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planning your visit

You are visiting the home of wildlife. You will see far reaching views, hear beautiful song birds, see lovely wildflowers and an amazing array of native plants, and, if you’re lucky, some of the shy creatures that call the canyonlands home. The best way to observe wildlife is to remain quiet and still for a few minutes.

The refuge allows visitors to hike on designated trails for good reason -- to protect the habitat and to protect yourself.  The old adage “leaves of three, let it be” still holds. Three-leaf clusters on slender stems, poison ivy is found throughout the Hill Country. Biting insects, scorpions, and venomous snakes also call the refuge home. Be sure to stay on the trail where you can more easily see them and avoid meeting them. In the slim chance you come across a snake on the trail, slowly back up and let it slither on by.  

what to bring

    • Wear appropriate shoes and clothing.
    • Bring plenty of water for everyone in your party.
    • Bring sunscreen and bug spray.
    • Bring snacks or trail mix.
    • Leave your pets at home.
    • Since some of the trails are steep with loose rocks, considering using your hiking sticks.
    • Binoculars always add fun to a hike when you can see that elusive bird up close, and of course your camera or smartphone to capture those special moments.
    • Be safe, stay on the trails — children must stay with their parents or responsible adults.
    • Help us preserve the beauty of the hill country — take only pictures and memories, leave only footprints.

trail maps and directions

For suggestions on hikes, check out Hiking.

About Us

The Friends of Balcones Canyonlands NWR is a 501(c)(3) organization whose primary purpose is to support the mission of the Refuge in restoring and protecting the habitat. The Friends are committed to building a diverse, vibrant community that appreciates, supports, and connects with nature in a meaningful way.

Become a Member

Join the Friends in protecting the wildlife and habitat, and supporting the mission of the Refuge. Start by taking a hike or  attending an event, by watching the seasons change through what’s blooming, or by just watching a hawk soar, or even just sitting still and listening to the songbirds sing. You can have a positive impact. Come find your refuge at the Refuge and join the fun!

Find Us

Mailing Address:

PO Box 4678

Lago Vista, TX 78645

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