Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Concho Loop

Concho Loop map

Concho loop mapBrown RanchBat Bridge at Foster Road and Loop 306San Angelo State ParkT.J. RanchRiver CorridorSunken GardensCivic League ParkRio Concho ParkPaint Rock Excursions

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More information:

  • Big Lake , 325-884-2980, www.biglaketx.com
  • San Angelo COC, 325-655-4136, www.sanangelo.org
  • San Angelo , 325-653-1206, 800-375-1206

107.gif HOTW 107 Brown Ranch

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer

Site Access Restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

From Eldorado, take US 277 north for 28 miles to Loop 110 in Christoval. Turn right and follow for 0.5 mile to FM 2084. Turn right and go 1.8 miles to entrance on the right.

This 580-acre ranch is best known for the Hummer House. Located on the northern slope of the Edwards Plateau, this site is alive with the largest numbers of nesting Black-Chinned Hummingbirds in Texas. The impressive numbers of hummingbirds that nest on property are thought to be the result of both geographic locale and quality habitat. You can also see Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and occasionally Calliope's, Allen's, or Broad-tailed Hummingbirds in appropriate seasons. An enclosed observation room offers visitors a chance to see swarms of hummingbirds at hanging feeders against the backdrop of large pecan and oak trees alive with other birds such as Painted Bunting, Lark Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird, and Chipping Sparrow.

The ranch lies along the northbound South Concho River. Pecan bottoms laced with giant burr oaks provide excellent habitat for Summer Tanager, Eastern and Western Wood-Pewees, Vermilion, Ash-throated and Great-crested Flycatchers, Great Horned and Eastern Screech owls, and Red-shouldered Hawk. Natural springs form meandering creeks throughout the ranch. Dragonflies are plentiful.

Both White-tailed Deer and Wild Turkey can be seen up-close and personal during the nightly feedings behind the observation room. A comfortable cabin is available for overnight guests.

325-255- 2254, www.hummerhouse-texasgems.com

108.gif HOTW 108 Bat Bridge at Foster Road & Loop 306

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer, Fall

Site open for day use only. Fee charged.

Return to Loop 110 in Cristoval. Go north 0.5 mile to US 277, turn right and go 14.4 miles to Loop 306. Go west on Loop 306 for 1.7 miles and exit Foster Road. Park along the southeast feeder road or at the DPS office. Walk down to the embankment below the bridge.

This overpass provides roost habitat for a maternity colony of Mexican Free-tailed Bats. Thousands of bats roost in the crevices beneath the bridge. The bats emerge near sunset to feed on insects in the surrounding countryside.

109.gif HOTW 109 San Angelo State Park (SP)

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only. Fee charged.

Continue west on Loop 306 for 2.9 miles to US 67 south. Turn left and go 0.6 mile to FM 2288. Turn right and go 2.4 miles to the South Entrance to the park. Return to FM 2288 and go 8.3 miles north to the North Entrance.

San Angelo State Park consists of lake habitat, rocky hillsides, mixed woodland river bottom, and mesquite savannahs. Over 300 species of birds, 50 species of mammals, and 42 species of reptiles have been observed at the park. Mesquite brush inhabitants one can expect to observe year-round include Verdin, Pyrrhuloxia, Canyon Towhee, Greater Roadrunner, Curve-billed Thrasher, Scaled Quail, Northern Bobwhite, Vermilion Flycatcher, Chihuahuan Raven, Cassin's and Black-throated Sparrows, and Cactus and Bewick's Wrens. Summer nesting birds include Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Mississippi Kite, Swainson's Hawk, Bell's Vireo, Orchard and Bullock's Orioles, and Yellow-breasted Chat.

Winter and migrations are the best viewing times for birders, as the large O.C. Fischer Lake fills with migrating shorebirds and waterfowl. Expect to see a wide variety of ducks, as well as other winter visitors: Franklin's and Bonaparte's Gulls, Forster's and Black Terns, Osprey, Northern Harrier, Western and Least Sandpipers, Sora, and Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs. In the woodland areas, expect to find a good mix of woodpeckers such as Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted and Red-shafted), Yellow-bellied and Red-naped Sapsuckers, and an occasional Acorn or Red-headed Woodpecker. Say's Phoebe can occur along the water's edge, along with wintering sparrows such as Swamp and White-crowned Sparrows. Migrating shorebirds such as Pectoral, Stilt, Spotted, and White-rumped Sandpipers can also be seen.

