Explore the most popular birding trails in Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Very cool scenes and nice walk with good climbs and great views all around....very quiet and peaceful

Very challenging and fun. We did this one with our 12 year old while wearing our 10 month old. It was incredibly steep so we had to take turns wearing the baby. Definitely have to be careful on some of the terrain but the hike and view are worth it!

Nice walk in upland woodlands with great panoramic views of the Colorado and Pedernales rivers and surrounding limestone hills of oak and cedar. Best at late afternoon as the orange sun casts warm shadows highlighting distant topography.

Good trail but I would rate it as moderate instead of easy. The elevation changes aren't treacherous but the trail is rocky and if there is ANY moisture, quite slick.

But overall, it was a nice hike. We did 3.3 miles and it look 1 hr 45 mins.

A nice, quick hike. It was pretty quiet when I arrived; I only saw a couple of other people. It had rained the morning I went out, and stretches of the trail were submerged or very muddy. Gorgeous views at the top; the only sounds out there are the streams nearby and the birds.

Just challenging enough to tire my four and two year old out.

hiking
23 days ago

This is just a flat out great hike. Beautiful views, some nice incline. A great hill country hike. Make sure to take the creek trail section of the trails as well (only .6 miles long). It's the best looking creek I've ever seen and arguably the best part of the hike. Hiked in late December, 2018.

Beautiful scenery went during the summer heat. they say being gallon of water per person and they have water stations throughout the trail. If you're going during the summer take couple gallons. Worth the hike.

My favorite trail around the area. Not very long, but always quiet and peaceful. There is are some nice narrow trails through trees, and also wide open fields with amazing views. Free to hike too- enjoy!

Great trail with a little of everything.

This place is gorgeous. Some of the trails get overgrown a bit, but none of them are too tough. Several trails cross the water. So, if it’s been raining, expect to get wet. Will definitely be heading back.

Great trail with plenty of shady areas! Family friendly even my 69 year old mom who sits behind a desk all day felt good afterwards.
The elevations are an easy ascent. We will definitely go back!

on Cactus Rocks Trail

hiking
7 months ago

Nice shaded hiking trails, we hiked Cactus and Ridgeline Trails. A lot of elevation changes, so made for a good hike.

trail running
7 months ago

Short trail, but had a couple nice vistas.

on Cactus Rocks Trail

trail running
7 months ago

Short but decent trail. Couple of technical sections some fun little climbs.

hiking
9 months ago

short but very beautiful and peaceful

Very clean and maintained trials. Come early! The parking lot is small and will fill up fast. And...when the sun comes up you are going to feel it. There is not a lot of shade on most parts of these trails.

hiking
10 months ago

Very nice hike, a little rough but very good to do.

The was very shaded so it’s good for a hike on a hot day. I would rate it as moderate difficulty. You definitely need some good hiking shoes since there are some steep and rocky parts along the trail. If you have any kind of ankle problems or cedar allergies this is NOT the trail for you. Watch out for snakes, plenty of hiding places for them. Overall it was a a very nice trail. Quiet, shaded, and a decent view about halfway along the Cactus Rock Trail.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Great little hike of around 3.1 miles when all was said and done with my honey. Weather was in low 70’s and sunny. Good hike on a Saturday!

hiking
Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Beautiful hike. It's a mix of sun and shade, so make sure you take sunscreen. I just wish dogs were allowed.

Nice trail. A little elevation. Not too crowded.

Not worth the drive. The trail has hardly any shade. Very narrow we were kind of worried about snakes. No water except one spot and it was very small.

Pretty views. Stacked loops let you make the hike as long as you want.

Beautiful trail! Nice hike, challenging areas, and the 2 people that were there working were so nice and helpful! Will be back

What a beautiful hike! Had the chance to check out all the trails and they were all great! Very peaceful and relaxing. We did run across a coral snake so just be cautious!

Nice secluded trail...good for a morning stretch out hike. Cow Creek is beautifully clear. Make sure that you include the Indian Grass trail in your hike...completes the experience!

Loved it! Took 6 kids, youngest was 4 (he rode on my shoulders much of the time). Did the whole trail in about two hours. Definitely a winner.

Very nice in springtime. Green, plenty of cover, not too hot. Not too muddy, either, even after a morning rain.
Probably better to take it counterclockwise; that way, the short dull section (along an old internal ranch road) is at the end.

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