Guests of the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa can book several outdoor nature programs, thanks to the resort's partnership with McKinney Roughs Nature Park. The 491-room, 700-acre resort is located in Cedar Creek, Bastrop County, Texas.
Take Highway 71 East for 13.1 miles. After the blinking yellow light on Pope Bend Road, turn left into the main entrance and drive three miles to the lobby entrance. The 20-mile drive takes about a half-hour.
The entrance to McKinney Roughs Nature Park is 8.4 miles west of Bastrop on Hwy 71, 13.2 miles east of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Programs begin at Hyatt's Cardinal Point and are suitable for all ages, unless specified. Costs are included in The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort room rate, unless noted below.
The one-hour Native Texas Animals program is perfect for families. McKinney Roughs Nature Park naturalists show visitors non-poisonous local snakes, American alligators, box turtles, tarantulas and other creatures.
Kids learn about the different shapes of land turtle and aquatic turtle shells. Using close observation, they'll discover if snakes have eyelids.
Tonkawa Indian culture
During this one-hour program, local Tonkawa Indians perform an authentic drum song and war dance to illustrate their culture. Guests view Native American instruments, tools and regalia. They learn about native plants, such as the yaupon, which contains naturally occurring caffeine.
McKinney Roughs Nature Park
Participants use telescopes to view and identify constellations and distant gas cloud nebulae in this one-hour program. McKinney Roughs Nature Park naturalists tell ancient legends about the stars and explain scientific discoveries about the universe, global clusters, the moon and other celestial bodies.
Winding, tree-shaded scenic nature trails surround Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and pass through McKinney Roughs Nature Park. New and experienced riders can sign up for 2.5-hour adventure horseback rides, 1.5-hour river rides and 1.5-hour evening rides.
Children, ages seven to 14, can enroll in a horse camp to learn about horse care, how to saddle and ride horses, play horseback games, roping and archery. Costs and hours change seasonally. Reservations are required at 512-308-4860.
Individuals, couples and groups of up to 120 people can use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) units to navigate a Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort Nature Scavenger Hunt. The fee includes the use of the GPS unit.
Along the two-hour course, activity stations offer physical and mental challenges as participants discover central Texas vegetation and wildlife.
McKinney Roughs Park naturalists bring up to 30 people on two-hour nature hikes to learn about plants and animals in the Lost Pines Texas ecosystem.
Along the one to two-mile interpretive nature trail, hikers learn about edible and medicinal plants and animal scat (evidence they leave behind).
Night nature hikes
Visitors can join a McKinney Roughs Park naturalist on an Interpretive Nature Night Hike. Ideal for families, this two-hour guided walk helps visitors identify local flora and fauna.
Hikers hoot for Eastern Screech and Barred Owls, use a bat detector and learn how foliage provides habitats for various creatures. Up to 25 people can join the group along the one to two-mile trail.
Colorado River kayaking
Using one and two-seat kayaks, paddlers ages 14 and older observe wildlife and scenery along four miles of the Colorado River. Conducted by McKinney Roughs naturalists, who are certified Aquatic Rescue Professionals, the Colorado River kayak trips are available year-round.
Available for up to 16 people, of all skill levels, the two-hour kayak trip fee includes gear and instruction.
Guided Colorado River raft trips
From March 15 to October 15, annually, rafters ages seven and older can enjoy Colorado River scenery, plants and wildlife on a guided float trip. Each raft holds six to eight people, of all skill levels. Groups of up to 70 people can join the raft trip.
The three-hour float trip includes two hours on the river. Rafters must sign a liability waiver and parents or legal guardians must sign for minors.
Also available for the same price are guided evening sunset raft trips. The two-hour trips include one hour, 15 minutes on the Colorado River. Besides the sunset, participants may see nocturnal animals drinking along the riverbanks.
Rock-climbing and zip-lines
Kids ages seven to 18 can challenge themselves on a ropes course at McKinney Roughs Nature Park. The two to four-hour program ends with a 35-foot pendulum ride on a giant swing.
Teens can try rock climbing on a 40-foot climbing tower. The two to four-hour program ends with a zip line run. Courses include instruction and gear. McKinney Roughs Challenge Course facilities and staff meet all Association for Challenge Course Technology Standards. Participants and minors' parents must sign liability waivers.