Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Fort Hood, TX

  • Published 2022/08/08

Fort Hood is one of the nation’s most extensive active-duty armored military posts.

Situated in Texas, Fort Hood is surrounded by charming cities of Killeen, Copperas Cove, Harker Heights, Nolanville, Belton, and Temple.

With that in mind, Fort Hood isn’t just one massive military base; it’s also an ideal place for outdoor recreation and a quick weekend getaway destination.

Inside Fort Hood, the men and women in service enjoy various activities as their pastime while not on deployment.

They enjoy crafting, camping, swimming, hiking, exercise, and other relaxing activities.

Meanwhile, outside the base, the cities surrounding Fort Hood have their attractions to offer to visitors.

In addition, this place is surrounded by both natural areas, historical landmarks, museums, and outdoor recreation.

Suppose you want to discover hidden gems and love the outdoors; Fort Hood is an excellent place to visit.

Fort Hood and its surrounding cities have dozens of exciting activities you and your family will enjoy.

So, read this travel post about the 15 best things to do in Fort Hood, Texas, to have a fantastic time there.

Plunge into Belton Lake’s Pristine Waters

Top view of Belton Lake

Regan Bender /

A 31-minute drive or 25 miles south of Fort Hood takes you to the City of Belton, the home of the famous Belton Lake.

This lake is packed with visitors from the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood Metro Area during summer and spring to beat the heat by swimming in its pristine waters.

While swimming requires a permit in certain areas on this lake, there are numerous public swimming areas you can visit.

Historically, Belton Lake is a man-made reservoir of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers made in 1954 from the Leon River and Brazos River basin.

The entire lake spans Coryell and Bell Counties, making it one of the largest lakes in the area.

Aside from being a famous tourist attraction, this lake also serves as significant flood control and water supply in the metro area.

Aside from swimming, this lake is also famous for boating and fishing.

Drop by the Marvin Leath Visitor Center

Drop by Marvin Leath Visitor Center along T.J. Mills Boulevard in Fort Hood before exploring Fort Hood’s attractions.

This visitor center offers you an access pass to learn about Fort Hood.

It includes history and other necessary information about this significant military base.

In addition, you can also ask people at the visitor center the recommended places to visit around Fort Hood.

Although the visitor center is not the same as state parks or nature preserves, it’s still a recommended place to visit!

In addition, uniformed personnel can avail of numerous services such as renewals, title transfer, resident vehicle registration, etc.

Wander Inside the National Mounted Warrior Museum

The National Mounted Warrior Museum is a haven for military enthusiasts and historians.

Situated just outside Fort Hood’s gates in Killeen, this massive museum pays homage to mounted warriors in the United States Army.

The entire museum spans over 28,700-square-foot.

It’s filled with exhibits detailing the heroic stories of soldiers serving in the 1st Cavalry Division, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, 761st Tank Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command, and the 2nd Armored Division.

It’s a fascinating place to explore, especially if you wander through its vast halls and exhibits where you’ll learn amazing stories about the mounted warriors.

This military museum features exhibits of real-life military equipment, vehicles, and weapons Mountain Warriors use during their operations.

Enjoy a Picnic at Stillhouse Park

Stillhouse Park is a 20-minute drive or 18 miles south of Fort Hood in Belton.

This outdoor attraction serves as a public day-use park for outdoor recreation.

Many Central Texans visit this park to enjoy Stillhouse Hollow Lake.

It offers outdoor recreational activities like picnicking, fishing, boating, and sports.

However, this place became known to many in the area as a famous events venue where huge family gatherings such as weddings, baptismal, gender reveals, and birthday parties happen.

Nonetheless, this park maintained its tranquil atmosphere, fresh air, and pristine waters, making it a perfect place to enjoy.

This park is an ideal alternative to Belton Lake, especially if the latter is already crowded with visitors.

Like Belton Lake, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed this lake in 1968 as a dam.

It spans over 6,430 acres, nestled 16 miles from the Lampasas and Leon Rivers’ confluences.

