meal with a pint of craft brews at the Bistro, on site. It’s everything you would want in a country club.
BONUS: Stunt Ranch (AUSTIN)
Not exactly a sport, but right up the alley for adrenaline chasers is Stunt Ranch in Austin. It is exactly what it sounds like – a big ranch dedicated to giving visitors a taste of movie quality stunts and pyrotechnics. For a single, blast packed day, you get to play with flame throwers, fake bullets, zip lining, falling stunts and more. And, with movie quality stunt tools and folks on hand, you can even come here to film your own custom stunts. The Ranch also has educational pyrotechnic shows for kids – exploring the chemistry and science behind big explosions. If they’re still wanting more, it features a week long summer camp for kids.
Cover Photo by Patrick Lewis
About the Author
A Dallas native, Brian graduated from from the United States Military Academy in 2009, and requested Fort Hood as his duty station. After 5 years of service and one deployment to Afghanistan, he left the Army to pursue his passion in real estate. His wife Helen is from London, and they have two happy and beautiful daughters, Heather Lily and Matilda May.