Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Little Deutschland Loop

Little Deutschland Loop map

Little Deutschland loop mapCypress Creek Park- Knapp Crossing ParkRiverside Nature CenterLouise Hays Park & Tranquility IslandEast Kerr County Canoe TrailKerrville-Schreiner State ParkKerr County Park at Flat Rock LakeThird Creek Canyon

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More information:

  • Kerrville CVB, 830-792-3535, 800-221-7958, www.ktc.net/kerrcvb/

HOTW 072 Cypress Creek Park- Knapp Crossing Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Winter and Spring

Site open for day use only.

From the intersection of TX 27 and TX 39 in Ingram, go east on TX 27 for 3.6 miles to park on right.

Bird activity along the river can be brisk (especially spring), and wildflowers such as gaura, Mexican hat, lemon beebalm, buttonbush, and various mustards provide food for numerous butterflies. During summer, swifts and swallows feed over the river. Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Carolina Wrens, and White-eyed Vireos call from the shrubby margins and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers hunt from the treetops. You may hear Yellow-throated Warblers or see Green Kingfishers here. In winter, watch for Osprey and waterfowl. Look for gulls and terns after spring storms.

Knapp Crossing Park: From Cypress Creek Park turn right and go 0.9 mile on TX 27. Turn south (toward the river) on Knapp Road (across from Wal-Mart); the road dead-ends after about 0.1 mile.

This site is very similar to nearby Cypress Creek Park, but has a small boat ramp and, seasonally, canoe and kayak rental. In summer, the tiny, low growing white and purple blossoms of frog-fruit are alive with Phaon Crescents and other small butterflies, which in turn provide food for Flag-tailed Spinylegs, Eastern Pondhawk, and other locally common dragonflies.

HOTW 073 Riverside Nature Center

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only. Fee charged

From Knapp Crossing go 1.4 miles east on TX 27 to Francisco Lemos. Turn right (south) on Francisco Lemos and go just beyond the next stoplight. The Nature Center is on the right.

This attractive urban nature center showcases several small but diverse habitats while providing an array of educational services for the public. In summer, the gardens invite Black-chinned Hummingbirds and butterflies such as Gray Hairstreak, Queen, Variegated and Gulf Fritillaries, Checkered White, Fiery and Eufala Skippers. Dragonflies abound along the weedy woodland edges, and the woods along the creek provide habitat for Green Kingfishers, Downy Woodpeckers, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Carolina Chickadees, and nesting Red-shouldered Hawks. The site is excellent during migration, with over 150 species of birds being recorded. Nearby River Run B&B (830-896-8353) provides lodging and additional places to enjoy wildlife.

830-257-4837, www.ktc.net/riverside

HOTW 074 Louise Hays Park & Tranquility Island

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to TX 27 and go 0.4 mile east to TX 16, go south a short distance on TX 16, crossing the Guadalupe River bridge. Immediately turn right (west) on Thompson Rd. After 0.1 mile, turn right to enter the park.

This site provides access to the graveled margin of the south side of the Guadalupe River and an island in the channel. During spring, Yellow-throated Warblers sing in the cypress trees lining the north side of the river, and Cliff Swallows nest under the bridge. In late summer, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and Purple Martins gather here prior to migrating to Latin America. Osprey (winter), Great Blue Heron, and other large waders , Belted and occasionally Green Kingfishers, and the occasional tern or gull may be seen. Watch for Comanche and Widow Skimmers, Checkered Setwing, Stream and Double-striped Bluets, and the needle-like Orange-striped Threadtail.

HOTW 075 East Kerr County Canoe Trail

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

A) Put-in: Return to the intersection of TX 16 and TX 27 in Kerrville, go east on TX 27 for 8.0 miles to Sutherland Lane. Turn right on Sutherland Lane and go 0.6 mile to Center Point River Road. Go 1.8 miles to river crossing.

B) Take-out is at the crossing at FM 1350. By road from Center Point, take TX 27 East, go 2.1 miles to FM 1350, turn right on FM 1350 and go 0.3 mile to river crossing.

