Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Leakey, TX

  • Published 2022/06/04

Experience the best things to do in Leakey, dubbed “The Swiss Alps of Texas.”

Since 1913, Leakey has served as the county seat of Real County, a location of natural beauty with breathtaking views of the surrounding hills.

The Nueces and Frio Rivers carved steep canyons in the area’s elevation range of 1,500 to 2,400 feet.

You can find everything from whitewater rapids to bathing holes to flats and excellent fishing in the Frio River.

The British immigrant John Leakey arrived in Texas in 1847.

Six years later, he became one of the first white residents of Frio Canyon.

In 1883, a whole new town in Texas was named after him: the little town of Leakey.

This is your destination if you love outdoor adventure or driving through winding mountain roads.

Those who have visited this beautiful place will be eager to return again and again.

Here are the best things to do in Leakey, TX:

Go Fishing at Frio River

Scenic view of Frio River

Richard A McMillin /

Fishing is a soothing and delightful pastime for anglers of all ages.

The Frio River, however, enhances the experience.

Without a doubt, the Frio River is one of Texas’ most picturesque waterways.

With its towering cypress trees and crystal-clear streams, the greatest of the Texas Hill Country is hard to top.

The calm waters of Frio River

Pam Shoemaker /

The water here is crystal clear partly because of the area’s lack of filth, which you can appreciate in the natural surroundings.

The most common fish in the river are largemouth bass, yellow bullhead, and bluegill.

Fishing restrictions in Texas constantly change, so use your best judgment when selecting where you can fish.

Likewise, respect local rules.

Grab Outdoor Supplies at Josh’s Frio River Outfitter

Whatever your Texas Hill Country experience becomes, Josh’s Frio River Outfitters has everything you need to make the most of your time on the Frio River.

Everything you need to get out on the water is available at this family-owned business, including worms and minnows for your catch.

There is a wide range of options for parties of all sizes when renting a kayak, tube, or river shuttle.

You can also buy T-shirts, hats, river shoes, and sunglasses at Josh’s.

There is also a great assortment of Texas souvenirs, home décor, and jewelry at Josh’s.

Stop in for a coffee or handmade gelato.

Discover Regional History at Real County Historical Museum

Leakey is a great place for a brief history lesson.

The museum aims to preserve the history and traditions of Real County.

Stagecoaches with elaborate carvings, brass beds, movie posters from the golden age of Hollywood, and vintage clothes and wagon wheels from the Hill Country await you at the museum.

Likewise, you can find player pianos and Victrolas from the 1920s, love chairs with crocheted doilies from the 1930s.

Also on site is a store selling souvenirs.

The museum stands on Evergreen Street, half a block north of the county courthouse in downtown Leakey.

Commune with Nature at Leakey Springs Cabins

Leakey Springs Cabins is the perfect place for a weekend getaway.

With towering Cypress trees, deep blue waters, and the rolling hills of the Western Hill Country, Leakey Springs Cabins is ideal for a vacation.

Take a float down the Frio River, hike in the nearby Garner State Park, soak in the hot springs, or rest in one of the freshly built cabins.

Leakey Springs Cabins provides lakefront accommodation on Frio Springs.

Many visitors enjoy sitting on the porches of the cabins that overlook the Frio Springs and watching the deer, turkeys, armadillos, and other creatures.

The surrounding region is ideal for outdoor adventure.

There is a barbecue pit, a picnic table, and seats for each cabin.

Try Pecan at Frio Pecan Farm

With a big pecan orchard and the Frio River nearby, this farm is one of Texas’ most picturesque locations.

There are 11-holiday houses and 17 log cabins that you may rent daily.

You can also hold weddings and other private events in the stunning 7,000-square-foot pavilion with a stage.

Additionally, the Frio Pecan Farm operates as a functional pecan orchard.

Nick Yaklin and Antonio Martinez oversee the orchard at the well-maintained Pecan Farm.

In New Mexico and Texas, its pecans have earned more than 550 honors for their flavor and quality.

Enjoy the cold, clear Frio River, a pecan orchard, birds, and other animals.

Stock Up with Leakey Mercantile

The Mercantile has walked a long road, but the message it started in 1949 is still relevant today: neighbor assisting neighbor.

Certain things have stood the test of time.

Since its construction, the original structure has housed everything from shelves to refrigerators to the porcelain meat case.

Despite the absence of inviting screen doors, the consumer always finds a refreshing breeze.

Even though the stock has more than doubled, it still uses the original chopping block.

If you plan a camping trip, find everything from fresh food to meats, beverages, and BBQ materials at the Mercantile.

Buy Souvenirs at Catahoula Artisan Gallery

The Catahoula Artisan’s Gallery & Gift Shop specializes in crafted goods.

Jimmie & Debbie, long-time Texas residents, take great pleasure in their work and they only work with artisans who share their dedication to excellence.

Over 30 artists from Texas and beyond contribute to this collection, resulting in a diverse collection of one-of-a-kind items.