Like most lakeside parks, this one has a marina, a picnic ground, a spacious pavilion, a beach area, and a playground for toddlers.

You can also set up your camp, suppose you’re planning to spend your entire day there.

Sweat Out at the Warrior Way Fitness Center

Warrior Fitness Center is an excellent place for fitness-conscious visitors in Fort Hood who want to take a break from exploring its attractions.

Situated along Red Bud Drive in Fort Hood, this fitness center is where most military personnel sweat out and maintain their physique whenever they’re off-duty.

It features state-of-the-art exercise facilities and equipment, making it an ideal place to sweat and get stronger.

The facility spans 36,000 square feet, giving you the necessary space to exercise thoroughly.

If you’re looking for a worthwhile activity while visiting Fort Hood, head to this fitness gym and get motivated, exercising side-by-side with military men.

Dive in Summer Fun Water Park’s Pool

Water slide at Summer Fun Water Park

NativeTexan55, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summer Fun Water Park in Belton is a famous outdoor water park frequently visited by many.

Aside from being a famous outdoor attraction, this water park serves as one of the first water parks constructed in the entire Texas state.

This seven-acre water park is perfect for cooling down with your family or travel buddies, especially during the summer.

Drench yourself or make a splash at its staggering 40-foot giant water slides.

At the same time, it has other water park amenities such as spacious swimming pools, kiddie pools, cabanas, party venues, and a water obstacle course.

Those who want to remain dry can enjoy relaxing under the sun at its pavilions or perhaps play a game of sand volleyball.

Hike through the Eagle Nature Trail at Central Texas College

The Eagle Nature Trail at Central Texas College is a famous outdoor destination for hiking.

It features roughly three miles of a looped trail, traversing numerous natural areas in Killeen.

Considered an easy trail to traverse, your hike at this outdoor attraction takes about an hour or less, depending on how seasoned you are.

While hiking, you’ll surely appreciate the peaceful ambiance and sceneries surrounding the trail.

At the same time, you’ll come across various flower species only found in Texas along the trail.

Pay Tribute to the Soldiers at the 3rd ACR Memorial

The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Memorial pays homage to the 92 soldiers of the unit who died during the Iraq War.

Historically, this regiment spearheaded challenging missions during the Iraq War in its two deployments.

It included a mission in Baghdad Province and the taking of Tal Afar, a stronghold of a former Al-Qaida leader killed in action in a 2016 raid.

In total, 233 of the regiment’s soldiers became recipients of the Purple Heart medals for their heroism during combat.

Meanwhile, the memorial ultimately honors those killed by the regiment during its two tours in Iraq.

The memorial situated in Fort Hood can be visited by the public today.

In addition, the entire place offers you a solemn ambiance, perfect for personal reflection and prayers to those who died during the war.

The memorial stands tall along 761st Tank Battalion Avenue and 50th Street in Fort Hood.

Explore the Andy K. Wells Hike and Bike Trail

The Andy K. Wells Hike and Bike Trail in Killeen is a famous outdoor destination for hikers and cyclists.

It features a gorgeous trail traversing several natural areas and neighborhoods in an off-road setting.

It’s an excellent hiking and biking destination featuring its 2.5-mile trail equipped with a spacious paved surface running through numerous parks throughout Killeen.

This trail also passes through numerous attractions like the Killeen Athletic Complex, Rotary Children’s Park, Killeen Amphitheater, and Killeen Community Center.

It’s a fun place to sweat out or perhaps explore some parts of Killeen and Fort Hood’s hidden attractions not visited by many.

Aside from the fun and excitement, visiting this trail along E. Veteran’s Memorial Drive is free.

Witness Celestial Bodies at the Mayborn Science Theater

Mayborn Science Theater is five minutes or 3.5 miles west of Fort Hood in Killeen’s Central Texas College Campus.

This fantastic science facility has welcomed thousands of visitors yearly to watch its spectacular planetarium laser light and star shows.

The theater features a 60-foot domed screen with 180-seats giving patrons an immersive experience of watching celestial bodies right before their eyes.