This stretch of the spring-fed Guadalupe River forms a 3.5-mile canoe trail with easily accessible put-in and take-out points. Though parts of the river have cypress-lined banks, the majority of this riparian riverside bottom is canopied by hackberry, pecan, walnut and oak trees. Understory brush includes yaupon, sumac, and buttonbush. Look for damselflies such as Powdered, Dusky, Blue-fronted, and Blue-ringed Dancers, and American Rubyspot. Butterflies include Queen, Hackberry Emperor, Question Mark, and Goatweed Leafwing along the wooded riverbanks. The buttonbush facilitates the congregation of numerous butterflies, including Pipevine Swallowtail and Great Purple Hairstreak. The wildflowers and grass areas attract Vesta Crescent and Checkered White. The riparian corridors attract Green Kingfisher, Yellow-throated Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo, Summer Tanager, Eastern Phoebe, Painted and Indigo Buntings, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Acadian Flycatcher. In the winter, look for ducks, shorebirds, and Black Phoebe.

HOTW 076 Kerrville-Schreiner State Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open daily. Fee charged.

Continue on FM 1350 1.6 miles to FM 480 in Center Point. Turn left and go 5.9 miles to TX 173. Turn right and go 9.0 miles to park entrance on right. Request a park map and bird list.

The park offers a representative sampling of Hill Country landscape, with acres of juniper, live oak, and Spanish oak populating the hills and arroyos. Other plants include redbud, sumac, buckeye, pecan, mesquite, and several varieties of flowers. The Texas bluebonnet is one of the most plentiful and colorful of the native plants. Clumps of trees, riparian areas and wildflower-filled meadows provide excellent habitat for wintering and migrating birds. Summertime visitors will see Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Carolina and Bewick’s wrens, Yellow-throated Warbler, Yellow-throated and White-eyed Vireos, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Chimney Swift, swallows, and Green Kingfisher. Winter birds include sparrows, Orange-crowned Warbler, Blue-headed Vireo, and a scattering of waterfowl. During summer, there are numerous damselflies and dragonflies such as Sulphur-tipped Clubtail, Flag-tailed Spinylegs, and Five-striped Leaftail. Butterflies are numerous in the meadows and forest edge and at the small garden at the park entrance.

Across TX 173 the park road ascends to a series of camping and trailer loops, from which you may access several additional miles of hiking and biking trails, most of which are set up as loops. White-tailed Deer abound in this part of the park and are easily photographed. The birds and vegetation of these limestone uplands have a distinctly western flavor compared with the river bottom habitat across the road.

830-257-5392, Kerrville Schreiner State Park

HOTW 077 Kerr County Park at Flat Rock Lake

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

From Kerrville-Schreiner State Park, return 0.1 mile on TX 173 North to Loop 534, turn right, cross the Guadalupe River, and turn right on River Road. Go 0.2 mile to a parking lot and boat ramp on the right.

A low dam crosses the Guadalupe River at the eastern end of this park, forming a long shallow lake that provides habitat for a variety of waterbirds. Wildlife can be viewed by walking or driving the northern shore on a trail/road that can be accessed at the westernmost parking lot, as well as several points further east on River Road. Walking is recommended because the trees along the north shore attract land birds, and during summer, butterflies and dragonflies abound. In winter, the open water attracts a variety of waterfowl. Watch for all three kingfishers. Walking west, you’ll encounter large hackberries, pecans, oaks, and willows, excellent habitat for wintering flocks of insectivorous birds.

HOTW 078 Third Creek Canyon

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Fall

Site open for day use only.

Return to Loop 534, turn right and drive north 2.8 miles to FM 1341/Cypress Creek Road. Turn right (east) and go 2.9 miles to an oak and sycamore-lined canyon. Park before the tower.

This is a favorite spot with local birders, who find it excellent during migrations and, in summer, filled with nesting birds. Western species such as Western Scrub-Jay mingle with easterners such as Yellow-throated Vireo and Eastern Wood-Pewee. After fall migration, the red oaks, pecans, cherries, sycamores and black walnuts may be alive with feeding flocks of sparrows, warblers, and Hermit Thrushes. Where juniper is more prevalent, Ladder-backed and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Golden-cheeked Warbler, and Rufous-crowned Sparrow may be seen. Great Spreadwing, a large damselfly that often occurs along small streams or shady seeps, has been seen along the roadside.


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