Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Llano Loop

Llano Loop map

Llano loop mapJunction Wastewater Treatment PondsSchreiner City ParkTexas Tech University at JunctionSouth Llano River State ParkWalter Buck Wildlife Management AreaFox Hollow CabinsMansfield RanchChanckton Ranch

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More information:

  • Kimble County COC 325-446-3190

090.gif HOTW 090 Junction Wastewater Treatment Ponds

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead.

From Mason, take US 377 west 38 miles to I-10 at Junction. Go east on I-10 for 1.7 miles to FM 2169 Exit 457. Go north over I-10 0.5 mile to the ponds on the left.

These ponds provide habitat for migratory and wintering waterfowl. Look for a variety of teal, grebes, and diving ducks. The summers come alive with a diversity and abundance of dragonflies, including Four-spotted Pennant, Common Whitetail, Eastern Amberwing, Eastern Ringtail, Common Green Darner, Roseate Skimmer, Widow Skimmer, and Prince Baskettail. Dragonflies are most easily seen along the water’s edge and perched along the brushy fence lines.


091.gif HOTW 091 Schreiner City Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Winter

Site open for day use only.

Return to I-10 and continue straight on FM 2169; go south 0.9 mile to FM 481. Turn right on FM 481 and follow to the park entrance.

The pecan groves along the river bottom can be productive for woodpeckers such as Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Golden-fronted, and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers. This park fringes upon the Llano River just before it feeds into Lake Junction. Look for Ruddy Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Redhead, Lesser Scaup, and Bufflehead.

092.gif HOTW 092 Texas Tech University at Junction

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead.

Continue on FM 481, across the river, to US 377. Go south/left on US 377 for 0.8 mile to Flat Rock Lane. Turn left on Flat Rock Lane for 0.6 mile to the campus.

This campus includes 411 acres of varied habitats. A vast pecan bottomland accesses the shores of the South Llano River. Look here for Western Kingbird, Ash-throated and Great-crested Flycatchers, and Western Scrub-Jay. In the river bottom, look for Green Kingfisher and White-eyed Vireo. Dragonflies include Widow Skimmer, Eastern Pondhawk, Blue Dasher, and Roseate Skimmer. Blanchard’s Cricket Frog and Spotted Chorus Frog can also be seen and heard along the small pond adjacent to the river.

A trail along the fence line changes from cacti scrub to mesquite woodlands and, finally juniper uplands. The trail can be especially productive for Cactus Wren, Bell’s Vireo, Pyrrhuloxia, and Bewick’s Wren. Keep your eyes moving to spy a soaring Zone-tailed Hawk mixed in flocks of Turkey and Black Vultures.


093.gif HOTW 093 South Llano River State Park (SP)

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons, Day use areas closed October-March

Site open daily. Fee charged.

From I-10 at Junction, go south on US 377 for 5 miles to PR 73.

The park has two miles of river frontage, a large pecan bottom, and typical Hill Country habitats. The 523-acre, wooded bottom land is home to White-tailed Deer and the Rio Grande Turkey. The bottomland represents one of the most substantial and oldest winter turkey roosts in the central portion of the state. The roosting area is closed to park visitors from October through March. Observation blinds are provided to offer visitors a glimpse of the Turkey moving to and from the roost. Other animals include White-tailed Deer, Squirrel, Jackrabbit, Javelina, Fox, Beaver, Bobcat, Cottontail, and Armadillo. Feeders at the park office attract impressive swarms of Black-chinned Hummingbirds. Dainty Sulphur and Queen butterflies can be seen around blooming wildflowers, but also look for Monarchs swarming around the frostweed plants that flank the river’s edge. Riparian woodlands provide habitat for Wood Duck, Orchard Oriole, Painted and Indigo Buntings, Blue Grosbeak, and Yellow-throated Vireo. Reptiles include Eastern Yellowbelly Racer, Western Coachwhip, and Bullsnake. Also look for lizards such as Prairie-lined Racerunner, Texas Spotted Whiptail, and Texas Spiny Lizard.

325-446-3994, South Llano River SP

094.gif HOTW 094 Walter Buck Wildlife Management Area

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons, except during public hunts

Site open for day use only. Fee charged.

Located within the same complex as South Llano River State Park. Gate is 1.4 miles from the park entrance on PR 73.

This 2,116-acre WMA consists of limestone hills with dense stands of juniper, live oak, and Spanish oak. Wooded canyons include juniper, hackberry, persimmon, walnut, and various oaks. More than 150 bird species may be seen either on the South Llano River State Park or the Buck Area during different periods of the year. Wildlife viewing and photography are facilitated by 18 hunting blinds found throughout the management area and available to visitors during non-hunting periods. A photo-blind with a nearby water drip and feeding stations attracts a variety of birds, including Painted Bunting, Verdin, Bushtit, Pyrrhuloxia, Canyon Towhee, and Black-throated Sparrow. Cactus, Rock, Canyon, Carolina, and Bewick’ Wrens are found on the area, and House and Winter Wrens can be seen in the winter. Rare species such as Black-capped Vireo and Tobusch fishhook cactus are also found on the Buck Area. There are approximately 16 miles of unpaved roads that dissect many distinct habitat types open to the public during non-hunting periods.

325-446-3617, Check-in at South Llano River SP, Walter Buck WMA

095.gif HOTW 095 Fox Hollow Cabins

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

This site is located along the Llano River. Pecan river bottoms and woodland creeks provide excellent habitat for Vermilion Flycatchers, Summer Tanagers, Great-crested Flycatchers, Painted Buntings, and Verdin. Red-eared Sliders and Bullfrogs can be found sunbathing along the creek. Canoe rentals are available on-site for those that prefer birding by canoe. Green Kingfishers, Eastern Phoebes, and White-eyed Vireos are commonly seen. In winter, look for Wood Ducks and waders such as yellowlegs and sandpipers along the riverbank. Inviting hammocks that hang under giant pecan trees, picnic areas, and cabin rentals are available.

325-446-3055, Call for directions.

096.gif HOTW 096 Mansfield Ranch

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

Located on the bluffs near the Llano River, the ranch provides habitat for birds such as Bell’s Vireo, Painted Bunting, Pyrrhuloxia, Lark Sparrow and Verdin as well as mammals such as Rabbits, Armadillo, Red Fox, Porcupine, Striped and Spotted Skunks, White-tailed Deer, and Javelina. A quaint cabin atop one of these hillsides is available for lodging.

325-446-8009/3648,, Call for directions.

097.gif HOTW 097 Chanckton 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.


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