Hiking/Biking Trail

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge (Marble Falls)

The City of Marble Falls is home to 30 miles of vast parks, recreational areas, lakes and rivers, making it a wonderful launching point for exploring some of the best scenery in the Hill Country. One example of this is the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, a hiker’s paradise with several miles of nature trails that wind through wooded forests, past clear-water creeks and to the tops of hills and plateaus. The 32,000 acre refuge, which is free to the public, was formed in 1992 to conserve the natural habitat for more than 245 birds including two endangered songbirds: the golden-cheeked warbler and the black-capped vireo.

Mature ash thickets, wide-open grasslands, spring-fed creeks and rugged limestone canyons of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge provide a key environment for its range of animal life. The refuge is located within a dissected portion of the Edwards Plateau that contains many steep-banked streams and canyons. Beneath the surface of the plateau lies an underground labyrinth of caves, sinkholes and springs. Various spiders, beetles and other creatures inhabit this below-ground world. Even deeper below the surface lies the Edwards Aquifer, which stores billions of gallons of water and is the source of many springs that feed surrounding Hill Country rivers.

With more than seven miles of nature trails, the Balcones Canyonlands provides the perfect opportunity for hiking, wildlife watching, photography and simply enjoying beautiful scenic overlooks. The park also offers educational tours, making for a fun date activity or family excursion.

fws.gov/refuge/balcones-canyonlands

Photo courtesy of Visit Marble Falls.