Dogs No Dogs
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife
An excellent spot to take the family or anyone who's not that keen on hiking, as this short trail has great viewpoints and solitude.
Leashed dogs are only allowed on Saturdays. Check the website
for specific details.
Need to Know
Admission is free, although donations are gladly accepted. Trails are open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Trails are open at the discretion of the Audubon Society and are based upon current trail conditions. As with any hike you should apply Leave No Trace principles as you journey through the forest. Although hiking is free they ask that you check-in at the office of the visitor's center.
The West Loop Trail begins directly behind the visitor center where a signpost directs you to the right. Only moments later you cross a small wooden bridge and then make a turn and start your hike up the ridge. The trail follows a number of small switchbacks, but the grade should be easy for most adults and kids alike, as you make this short journey up the ridge.
Once at the top of the hill you have the option to go right or left. Either way will bring you back to the same location where you'll head back down to the visitor's center. Once you start, the loop portion the trail flattens out and is a fairly gentle grade. There are a lot of rocks and roots present so mind your step.
Well-placed benches provide great resting points and places to sit and enjoy the wildlife, bird life, and the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves. While not a strenuous hike, this is an exceptional place to go to get away from the business of traffic and typical city noise.
Flora & Fauna
As with most Texas Trails there are plenty of poisonous plant life throughout the forest, so sticking to the trails are highly encouraged. Being an Audubon center, bird life is a focus, so expect to see many different species as you travel through the forest. Bird boxes litter the tree tops along the hike, inviting many viewing opportunities, so bring your binoculars or camera. There is also a bird blind available just outside the visitor's center to enjoy more viewing options.
Shared By: John Shuttlesworth