- City of Seymour, 940-889-3148, www.cityofseymour.org
- Wichita Falls, 940-716-5500, www.wichitafalls.org
From US 82 in south Wichita Falls take the Kemp St. Exit north 1.7 miles to Seymour St. Turn right (east) on Seymour St. and go 0.3 mile to Sunset Dr. Turn left (north) on Sunset Dr. and follow it 0.1 mile into the park.
Lucy Park offers a great nature escape right in the middle of Wichita Falls. The 163-acre park is bordered by the Wichita River and its associated woodland. A well-maintained section of the Circle Trail accompanies the river for most of its length through the park providing excellent wildlife-viewing opportunities. The River Bend Nature Center offers exhibits of area flora and fauna. In summer, the park hosts several pairs of Mississippi Kites. The river woodlands provide habitat for Carolina Wren and Carolina Chickadee. The open space in the park provides foraging grounds for Mourning and Inca Doves. Along the Wichita River, look for Snowy Egret, Killdeer and migrating songbirds during spring and fall. The river is also home to the colorful American Rubyspot damselfly.
Lake Arrowhead State Park
From the intersection of US 281 and US 82 in Wichita Falls, go south on US 281 for 6.8 miles to RR 1954. Turn left (east) on RR 1954 and follow it 7.2 miles to Lake Arrowhead State Park.
Lake Arrowhead acts as an oasis of water surrounded by semiarid, gently rolling prairie, much of which has been covered by mesquite in recent decades. Waterfowl and wading birds are commonly seen in the park. The mesquite brush provides habitat for Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and Western Kingbird. Northern Bobwhite and Wild Turkey can often be seen in the campgrounds and picnic areas. The lake itself attracts a diversity of birds and other wildlife. In late summer, look for Forster's and Least Terns as well as Neotropic Cormorant. In winter, large numbers of waterfowl and American White Pelicans visit the lake. The black-tailed prairie dog town at the park can provide lots of entertaining viewing. Be sure to look for Burrowing Owls near the prairie dog town.
City of Seymour- City Park
From the intersection of US 183 and US 82 in Seymour go south 0.4 mile to E. McLain St. Turn left on E. McLain and go 0.4 mile to the park on the left.
The story goes that early settlers noticed that Seymour Creek was one of the best places for Wild Turkey anywhere along the Brazos River. Because of this, they settled here and the town of Seymour was founded. If the story is true, the residents of Seymour have done right by their turkeys and respectfully set aside 83 acres along Seymour Creek as parkland, which holds a variety of wildlife including the occasional Wild Turkey.
In the heat of the summer the muddy banks of the creek provide excellent habitat for Killdeer and herons. Dragonflies such as Common Whitetail, Widow Skimmer and Eastern Amberwing are common. In summer, be sure to climb the slight rise on the east side of the park and look back over the city for soaring Mississippi Kites. Also, look for the recently arrived Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, which nest in large trees around town. Visitors in October can enjoy the spectacle of migrating Monarchs, as hundreds of the butterflies cover the trees.
Ranger Creek Ranch
From the intersection of US 183 and US 82/W. California St. in Seymour, go west on US 82/W. California St. for 17.6 miles to the town of Vera and CR 3150. From Vera, go west 1 mile on CR 3150 to the main lodge on the right.
The Scott and Shipman families have lived, farmed and ranched thousands of acres in northeastern Knox County for over 100 years. During this time, they have developed an appreciation for the land and a love for its wildlife. Ranger Creek Ranch was started in 1985 to share this love with others. They have managed the land for a wide diversity of wildlife. There are spring-fed creeks and ponds throughout the ranch with a breathtaking view and blinds which offer excellent opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife and waterfowl.
The landscape in this area of Texas can change dramatically in a very short distance, going from flat and fertile wheat fields to striking mesas and canyons in Texas's own version of the Painted Desert sometimes referred to as "The Big Empty." These canyons host Lark Sparrow and roadrunners in abundance and are one of the few remaining places where seeing Texas horned lizards is a daily occurrence. Spring-fed ponds host dozens of dragonflies, including Eastern Pondhawks, Eastern Amberwings and Halloween Pennants. The ponds are also frequented by Mississippi Kites, which cruise overhead in search of their dragonfly prey. Ranger Creek Ranch is located in the Central Flyway, so during the winter months managed wetlands are seasonally flooded to attract geese and ducks in great numbers.
The history of the ranch can be seen in several old rock buildings that are over a century old. This historic cattle ranch offers a unique glimpse at one of Texas' most striking landscapes and an opportunity to enjoy its great wildlife and hospitality. Come on out, take a breath of the good ol' country air, stay a little bit and relax.