Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Cibolo Loop

Cibolo Loop map

Cibolo Loop mapCibolo Nature CenterMystic Springs Wildlife LodgeBoerne LakeMaverick Ranch-Fromme FarmScenic Springs Wildlife LodgeSparkling Springs Wildlife LodgeHelotes City ParkGovernment Canyon State Natural AreaEmilie and Albert Friedrich Wilderness ParkDwight D. Eisenhower ParkCibolo Creek Ranch

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More information:

    Boerne Area COC
    830-249-8000, 888-842-8080, www.boerne.org

    San Antonio CVB
    210-207-6700, 800-447-3372, www.sanantoniocvb.com

078.gif HOTE 078 Cibolo Nature Center

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Located just east of Boerne off TX 46.

This site provides a wonderful opportunity to learn about and experience nature. The building houses touch-exhibits that will entertain people of all ages, and the nature trails meander through four ecosystems: tall grass prairie, reclaimed marsh, upland woods, and Cibolo Creek. The prairie hosts a variety of native Texas tall grasses, including switchgrass, yellow Indiangrass, big bluestem, little bluestem and eastern gamagrass. This is excellent habitat for summering Dickcissel and wintering sparrows. Small mammals and rodents can also be seen. Unusual plants include a giant basswood tree, scarlet leatherflower, and sycamore-leaf snowbell. Breeding birds include Western Scrub-Jay, Eastern Phoebe, Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Red-shouldered Hawk, Northern Bobwhite, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Western Kingbird, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, and Canyon Wren. Winter brings ducks and a variety of sparrows. Butterflies include Pipevine Swallowtail, Phaon Crescent, Bordered Patch, and Gulf Fritillary.

Phone: 830-249-4616.

079.gif HOTE 079 mystic Springs Wildlife Lodge

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

Return to TX 46 and go west 0.9 mile to US 87 in Boerne. Turn right and go 1.5 miles to FM 1376. Turn right and follow north 3.0 miles to Walnut Creek Road. Turn left 1.5 miles to gate on right.

Juniper, hackberry, and oak trees cover this 9 acre site. Scrub Jay, Painted Bunting, and White-eyed Vireo are among the common nesting birds on the property. The site provides habitat for Ladder-backed and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Great Horned Owl, Tufted Titmouse, and Bewick’s Wren. The spring-fed creek and riparian woodland attract warblers and flycatchers in the spring and fall. Bordered Patch, Phaon Crescent, and Buckeye Butterflies are abundant.

Phone: 210-695-2533/8008.

080.gif HOTE 080 Boerne Lake

Suggested Seasons to visit: Winter

Site open for day use only.

Return to the intersection of FM 1376 and US 87. Turn right on US 87 and follow north approximated 1.2 miles to the I-10 Frontage Road on the SW side. Turn right on the frontage road and follow north 1.1 miles to Upper Cibolo Creek Road. Turn left at Cibolo Creek Road and go 0.5 mile to entrance on left.

Waterfowl and shorebirds abound in winter. Look for Gadwall, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Ruddy Duck, Northern Pintail, Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal. American White Pelicans also rest and feed at this lake during migration. Look for wintering birds such as Field, Vesper, Song, and Savannah sparrows in the grass field near the entrance.

081.gif HOTE 081 Maverick Ranch-Fromme Farm

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

From prehistory to early German immigrants, Longhorn cattle drives, and mavericks, this working ranch has provided habitat for native Texas wildlife. The vegetation is diverse and includes juniper oak woodlands, mixed brush, and wildflower meadows. The owners maintain an extensive plant list of almost 250 species. The ranch provides nesting habitat for Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo, Painted Bunting, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Greater Roadrunner, Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Bushtit, and White-eyed Vireo. Winter residents include Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Brown Creeper. Reptiles include Bullsnake, Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, and Texas Rat Snake. White-tailed Deer, Armadillos, Coyotes, Skunks, Opossums, Jackrabbits, Rock Squirrels, and Cottontails are abundant.

Phone: 830-981-4477/4202. Call for Directions.

082.gif HOTE 082 Scenic Springs Wildlife Lodge

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

From I-10 in Leon Springs, go west on Boerne Stage Rd. for 3.0 miles to stop sign. Turn left on Scenic Loop Rd. and follow 4.3 miles to gate on right.

This beautiful Hill Country property offers a rustic lodge with a natural rock spring-fed swimming pool. Habitats include juniper/oak woodlands and riparian hardwoods along Helotes Creek. White-tailed Deer are commonly seen, as are an assortment of frogs, bats, lizards, and snakes. Birds to look for include Red-shouldered Hawk, Scrub Jay, Bewick’s Wren, Inca Dove, Western Kingbird, and House Finch. Butterflies and dragonflies can be seen along the creek and in the fields of wildflowers. The owners have extensive knowledge of the natural history and rich cultural heritage of this site and the surrounding area.

