Homer Martin Ranch
This 2,800-acre ranch is located along the cliff banks of the Llano River and includes riverside habitat, canyon woodlands, oak-mesquite brush, open prairie and mixed deciduous woodlands. White-tailed Deer are abundant on the property, and you may see bobcat, coyote, Cottontail Rabbit, jackrabbit, Gray and Red Fox, ringtail and porcupine. The diversity of habitats support a wide variety of resident birds including Greater Roadrunner, Bobwhite Quail, Wild Turkey, Verdin, Bushtit, Ground Dove, Green Kingfisher, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Western Scrub-Jay, Eastern Bluebird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Canyon Towhee, Chipping and Rufous-crowned Sparrows, Pyrrhuloxia and Cactus, Rock, Canyon, Carolina and Bewick's Wrens. Cabins are available for overnight guests. Activities include swimming and fishing in the Llano River, mountain biking and hiking.
Call for Directions
Fort Mason City Park
In Mason, from the intersection of TX 29 and US 87, go south on US 87 1.2 miles to park entrance on left.
A short nature trail meanders through mixed deciduous woodlands along Comanche Creek. These creekside woodlands are home to nesting Summer Tanager, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Blue Grosbeak and Great-crested Flycatcher. Dragonflies skirting along the creek include Eastern Pondhawk, Common Whitetail and Roseate Skimmer. Butterflies abound throughout the trail, offering wildlife enthusiasts a full spectrum of vibrant color.
Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve
From the intersection of TX 29 and US 87 in Mason, go south on US 87 1.2 miles to the intersection with FM 1723. Go south on FM 1723 for 2.3 miles to a Y-intersection. Take a right onto FM 2389 for 4.8 miles to James River Rd. Continue on James River Rd. for 8.2 miles to Bat Cave Preserve. Just before reaching the preserve, you must cross the James River in your vehicle. River levels can be as low as a few inches in dry conditions and higher during wet seasons.
The bat cave is located on a trail about 1,500 ft. from the parking lot. This Nature Conservancy property is host to one of the largest maternal colonies of Mexican Free-tailed Bats in Texas. The females use the cave to bear and rear their young, migrating back to Mexico in the fall. The woodland scrub and rocky terrain is habitat for Painted Bunting, Canyon Wren and Black-throated Sparrow. The preserve is open mid-May through early October, call ahead for open dates and hours.