Pecan Creek Loop
- Hamilton, 254-386-3216, hamiltontexas.com
- Hico, 800-361-HICO, www.hico-tx.com
Texas Hoedown Inc. @ Timber Creek Ranch
From Meridian, take Hwy 6 northwest for 8.8 miles. Go right on CR 2375 for 0.5 miles and then turn right on CR 2365 (do not take CR 2365 off Hwy 6, pass it & go to 2375). The ranch is the 1st gate you can go into on the left after 0.4 miles. Turn left into the ranch and proceed 0.7 miles to the house.
Texas Hoedown is the real 'out west' experience designed to be explored on horseback. The site includes beautiful oak/juniper woodland crisscrossed by numerous stone ledges flanking a babbling creek and a quiet pond where beavers and dragonflies thrive. The ranch offers wonderful opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to observe Greater Roadrunners and Wild Turkeys as well as the occasional Bobcat. The area around the office and stables has numerous feeders that attract dozens of Black-chinned Hummingbirds. Watch Inca Doves and Bewick's Wrens wander amongst the buildings and listen to Summer Tanagers and Yellow-billed Cuckoos call from perches. Texas Hoedown prides itself in catering to the needs of its guests. Visitors can enjoy quiet retreats complete with hammocks at the pond and along the creek and even a saddlebag filled with iced champagne to share with a friend.
Phone: 254-364-2676, www.texashoedown.com
Huggins Mesa Vista Ranch
From Hico travel south 8.5 miles on Hwy 281 to FM 219, turn east onto FM 219. Go east 5.2 miles to CR 214; turn south on CR 214 and follow 0.2 mile to the house on right.
Gigantic mesas cloaked in oaks and junipers are viewed from all parts of the Huggins Mesa Vista Ranch. The ranch itself is situated on rolling native prairie interspersed with wooded areas. Several ponds dot the landscape. Open, grassy areas provide habitat for Dickcissels and Lark Sparrows. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers perform aerial acrobatics overhead and various woodpeckers frequent the dead trees near the ponds. Great Horned Owls can sometimes be observed. The largest of the ranch ponds hosts a family of beavers, and dragonflies abound, including Common Whitetail and Blue Dasher. While exploring the ranch, listen for the characteristic two-note whistle of the Bobwhite Quail, or the raucous chuckling of a Wild Turkey. This is a working ranch so please call ahead for permission.
Hamilton County - Pecan Creek Park
From the intersection of US 281 and Hwy 36 in Hamilton, go north 0.2 miles on US 281 to East Gentry. Turn right and go 0.1 miles to the park along the creek. Pecan Creek Park runs north/south through town along Pecan Creek.
Pecan Creek Park snakes its way alongside Pecan Creek in downtown Hamilton. This serene greenbelt has a variety of open and wooded areas decorated with numerous bridges crossing the creek and its tributaries. The creek attracts a variety of birds, with Green Herons stalking its shallows and American Robins bathing at its edge. During migration the area can turn up traveling warblers, vireos and flycatchers such as Eastern Wood-Pewee. Dragonflies abound at Pecan Creek, with Roseate Skimmers, Eastern Amberwings, Blue Dashers and Eastern Pond Hawks cruising the banks.
Phone: 254-386-8116, www.hamiltontexas.com
Hamilton County - Fair Park
From the intersection of US 281 and SR 36 in Hamilton, go west on SR 36 for 0.4 miles. Turn right (north) on N. Cage St. and follow 0.4 miles. Turn left (northwest) onto Park Rd. and follow approximately 0.2 miles to the park.
Hamilton County's high school baseball field and the rodeo arena are surrounded by the open fields and scattered oaks of Fair Park. These open areas attract Western Kingbirds and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, which perch on many of the overhead poles and lines. Inca Doves can be found scratching through the park's dust. The park's oaks can hold migrants such as Cedar Waxwings. In winter, host flocks of Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets join the resident Northern Mockingbirds and Northern Cardinals.
Hamilton County - City Lake
From the intersection of US 281 and Hwy 36 in Hamilton County, go east on Hwy 36 for 0.9 miles. At its junction with Hwy 22, follow Hwy 22 northeast 1.4 miles to City Lake located on the right.
City Lake is one of the most expansive bodies of water in Hamilton County. Because of its sheer size, the lake is an attractive site for wildlife watchers. It is a good place to see waterfowl and shorebirds. Habitats include xeric scrubland, flooded forest, and bottomland forest. These habitats provide for Red-bellied and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Red-eyed and White-eyed vireos, Painted Buntings and Black-crested Titmice. The moist areas host an exceptional variety of dragonflies, including Black Saddlebags and Swamp Darner.
Phone: 254-386-8116, www.hamiltontexas.com
Pecan Creek Ranch
From the intersection of US 281 and Hwy 36 in Hamilton, go east 3.0 miles on Hwy 36 to the ranch. Note: Pecan Creek Ranch is located 3.0 miles east of the Hamilton Courthouse on Hwy 36.
The Pecan Creek Ranch rolls across the Texas prairie with fields of little bluestem and other native grasses. This healthy grassland is clearly appreciated by the numerous Bobwhite Quail that scatter from the roadside as one drives through the ranch. Other prominent roadside birds include Lark Sparrow and Eastern Meadowlark. The garish Painted Bunting is a real crowd pleaser and can often be found singing in the brushy habitats of the ranch. Telephone poles and fence posts should be checked for Ladder-backed Woodpeckers. Pay particular attention near the house for Western Kingbird and Black-chinned Hummingbird.