Phone: 210-695-2533/8008.

083.gif HOTE 083 Sparkling Springs Wildlife Lodge

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

Water flow from the natural springs has been dammed to form a rock-bed pool just above the trickling Lee Creek. The dam is a great place to find assorted dragonflies such as Roseate Skimmer, Widow Skimmer, Eastern Pondhawk, and Blue Dasher. Also look for water snakes and frogs in the water and on the water’s edge. Jackrabbits and White-tailed Deer are plentiful. This cliff-side woodland is comprised of Ashe juniper, Texas mountain laurel, Mexican buckeye, and assorted oaks. Look for Inca Dove, Green Heron, Bewick’s Wren, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Golden-cheeked Warbler.

Phone: 210-695-2533/8008. Call for Directions.

084.gif HOTE 084 Helotes City Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Continue south on Scenic Loop Rd 2.9 miles to TX 16. Turn left and go 1.3 miles to FM 1560. Turn right and immediately left to the parking area for the Helotes City Hall building. The trail is across from City Hall.

This park, being developed for wildlife viewing, includes scattered oak and mesquite stands and brushy shrub areas. Plans are to complete a series of demonstration gardens planted with wildflowers and native plants that attract wildlife. Look in the oak trees by City Hall for Bewick’s Wren, and Ladder-backed, Golden-fronted and Downy Woodpeckers. The open fields are good places to look for wintering sparrows and butterflies during summer. On the trails, look for House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, Inca Dove, and Western Kingbird. This is also a good place to see migrant flycatchers, vireos, and warblers.

085.gif HOTE 085 Government Canyon State Natural Area (SNA)

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

This beautiful 8,200-acre park, set to open in late 2003, offers a wide diversity of wildlife inhabiting diverse habitats such as blackland prairie, oak-juniper savannahs, and riparian woodlands. Nesting birds include Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo, Common Ground-Dove, Summer Tanager, Painted and Indigo Buntings, White-eyed Vireo, Orchard Oriole, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Western Scrub Jay, Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, and Canyon and Bewick’s Wrens. Other birds to look for include Greater Roadrunner, Great-crested Flycatcher, Bell’s Vireo, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Vermilion Flycatcher, and Canyon Towhee.

The park is being developed with equestrian trails, an interpretive center, walk-in tent camping, and an amphitheater. The park’s 40-mile trail system includes one mile of ADA accessible trail, 4 miles for access-challenged, 13 miles for hiking only, 19 miles for hiking and biking, and 9 miles of hike/bike/equestrian trails.

Phone: 210-688-9055. Government Canyon SNA page. Call for Directions/Access.

086.gif HOTE 086 Emilie and Albert Friedrich Wilderness Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

From the intersection of TX 16 and FM 1560 in Helotes, go south on TX 16 for 2.0 miles to Loop 1604. Go east on Loop 1604 for 3.7 miles to I-10. Take I-10 West for 1.4 miles to the Camp Bullis Exit. Go left on Camp Bullis, then turn right on the frontage road, heading northwest for 1.2 miles. At Oak Drive, go left, and follow 0.4 mile to Milsa Drive. Turn right on Milsa and the park is on the left.

Golden-cheeked Warblers nest here. Listen for their song, which is a series of buzzy notes. Also, look for Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Lesser Goldfinch, Painted Bunting, Western Scrub Jay, Bewick’s Wren, Curve-billed Thrasher, Greater Roadrunner, Canyon Wren, and Bushtit. The wildflower gardens near the parking lot are great for butterflies, including Queen, Variegated Fritillary, Pearl Crescent and Sleepy Orange.

087.gif HOTE 087 Dwight D. Eisenhower Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return on I-10 to Loop 1604. Go east on Loop 1604 for 2.6 miles and exit at FM 1535/NW Military Highway. Go north on FM 1535 for 1.7 miles to park entrance on left, just before the entrance to Camp Bullis.

Bewick’s Wrens are common, but also look for Canyon Wrens. Keep an eye out for Western Scrub Jay, Verdin, Ladder-backed and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers. Painted Buntings are common, and easily found by listening for their song. Winter is a good time to look for Chipping and Rufous-crowned Sparrows, and Spotted Towhees.

088.gif HOTE 088 Cibolo Creek Ranch

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

With limestone cliffs bordering Cibolo Creek, this ranch offers the chance to see a diversity of plants and animals typical of the region. Habitats include pecan orchards, mixed riparian woodlands, and fields of native grasses and wildflowers. In the meadows and open areas, listen or look for singing Dickcissel, Eastern Bluebird, Bewick’s Wren, Western Kingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and Lesser Goldfinch. Northern Bobwhite and Wild Turkey can also be seen. In the wooded areas, look for buntings and woodpeckers. Fossils can be found along the dry creek bed. Lodging is available.

Phone: 830-980-8212. Call for Directions.


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