325-949-4757, San Angelo SP

110.gif HOTW 110 TJ Ranch

Site is now closed to the public and will be removed from the next edition of the Heart of Texas West Wildlife Trail map.

 

111.gif HOTW 111 River Corridor

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Continue on FM 2288 north for 0.7 mile to US 87 South. Turn right and go 8.6 miles. At the third traffic light turn right on 19th St. Proceed for 0.8 mile to 19th Street Ramp, just past the Tom Green Juvenile Criminal Justice Center on the left and just before crossing the Concho River. Turn left onto the ramp, and turn left again on North River Drive. Follow this road through all three parks.

The River Corridor encompasses three parks located along the North Concho River: North Concho Park, Harmon Park, and Santa Fe Park. These sites are multiuse parks, with river access and picnic areas. The east side of the river is banked by limestone ledges and rocky hillsides. The west side of the river is wooded with pecans and mesquite, forming waterside perches for Eastern Phoebe, White-eyed Vireo, Western Kingbird, Ash-throated and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, and the occasional Great Horned Owl.

Monarch butterflies migrate along this river corridor in the fall, and winter brings new avian residents, including Myrtle and Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler, White-crowned, Lincoln's, Swamp, and Song Sparrows, and shorebirds such as Common Snipe.

112.gif HOTW 112 Sunken Gardens

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

At Santa Fe Park, take the ramp onto Abe Street (bridge). Turn right/east onto Abe Street for 0.2 mile to Avenue D. Sunken Gardens is on the right.

The gardens of canna lilies and other blooming wildflowers at this small park provide a good opportunity to observe butterflies. Look for Red Admiral, American Painted Lady, Painted Lady, Question Mark, Checkered White, Fiery Skipper, Funereal Duskywing, Sleepy Orange, and Dainty Sulphur. In summer look for nesting Western Kingbird or Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.

113.gif HOTW 113 Civic League Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Turn right back onto Abe Street one block to Washington. Turn right on Washington to Beauregard. Turn right onto Beauregard and then turn left on Park Street.

This park features The International Water Lily Garden that attracts large numbers of dragonflies. Look for Blue Dasher, Eastern Amberwing, Eastern Pondhawk, Widow and Roseate Skimmers, Eastern Ringtail, and Four-spotted Pennant. The park also has an extensive rose garden, with an inventory of approximately 360 varieties. Black-chinned Hummingbirds abound and can be seen and heard buzzing throughout the garden.

114.gif HOTW 114 Rio Concho Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Turn left onto Beauregard Avenue and go 0.2 mile to Santa Fe Park Road. Turn right on Santa Fe Park Road and go 0.1 mile to W. Concho Drive. Turn left on Concho Drive, and follow 1.2 miles as it turns into Rio Concho Drive. Park is on the left.

This park has a walking trail that follows a small stretch of the Concho River. A display garden offers the butterfly-enthusiast an opportunity to study assorted skippers and hairstreaks. In addition, look for Red Admiral, Question Mark, and Variegated Fritillary. The river bottom is primarily wooded by ash and mesquite, with some oak and pecan trees. Look for Eastern Phoebe, Summer Tanager, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo in the summer. Green Heron and Great Blue Heron can be found along the banks as well.

115.gif HOTW 115 Paint Rock Excursions

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead.

Take FM 380 from San Angelo to Paint Rock, about 30 miles. At US 83 turn left and go north 0.7 mile to the sign and gate on the left.

This 1200-acre ranch consists of mesquite shrub land and wooded bottomland located along the banks of the Concho River. The limestone outcrops on the ranch have over 1,500 Indian pictographs from 9,000 years of Indian occupation. Over 300 tribes are believed to have recorded history here. Birds commonly seen on the ranch include Wild Turkey, Lark Sparrow, Canyon and Cactus Wrens, Canyon Towhee, and Painted Bunting. Visitors can also see Bison, White-tailed Deer and other mammals. The Concho Clam, indigenous to this river, with beautiful silky white-to-pink nacre, can often be seen washed up along the shoreline.

325-732-4376


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