Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Pedernales Valley Loop

Pedernales Loop map

Pedernales Loop mapPedernales Falls State ParkTexas Hills VineyardJunction US 281 North and Pedernales RiverJohnson Settlement at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic ParkTourism Office of Johnson CitySelah, Bamberger Ranch PreserveLBJ State Park and Historic Site

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More information:

  • Johnson City Tourism and Visitor Bureau
    830-868-7684, www.lbjcountry.com
  • Fredericksburg COC
    830-997-6523, 888-997-3600, www.fredericksburg-texas.com

050.gif HOTE 050 Pedernales Falls State Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open daily. Developed camping available. Fee charged.

From the intersection of FM 12 and US 290 in Dripping Springs go 9.6 miles west on US 290 to FM 3232. Turn right and go 7 miles to stop sign. Turn right to park entrance. Park headquarters is 2.5 miles.

This park is located along the eastern edge of the Texas Hill Country. Hiking and biking trails meander through much of the park, offering visitors access to habitats that include cypress-lined river and creek banks, juniper-oak woodlands, oak savannas, and wooded canyons. Over 150 species of birds have been recorded, and about one-third of these are permanent residents. Golden-cheeked Warblers nest here and are most easily found between mid-March and May. Common nesting neo-tropic migrants include Painted Bunting, Summer Tanager, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Ash-throated Flycatcher. Look for Canyon Wren in the canyon-lined woodlands. Migrant North American sparrows such as Song, Lincoln, Lark, Harris, White-throated, White-crowned, Vesper, Fox, and Spotted and Canyon Towhee can be seen at the park’s covered, ADA accessible bird viewing station.

Phone: 830-868-7304. Pedernales Falls State Park page

051.gif HOTE 051 Texas Hills Vineyards

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

At the intersection of FM 3232 and FM 2766 at the southwest corner of Pedernales Falls State Park, go west on FM 2766 for 8.1 miles to the vineyard’s driveway on the left.

This lovely vineyard offers wine tasting as well as wildlife viewing. Visitors can enjoy wildflowers and butterflies near the main building and gift shop. Behind the vineyards are almost 100 acres of savannah, scrub, mixed woodland, and a pond. Greater Roadrunner, Wild Turkey, Painted Bunting, Bell’s Vireo, and Pyrrhuloxia occur here. The spring-fed ponds attract Green and Great Blue Herons. In the spring and summer, look for a diversity of breeding frogs.

Phone: 830-868-2321.

052.gif HOTE 052 Junction US 281 North and Pedernales River

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Continue west on FM 2766 for 1.1 miles to US 281/290. Go north 1.2 miles to the road on the left immediately before the bridge. Follow this road past the entrance to the Fairgrounds on the left. This road will lead to an area below the bridge along the Pedernales River.

The river bottom is a mixed deciduous woodland interwoven with shrubs and vines. Green and Great Blue Herons are common along these banks, as are American Coot and Pied-billed Grebe. Dragonflies such as Eastern Ringtail, Eastern Pondhawk, and Common Whitetail can be seen along the water’s edge. The bridge is a nesting site for Cliff and Barn Swallows. A small colony of Mexican Freetail Bats also roosts under this bridge.

053.gif HOTE 053 Johnson Settlement at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return south 0.8 mile to US 290 W/ Main Street, turn right and follow 0.4 mile to Avenue F. Turn left and go 0.1 mile to East Lady Bird Lane. Turn right on East Lady Bird Lane to visitors’ center and parking lot on left.

The restored Johnson Settlement is the site of Lyndon B. Johnson’s family ranch. A nature trail starting from the visitor center crosses Town Creek and encircles the settlement to form a complete loop. The gardens of blooming wildflowers and shrubs attract swarms of butterflies that include Queen, Monarch, Long-tailed and Fiery Skippers, Gray Hairstreak, and Pipevine, Black, and Tiger Swallowtails. Black-chinned Hummingbirds are also plentiful. The trail crosses Town Creek, a densely wooded spring-fed waterway that runs through much of Johnson City. Look in the willows, oaks, and elms for nesting White-eyed Vireo, Summer Tanager, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo. The oak savannah habitat along the trail provides excellent habitat for woodpeckers and sparrows.

Phone: 830-868-7128.

054.gif HOTE 054 Tourism Office of Johnson City

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer, Fall

Site open for day use only.

Return to US 290 W/Main Street and go west for 0.4 mile, past Spur 356. The garden is on the right.

This site has a small wildflower garden in addition to the lush native garden currently under construction. Gray Hairstreak and Fiery Skipper join the swarming honeybees around the blooming lantana and salvia. Future plans include native wildflower displays, butterfly gardens, and water-conservation demonstration gardens.

055.gif HOTE 055 Selah, Bamberger Ranch

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

This 5,500-acre ranch supports a wide diversity of habitats and wildlife. The ranch is an example of successful habitat restoration on private land. Habitats include savannas, grasslands, juniper uplands, riparian mixed-woodlands, ponds, creeks, brushy areas, and canyonlands. A nature trail with interpretive signs help visitors identify and learn about both

common and rare plants of the region. The endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo both nest here, as do Vermilion Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-breasted Chat, Painted Bunting, Western Scrub Jay, Yellow-throated Vireo, Black-and-White Warbler, Canyon Wren, Blue Grosbeak, and Lesser Goldfinch. Wild Turkey, Greater Roadrunner, Common Poorwill, and Chuck-will’s-widow are common, as are White-tailed Deer, Coyote, Common Gray Fox, and Bobcat.

A manmade bat cave includes an observation room where scientists can study Cave Myotis and Mexican Freetail Bats. Numerous bat houses hang along the banks of the ponds. As a part of the species survival program, the ranch has the largest herd of Scimitar-horned Oryx in the world. Originally found in West Africa, this species of antelope no longer lives in the wild in its homeland. Fossils are plentiful throughout the ranch. Several tracks of a tridactyl dinosaur, Acrocanthosaurus, imbedded in limestone, have been found and are accessible for viewing by visitors. The ranch offers tours and workshops on land stewardship and management, plant identification, and water conservation. Overnight lodging is available.

Phone: 830-868-7303. Call for Directions. www.bambergerranch.org

056.gif HOTE 056 LBJ State Park and Historic Site

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

At the intersection of CR 204 and US 290 in Johnson City, follow US 290 west 13.3 miles to North Park Road 52. Turn right on North Park Road 52 to park headquarters.

Visitors to this day-use park can enjoy history, picnicking, nature study, fishing, and view Texas longhorn cattle and bison. The Sauer-Beckmann Farmstead is a living history farm, interpreting life on the farmstead as it was in 1918.

The spring wildflower display at this park is not to be missed. Resident birds to look for include Eastern Bluebird, Northern Bobwhite, Eastern Phoebe, and Belted Kingfisher. Summer nesters include Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting, and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. The creek bottom is a good place to look for an assortment of reptiles and amphibians.

Phone: 830-644-2252. LBJ State Park and Historic Site page


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