Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Llano Estacado Loop

Llano Estacado Loop map

Llano Estacado loop mapMackenzie ParkLakes 5 and 6 (Yellow Canyon)Lubbock CemeteryBoles Road/Twin PondsBuffalo Springs LakeClapp ParkMaxey ParkJack Stevens ParkLubbock Lake Landmark

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More information:

  • Lubbock CVB, 806-747-5232, 800-692-4035,
  • Lubbock COC, 806-761-7000, 800-321-5822,

024.gif PHP 024 Mackenzie Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Coming from US 62/82 into Lubbock from the east, exit north on Loop 289 and follow 1.3 miles. Exit on Municipal Drive and go left under the overpass and continue for 1.8 miles to the park on the left.

This is a large urban park with open wooded savannah and thickets on the margin of the woods. Winter flocks include Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco and titmice. A variety of migrant ducks may be mixed in with the resident waterfowl. The stands of old deciduous trees and the stream that flows through them provide extensive habitat for migrating warblers and resident songbirds.

025.gif PHP 025 Lakes 5 and 6 (Yellow Canyon)

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Follow Canyon Lake Drive through Mackenzie Park. Cross US 62 and the lake is on the right.

This site consists of a long lake that runs along the roadside, and is excellent for photographing waterfowl and other birds that live in the reedbeds. Mesquite, oak, elm, and grassland surround the lake, making it a good site to look for sparrows in winter. Below the dam, the creek provides good habitat to see migrating warblers.

026.gif PHP 026 Lubbock Cemetery

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Exit onto Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., between Lakes 5 and 6 and turn south to 31st Street, 0.6 mile. Turn east on 31st St. and go two blocks to Teak Avenue. Follow the sign to the cemetery.

The cemetery has good stands of trees that attract a variety of species, particularly during migration. Owls are regularly seen in the park, and migrating warblers and vireos are attracted to the locust trees.

027.gif PHP 027 Boles Road/Twin Ponds

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Go north 1.1 miles to Idalou Rd. (US 62/FM 114), turn right and continue 1.6 miles to Loop 289. Go south on Loop 289 for 3.5 miles and exit at FM 835 East, also called Buffalo Springs Road, for 1.2 miles. Turn north on County Road 2800, which is Boles Road, just before the boat repair shop. After 0.5 mile, the dry lakebed is off to your left. Return to FM 835 East for 0.7 mile and the twin ponds are on either side of the road. Take particular care in pulling off to view the ponds, and do not stop on the bridge.

Boles Road has an ephemeral wetland where migrating shorebirds can be seen during spring and fall. Twin Ponds may also have waterfowl during winter. Birds of prey such as Ferruginous Hawk are also present during winter. Just beyond the ponds is an extensive Prairie Dog town; check this site for Burrowing Owl and the various birds of prey that feed on Prairie Dogs. Sparrows, meadowlarks, and mixed flocks of longspurs are attracted to the dry lake, which can be viewed from the road.

028.gif PHP 028 Buffalo Springs Lake

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open daily. Developed camping available.

Continue on FM 835 East (turn right/south to stay on FM 835) for 3.1 miles to the entrance gate on the left.

This large lake provides extensive winter habitat for geese, Ring-billed Gull, and ducks such as Common Goldeneye and Northern Shoveler. The Llano Estacado Audubon Society has built a 1.7-mile nature trail that leads from the bluffs above the lake down to the lakeshore. The vista here is quite beautiful, and Cedar Waxwing, woodpeckers, and wrens inhabit the trail seasonally. As you cross the spillway on the way to the trail, watch for Eared Grebe and Redhead in winter.


029.gif PHP 029 Clapp Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Winter, Migrations

Site open for day use only.

Return to Loop 289 East/left for 5.2 miles and exit University going north for 1.7 miles to 44th Street. The park is at the corner.

This large municipal park has numerous trees, an arboretum, a Garden Arts Center, and a large pond. Geese and ducks are resident here during the winter, and the trees provide excellent habitat during migrations. Look for raptors such as Sharp-shinned Hawk. The gardens at the arboretum provide nectar for birds and butterflies. Migrating shorebirds as well as warblers stop here.

030.gif PHP 030 Maxey Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to University Ave. and go north 0.7 mile to 34th St. Turn west/left for 2 miles to Quaker St., turn right and go 10 blocks (0.4 mile) to 24th St. The Park is on the right.

This large urban park has a large lake that attracts a variety of waterfowl during winter, including Hooded Merganser and Wood Duck. Double-crested Cormorant can also be found here.

031.gif PHP 031 Jack Stevens Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Summer

Site open for day use only.

Return to Quaker St. and go south 1.4 miles to 50th St. Turn right and go 1.0 mile to Slide Rd. Turn south 1.6 miles to 75th Street. Turn west at the corner of the PNB bank. The park is on the corner.

This small municipal park has ponds that attract a variety of waterfowl in
winter, and during migrations they can be expected to attract Marsh Wren and other wetland birds.

032.gif PHP 032 Lubbock Lake Landmark

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to Loop 289 North and go 6.7 miles to exit US 84 (Clovis Highway). Follow the signs 0.5 mile to park entrance.

This 336-acre preserve constitutes an impressive site for both archaeology and nature viewing. It is one of very few sites in North America known to contain evidence of a complete sequence of human existence during the past 11,500 years.

Ferruginous Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, and American Kestrel occur here, and its location along the Central Flyway makes it a good place to scout during migrations. Birds uncommon for the region have turned up here, including Mountain Plover, Common Gallinule, Common Nighthawk, Black-chinned Hummingbird, and Rufous Hummingbird.

The Robert Nash Interpretive Center provides an exhibit gallery, auditorium, and Learning Center. Outdoor facilities include two picnic areas and a one-mile accessible trail around the reservoir. There is also a one-mile interpretive trail featuring the archaeology of this ancient river valley, a four-mile nature trail, and a half-mile native wildflower trail that provide ample seasonal opportunities for viewing wildlife and plants. This site has been re-vegetated with native plants, and the on-going environmental restoration has resulted in the return of small native animals such as Gray Fox, Coyote, Prairie Dog, Opossum, Burrowing Owl, and other resident and migratory birds.


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