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Great Texas Wildlife Trails

San Saba River Loop

San Saba Loop map

San Saba loop mapStockpen Crossing ParkTrailend Bird HavenMenard River ParkFort McKavett State Historic siteFort McKavett Guest House

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More information:

  • Menard COC 325-396-2365

098.gif HOTW 098 Stockpen Crossing Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer

Site open for day use only.

From Junction, take US 83 north to Menard. Turn left/west on San Saba Avenue for 0.5 mile to the park.

This park can be crowded on the weekends, but during weekdays it is often quiet. Check the east end of the park where it juts into the river for kingfishers, swallows, herons, and songbirds in the pecan canopy.

099.gif HOTW 099 Trailend Bird Haven

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer

Site open for day use only. Fee charged.

Continue west on San Saba Avenue for another 0.5 mile. Entrance has a small sign and is on the right, just before crossing Las Moras Creek.

This site, located along Las Moras Creek, provides lodging, a viewing deck, and numerous bird feeders that swarm with activity. Hummingbird activity here is particularly intense, with large numbers of Black-chinned Hummingbirds utilizing the feeders. Large pecan trees that line the creek provide cover and food for migratory birds.

100.gif HOTW 100 Menard River Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer

Site open for day use only.

Return to US 83 North across the San Saba River and take the first left after the bridge on Decker Street. Parking is on the right.

This city park consists of an extensive pecan grove, with a 0.5-mile trail that follows the banks of the San Saba River for a short distance. Good riparian habitat extends below the park, along the river to the east. Look for White-eyed and Yellow-throated Vireos, as well as for kingfishers. Rough-winged Swallow and Barn Swallow feed here in abundance.

101.gif HOTW 101 Fort McKavett State Historic site (SHS)

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer

Site open for day use only. Fee charged.

From Menard, take US 190 West 16.4 miles. Turn south on FM 864 and go 6.1 miles to park entrance on the right.

Originally called Camp San Saba because it overlooks the headwaters of the San Saba River Valley, the fort was established by five companies of the Eighth Infantry in March of 1852 to protect frontier settlers and travelers on Upper El Paso Road. Attractions include 25 restored historical buildings, an interpretive center, bookstore, and living history programs.

The park’s open fields provide good viewing habitat for Lark Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. The short trail down to Government Spring, an underwater source that feeds the nearby headwaters of the San Saba River, takes visitors to a wooded natural spring, where birds such as Brown Thrasher and White-eyed Vireo can be found. The shrub habitat leading to the springs hosts woodpeckers, Painted Bunting, and Pyrrhuloxia. The springs and the trail are both alive in summer with lizards, butterflies, and aquatic insects.

325-396-2358, Fort McKavett SHS

102.gif HOTW 102 Fort McKavett Guest House

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

This 1200-acre working ranch contains extensive oak-juniper-mesquite woodlands, grassland prairie, a variety of wildflowers, and ponds that attract a variety of birds and wildlife. Indian mounds on the property remain as vestiges of the original human inhabitants. Marked hiking trails throughout the ranch allow visitors to explore at will. Lark Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher all occur here, as does Long-billed Thrasher and Verdin. Lodging is available at the guest house.

325-396-2949, Call for directions.

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