Suppose you want to visit a one-of-a-kind attraction while visiting Fort Hood; this science theater is an excellent place to drop by.

Its film laser and star shows offer visitors a top-notch entertainment and educational experience.

In addition, the theater also features prehistoric films, history, and natural science.

Aside from the theater, you can visit its exhibit room featuring a retro gaming area and a hurricane simulator.

Browse through the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum

Exterior of Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The City of Temple south of Fort Hood takes you to the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum.

This magnificent historical attraction houses various historical artifacts of the Santa Fe Depot.

Its exhibits feature the equipment, locomotives, photographs, documents, and other artifacts that detail the historic Santa Fe Depot.

Historically, the Santa Fe Depot, originally called Garland Santa Fe Depot, became an important transportation hub and railway in the early 1900s.

Today, remnants of the old depot are displayed inside this museum in Temple.

Visiting this museum further gives you a better understanding of the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood Metro Area’s history and the importance of the depot back in the day.

At the same time, drop by the gorgeous Santa Fe Gardens, Temple Visitor Center, and Whistlestop Playground, which are a stone’s throw away from the museum’s premises.

Play Outside at the Long Branch Park

Long Branch Park in Killeen is the city’s most extensive and diverse park.

This park features some of the best amenities and facilities you can imagine.

The park’s name came from Long Branch Creek, which cuts through the park’s center.

Compared to other parks, this one doesn’t have trees.

Instead, it offers a vast lush green field with pavilions, picnic areas, splash pads, and pools that everyone can use.

In addition, it has a sprawling open space acreage where kids and adults can play several sports like football and soccer.

At the same time, it has a baseball field and an outdoor skating rink.

Strike a Pose at the Hindu Temple of Central Texas

Hindu Temple of Central Texas Temple has been serving Hindu locals since 2001, making it a relevant religious center in the city.

However, it became known not just for its religious significance in Temple but also for its unique and gorgeous architecture.

Many people often drop by and pose for photos in front of the temple because of its fantastic architecture.

The temple features traditional Hindu designs, which showcase sculptures and statues of Hindu deities and gods in their most majestic form.

The temple’s design mainly follows the elegant northern Indian architecture in great detail.

Aside from picture-taking in front of the temple, you can also join guided tours inside to further appreciate the unique Hindu religion.

Get into Action at the Copperas Cove City Park

Copperas Cove City Park in Copperas Cove, west of Fort Hood, is a vast sports park featuring sports facilities and picnic areas.

It’s one of the dozens of charming parks scattered throughout the cities surrounding Fort Hood.

However, this one features some of the best sports facilities for baseball, soccer, softball, basketball, and volleyball.

This entire park in Copperas Cove spans over 88 acres.

It also features a public swimming pool that you and your family or travel buddies can fully enjoy.

At the same time, it also has a well-designed children’s playground and a fishing pond.

It’s another place in the area where you can have fun, play sports, or perhaps relax without burning a hole in your pocket.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Experience the Thrilling Great Escape of Central Texas

The Great Escape of Central Texas is a unique attraction featuring escape rooms that everyone can experience.

Situated in Killeen, this attraction offers a thrilling experience for those who want to complete the escape room.

In addition, this escape room in Killeen is also the first of its kind in Central Texas, giving locals a one-of-a-kind thrilling entertainment that requires teamwork and wit.

Over six fully-themed escape rooms are featured in this attraction in Killeen, which you and your family can join.

Solve riddles, puzzles, and other mystery items to escape one of its themed escape rooms before time runs out.

It’s an exciting and wholesome activity you mustn’t miss in Fort Hood.

Final Thoughts

Fort Hood and its surrounding cities offer a wholesome travel experience.

The list above, which featured the 15 best things to do in Fort Hood, further proves that these surrounding communities also have charming attractions to offer.

Those coming from Austin, Dallas, or Fort Worth should consider visiting Fort Hood and the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood Metro Area when planning a quick weekend getaway.

To make your visit to Fort Hood extra convenient, pin or bookmark this informative travel post as your itinerary.

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