A great deal of care goes into every item, from beautiful furniture to mesquite cutting boards to turquoise-encrusted bowls, glycerin soaps, bottle stoppers, and ceramics and jewelry.

If you want a piece of bespoke cabinetry built to your exact specifications in any style and wood, this company can help.

Each item is made to order to meet your specific specifications.

Make a Pit Stop at Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop

Stop by Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop, a motorcyclist’s paradise.

It stands on the Three Twisted Sisters, a well-known road in the state among motorcyclists, due to its numerous hairpin curves.

Tourists flock to this location because of the breathtaking vistas of the surrounding environment.

A variety of travel and motorbike souvenirs are available at this shop.

Why not have a drink and a bite to eat with your souvenir purchases?

You can find burgers, fries, and tater tots on the menu at the Bent Rim Grill.

See Texas Hill-Native Plants at Dora’s Nursery

Plant and pottery lovers will swoon over Dora’s Nursery.

It has been in operation since 2007 to provide high-quality plant material at a reasonable cost.

This nursery has everything you need to create the backyard landscape of your dreams, including plants endemic to the Texas Hill Country.

When it comes to landscaping your yard, Dora and her family are more than happy to assist you in finding the ideal trees, shrubs, soil, and mulch.

They also sell Mexican ceramics, yard art, and many other things.

The nursery has something for everyone, whether you’re an experienced gardener, a budding landscaping company, or an inquisitive nature lover.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Ride the Rapids at Garner State Park

Welcome sign of Garner State Park

University of College /

Swimming or hiking in Garner State Park, a 12-minute drive from Leakey, is an excellent way to spend a day or a weekend.

Frio River State Park features 1,774 acres of picturesque Hill Country scenery with 2.9 miles of river frontage.

Paddle a boat along the Frio River, take a dip in the water, or explore the banks on foot or in an inner tube.

Aerial view of Garner State Park's frio river

Dori Marie /

Among the many activities available are hiking, canoeing, fishing, mini-golf, geocaching, and bicycle riding.

Campers and tourists can retire to screened shelters and cottages in the evenings.

You can also rent the screened shelter or a group campground for large parties.

While the park’s concessionaire offers food and refreshments during the busy season, they also rent the pavilion out during the off-season.

Mountain views at Garner State Park

ChristineWe /

Ride Horses at Elm Creek Stables

This ranch is a terrific place to go horseback riding and have a few drinks with friends while enjoying the spectacular scenery.

Whether you’re an experienced rider or a newbie, you’ll ride confident and well-trained horses.

The personnel is kind and helpful, and the prices are fair.

There’s also a petting zoo here.

If you’re in the neighborhood of Leakey, don’t miss this Concan spot, just nine minutes away from Leakey!

See Thousands of Bats at Frio Bat Flight Tour

Hundreds of bats coming out of Frio Bat cave

Verabeth /

Visit the Frio Bat Flight Tour in Concan to see tens of millions of Mexican free-tailed bats soar into the evening sky just before sunset.

Here you’ll find the world’s second-largest open-air bat colony.

Silhouette of bats flying over Frio Bat cave

dizfunkshinal, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You might also see a ring-tailed cat or skunk entering the cave to catch food at the bat viewing location and Cave Swallow, Rock, and Canyon Wren.

Take a breather and watch as different hawk species dive into the bats’ exhilarating whirl.

See Vintage Motorbikes at Lone Star Motorcycle Museum

In the 90s, Allan Johncock and his wife began searching for land near Vanderpool, Texas, where they had the most fun riding their bikes.

Soon after they opened the museum, people started turning up to “kick the tires” on the various bikes and other gear on hand for restoration and chat with them about their hobby.

The museum has appeared in various publications and has drawn visitors worldwide who want to relive a piece of motorbike history.

It has a fantastic collection of machinery from all over the world, stretching from the 1910s to today.

The Lone Star Motorcycle Museum is in the center of the Texas Hill Country, surrounded by fantastic motorcycle routes just 26 minutes away from Leakey.

Enjoy the Breathtaking Scenery at Lost Maples State Natural Area

Walking trail at Lost Maples State Natural Area

xradiophotog /

If you’ve only ever seen Lost Maples in the autumn, consider yourself spoiled.

Wildflowers bloom throughout the year, and the picturesque Sabinal River flows through the rugged canyon walls.

It is just a 27-minute drive from Leakey.

The river of Lost Maples State Natural Area

xradiophotog /

You and your family are sure to have a great time.

Spot the wildlife, fish, camp, backpack, stargaze, and look for geocaches while on a nature walk or hiking trail.

Lost Maples protect a rare species of Uvalde bigtooth maples.

The fall foliage draws many visitors to the area.

Maple tree growing on the grounds of Lost Maples State Natural Area

xradiophotog /

Final Thoughts

In Leakey, Texas, you’re never short of outdoor adventure and nature retreat.

Once you experience this great location, you will want to come back again and again.

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