- Kimble County COC , (325) 446-3190 , www.junctiontexas.net
From Junction, head east on I-10 8 miles to FM 2169. Drive east on FM 2169 for
0.3 mile and turn north on Dunk Rd. The Schuster gate is 0.7 mile.
The ranch boasts year-round, spring-fed Sycamore Creek which creates a riparian zone through the valley with drivable water dams. Pecans, oaks, sycamores and walnuts with brush understory along the creek provide habitat for birds and wildlife. Large bluffs provide great Hill Country Views. Cabin and RV camping available, call for reservations.
(432) 978-7234 / 7192 www.schusterranch.com
Junction Wastewater Treatment Ponds
From US 377 and I-10 in 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.
Schreiner City Park
From I-10 in Junction, head south on FM 2169 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 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers. This park fringes upon the Llano River just before it feeds into Lake Junction. Look for Ruddy and Ring-necked Duck, Redhead, Lesser Scaup and Bufflehead.
Texas Tech University at Junction
From I-10 in Junction, head south on US 337 2.4 miles 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 and Roseate Skimmers, Eastern Pondhawk and Blue Dasher. 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 to juniper uplands. The trail can be especially productive for Cactus and Bewick's Wrens, Bell's Vireo and Pyrrhuloxia. Keep your eyes moving to spy soaring Zone-tailed Hawk mixed in flocks of Turkey and Black Vultures.
(325) 446-2301 www.depts.ttu.edu/junction
South Llano River State Park
From I-10 in Junction, go south on US 377 for 5 miles to PR 73.
The park has 2 miles of river frontage, a large pecan bottom and typical Hill Country habitats. The 523-acre, wooded bottomland is home to White-tailed Deer and 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 Hummingbird. Dainty Sulphur and Queen Butterflies can be seen around blooming wildflowers, but also look for Monarch 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 www.tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/south-llano-river