Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Comanche Loop

Comanche Loop map

Comanche loop mapBaylor Lake/Childress LakeMatador Wildlife Management AreaCopper Breaks State ParkTruscott Brine Lake

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More information:

  • Quanah COC, 940-663-2222,

086.gif PHP 086 Baylor Lake/Childress Lake

Suggested Seasons to visit: Winter, Migrations

Site open for day use only.

From Wellington, go south on US 83 for 30 miles to US 287 in Childress. Go 4.7 miles north/right and head west/left on Loop 328. At 1.7 miles take FM 2466 west/left for 2.2 miles. Turn left at the stop sign and follow the signs to the lake. Check the wetland along the edge of the road on the way to the lake for flycatchers in summer.

This site provides opportunity to view waterfowl during the winter and shorebirds during migrations. Common Loons have been seen on both lakes during spring. To reach Childress Lake, continue straight out of Baylor Lake onto the dirt road, which runs into Childress Lake.


087.gif PHP 087 Matador Wildlife Management Area (WMA)

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons, Open daily except for special hunts

Site open for day use only. Fee charged.

Return to US 287 and go east into Childress. In Childress, turn south on US 83. Follow US 83 23.4 miles to FM 3256, turn right and go 2.6 miles. Register at the office on the left. Access is restricted to four-wheel drive after heavy rains. Signs are posted on roads where 4-wheel drive vehicles are required.

Encompassing 28,000 acres, the Matador offers a variety of habitats including mesquite uplands, shinnery oak rangelands, gravelly hills with redberry juniper and mesquite, and bottomlands. Wildlife species occurring on the area include Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes, Western Massasauga Rattlesnakes, Texas Horned Lizards, Ornate Box Turtles, Mule and White-tailed Deer, Coyotes, Bobcats, and wild hogs. Less common species sighted on the area include Mountain Lions, Pronghorn, and Javelina.

Best locations for birdwatchers include the South Pease (Tongue) River, Middle Pease River, Cow Hollow Creek, and O.X. Creek. Common birds include Northern Cardinal, Mississippi Kite, Bobwhite Quail, Rio Grande Turkey, Northern Mockingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Bullock’s Oriole, Lark Sparrow, Painted Bunting, Black-crested Titmouse, Roadrunner, and Mourning Dove. Less common birds include Vermilion Flycatcher, Pyrrhuloxia, and Blue Grosbeak. Contact area personnel for a copy of the WMAs bird list.

806-492-3405, Matador WMA

088.gif PHP 088 Copper Breaks State Park (SP)

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open daily. Fee charged.

Return to US 83 and go south 7.3 miles to Paducah. In Paducah turn left on TX 70 to Crowell, 36.3 miles. Turn north/left on TX 6 for 8.9 miles and enter the state park on your left.

This 1900-acre park features rugged, scenic beauty with mixed grass/mesquite-covered mesas and juniper breaks. Comanche heritage is interpreted at the state park, and the picnic area shelters are shaped to look like tipis. Copper Breaks Lake, Big Pond, several natural ponds, and a marsh at one end of the reservoir provide a variety of water habitats. Large trees along the entrance road provide habitat for woodpeckers. Birds of prey are here throughout the year, and flycatchers and Western Kingbird can be seen along the road in summer. Migratory flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds, Yellow-headed Blackbird, and House Finch can be found as well as Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Mississippi Kite, Swainson’s Hawk, and the evening avi-show of Nighthawks. Less commonly seen species such as Eastern Phoebe, Painted Bunting, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo have also been sighted here. Unusual for this area, a White-tailed Kite was observed here in winter, 2001. Most species of mammals in the park are best viewed during the early morning and late evening hours. Most common are Mule Deer, Rabbits, Raccoons, Armadillos, Opossums, Bobcats, Porcupines, and Coyotes. Numerous frogs, turtles, and lizards can be seen and an occasional Texas Horned Lizard.

940-839-4331, Copper Breaks SP

089.gif PHP 089 Truscott Brine Lake

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return south on TX 6 to Crowell. Check the Pease River on the right after you leave the park during migrations. At 12.0 miles check the ponds, wetland, and picnic area. At 25.5 miles, turn right on FM 1756 West. Go 2.6 miles and turn right on CR 260 for 1.4 miles to the entrance of the lake.

The best place to view wintering ducks or other birds on this large, salty lake is behind the headquarters. It is an excellent place to scope for rarities such as loons and scoters in winter. The combination of dead snags in the reservoir, blue water, and red soil provides a beautiful backdrop for dawn and sunset photography. Deer, wild hogs, and other mammals are also commonly seen on the site.


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