Balcones Canyonlands: Dedicated to Preserving Area Wildlife
Venture northwest of Austin about 45 minutes and you’ll find 27,500 acres of land that was established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1992. Balcones Canyonlands was created specifically to protect the nesting habitat of two highly endangered species of Balcones Canyonlands birds: the golden-cheeked warbler and the black-capped vireo.
The golden-cheeked warbler nests exclusively in Texas, and is dependent on the old growth Ashe Juniper stands found within the refuge. During nesting season, the black-capped vireo is found among the low-growing oak in the refuge. Both Balcones Canyonlands birds are a management priority for the refuge.
Visiting Balcones Canyonlands
Living so close to a national wildlife refuge provides unique opportunities to see and study a vast array of birds and animals. Refuge staff and volunteers are on hand at the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They can let you know about activities at the refuge, and provide helpful information including maps, brochures and checklists.
Balcones Canyonlands Hiking
Excellent hiking opportunities and breathtaking views can be found on the trails at Balcones Canyonlands.
Trails range in length from .5 miles to 2.2 miles. Locations for the trail heads are:
- Trails and Facilities at Refuge Headquarters
24518 FM 1431, Marble Falls, TX 78654
- Trails and Facilities at Doeskin Ranch
10654 FM 1174 Bertram, TX 78605
- Trails and Facilities at Warbler Vista & Sunset Deck
21646 ½ E FM 1431, Marble Falls TX 78654
- Trails and Facilities at Shin Oak Observation Deck
FM 1869, Marble Falls TX 78654
With the exception of the Refuge Headquarters, which is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, the trail heads are open from sunrise through sunset.
Things to Know Before You Visit Balcones Canyonlands
Since the refuge is operated for the benefit of wildlife, camping and open fires are not allowed. There are, however, locations that offer camping near Balcones Canyonlands. Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area in Spicewood has campsites near the lake, and Turkey Bend Recreation Area in Marble Falls has campsites as well. Camp Creek Park in Marble Falls is another option.
You should also be aware that regulations do not allow Balcones Canyonlands dogs, or any other pets.
Balcones Canyonlands Hunting
Seasonal hunting is offered at Balcones Canyonlands. The refuge offers hunts for dove in September, and for white-tailed deer, turkey, and feral hogs on several weekends in November and December. A permit is required for these hunts. More information on the permits can be found online.
Many people who visit Balcones Canyonlands want to help support the refuge and its mission. One way to do this is to become a member of Friends of Balcones Canyonlands. Friends of Balcones works with the refuge staff in several ways, and raises funds to acquire more land to use for wildlife preservation.
So Close to Deerbrooke!
Homeowners in Deerbrooke live in close proximity to Balcones Canyonlands and its magical opportunities for birdwatching and hiking. You’ll be amazed that such a tranquil, protected area is so close to the city! When you just need to get away and enjoy nature, Balcones Canyonlands is the place to go.
Schedule your tour of Deerbrooke and find the perfect home for your family today!