Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Peach Loop

Peach Loop map

Peach loop mapLady Bird Johnson Municipal Park; Live Oak Wilderness TrailOld Tunnel Wildlife Management AreaCanyon Wren RanchFort Martin ScottFredericksburg Butterfly Ranch and HabitatGetaway RanchEnchanted Rock State Natural AreaDutch Mountain Ranch

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More information:

  • Fredericksburg COC/CVB, 830-997-6523, 888-997-3600, www.fredericksburg-texas.com/

079.gif HOTW 079 Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park; Live Oak Wilderness Trail

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Go north on TX 16 from Kerrville to Fredericksburg, about 19 miles. Turn left at Lady Bird Drive and go 0.4 mile to the park. Turn left onto Petsch Drive for 0.1 mile and park. Trail and natural areas are accessible by foot via a bridge that crosses over the creek.

The 10-plus acres of natural landscape can be enjoyed from a one-mile walking trail along Live Oak Creek. The bird checklist for this park is well over 145, with a wildflower inventory that stands at over 194 species. Nesting birds include Painted and Indigo Buntings, Eastern Phoebe, Dickcissel, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo. The riparian habitat utilized by many of these nesters also attracts migrant warblers and flycatchers in the spring and fall. Wintering birds such as White-crowned, Song, Swamp, Savannah, and Lincoln’s Sparrows utilize the hedgerows, brush, open prairies, and mixed woodlands. On the lake, look for ducks and shorebirds in the winter, and herons and egrets year-round.

080.gif HOTW 080 Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer, Fall

Site open for day use only.

Return to TX 16 and go 3.6 miles north to US 290. Take US 290 East/right for 5.5 miles and turn right/south at Grapetown, at the Old Tunnel WMA sign. Go 10.6 miles and turn left into the parking lot.

During summer, a visit to Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area provides a spectacle of 1-2 million Mexican Free-tailed and Cave Myotis Bats as they emerge from the 920-foot tunnel of the old Fredericksburg & Northern Railway to forage for insects over the surrounding countryside. At 10.5 acres, Old Tunnel is the smallest WMA in Texas, but protects one of the state’s largest aggregations of mammals.

From June to October, the bats may be viewed for free from the Upper Viewing Area observation deck adjacent to the parking area. On Thursdays and Saturdays, visitors may watch the bats during an interpretive tour and seating in the Lower Viewing Area. This tour is $5.00 for adults, $2.00 for youth 6-16 years of age, $3.00 for seniors, and free for kids five and younger as well as holders of Texas Conservation Passports, Limited Public-Use Permits, and Annual Public Hunting Permits. Emergence times vary throughout the summer, but usually occur an hour before or after sunset. T-shirts, caps, posters, and resource books are available for sale during tour nights.

The WMA also offers a half-mile, 26-stop nature trail through woodlands of oak, black cherry, black walnut, hackberry, juniper and other trees. Birds along the trail include Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Carolina Wren, Carolina Chickadee, and Indigo Bunting. Several species of raptors may be seen soaring over the adjacent canyon.

830-238-4487, Old Tunnel WMA

081.gif HOTW 081 Canyon Wren Ranch

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

This 102-acre ranch includes riparian habitat, grassland meadows, and high plateau woodlands. Block Creek meanders through much of this property. Rich in bird diversity, the ranch is a great place to see Canyon, Bewick’s, Rock, Winter, and Cactus Wrens. Resident birds include Greater Roadrunner, Scaled Quail, Northern Bobwhite, Common Ground-Dove, Green Heron, Western Scrub-Jay, Ladder-backed and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Rufous-crowned and Lark Sparrows, Chihuahuan Raven, Red-shouldered and Cooper’s Hawks, Horned Lark, Barred and Great Horned Owls, Eastern Bluebird, and Pyrrhuloxia. In summer, look for Golden-cheeked Warbler, Painted Bunting, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Chuck-will’s-widow, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Dickcissel, Bell’s Vireo, Western Kingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and Lesser Goldfinch. Waterfowl and shorebirds can be seen on the ranch’s spring-fed ponds during winter.

The ranch also supports a diversity of mammals, reptiles, and butterflies. Over 80 species of wildflowers have been documented on the ranch.

830-995-5217 or 210-696-8590, Call for directions.

082.gif HOTW 082 Fort Martin Scott

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Located on US 290 just east of Fredericksburg. Fort Martin Scott, one of the earliest forts in Texas, was in operation from 1847-1852. The west fence of the property overlooks the city’s wastewater treatment plant and retention ponds. This provides excellent habitat for wintering waterfowl and gulls. Willow-lined Barron’s Creek, which runs along the far north section of this site, provides riparian habitat. The small live oak mottes on the upland grounds attract Bewick’s Wren, Mourning Dove, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and Western Kingbird. The short grass fields are filled with blooming wildflowers and butterflies during spring and summer.

083.gif HOTW 083 Fredericksburg Butterfly Ranch and Habitat

Suggested Seasons to visit: March-November, Tuesday-Saturday

Site open for day use only. Fee charged.

Located on the north side of US 290 in Fredericksburg, one mile east of the US 290W/ US 87N split. Physical address is 508 West Main Street just past the Zion Lutheran Church.

This site offers an opportunity for hands-on learning about native Texas butterflies, and includes an interpretive garden, a caterpillar house, and a butterfly house. The garden illustrates the variety of plants that serve as crucial nectar or larval food sources for many Texas butterflies. In addition to butterflies, Black-chinned Hummingbirds are also attracted to these nectar sources. Pipevine Swallowtail, Gulf Fritillary, Monarch, Julia, Mourning Cloak, and Painted Lady are some of the native Texas butterflies raised here. A gift shop located within the historic 1846 Loeffler-Weber House is also available.

830-990-0735, www.livebutterfly.com

084.gif HOTW 084 A Getaway Ranch

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer, Fall

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

The ranch offers a number of comfortable cabins located along a beautiful creek with large pecans and other hardwood trees. Habitats include juniper-oak woodlands and savannahs. Activities include hiking, guided tours, customized packages, birding and photography. The owners of the ranch are descendants of the first German settlers in this region of Texas. Visitors can experience and learn about the German heritage and traditions that have influenced the culture of the Texas Hill Country.

830-997-3169, www.agetawayranchtexas.com, Call for directions.

085.gif HOTW 085 Enchanted Rock State Natural Area (SNA)

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open daily. Fee charged.

Located 18 miles north of Fredericksburg on Ranch Road 965, Enchanted Rock features a huge, pink granite dome rising 425 feet above ground and covering 640 acres. It is one of the largest batholiths (underground rock formation uncovered by erosion) in the United States. The flora, fauna, and natural beauty of this unique area are impressive. Activities include primitive backpacking, camping, hiking, rock climbing, picnicking, geological study, and star gazing.

325-247-3903, Enchanted Rock SNA

086.gif HOTW 086 Dutch Mountain Ranch

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

Steeped in Texas history, this ranch has been in the Moss family for five generations, given to Mathew Moss for his participation in the Battle of San Jacinto. The ranch offers artists, birders, hikers, photographers and nature enthusiasts beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, spring wildflowers, and unique geology. Lodging is available.

325-247-4074, www.centuryranchlodging.com, Call for directions.


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