San Saba River Loop
- Menard COC
Stockpen Crossing Park
From Junction, take US 83 north to Menard. Turn left/west on San Saba Ave. and go 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.
Menard River Park
In Menard, take US 83 north across the San Saba River. Take the first right after the bridge on Decker St. 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 kingfishers. Rough-winged and Barn Swallows feed here in abundance.
Fort McKavett State Historic Site
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.
Attractions at Fort McKavett include 25 restored historical buildings, an interpretive center, bookstore and living history programs. The park's open fields provide good viewing habitat for Lark and Vesper Sparrows and Ash-throated and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. 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.