Birding · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Lots of shaded areas and benches to sit and rest.
This is a fun loop in the Spring Lake Natural Area that is great for beginners and seasoned hikers alike. The terrain can go from smooth to rocky pretty quick, so be mindful if you’re taking the bike. Along the route there are wonderful overlook views of San Marcos, birding, and even some fishing in the pond.
Need to Know
This is a free park. There is a portable toilet at the Lime Kiln trailhead but no water sources, so bring plenty of hydration!
The Spring Lake Natural Area has 12 different trail systems and three different trailheads from which to choose. This particular route starts at the Lime Kiln Road Trailhead, and it uses the Blue Heron Trail
, Blue Stem
, and Buckeye
back to Blue Heron to complete this particular loop.
From the trailhead, head south on Blue Heron Trail
before connecting to Exogyra
by taking a left at the fork. Follow this south to Wickiups
and take a left up to the viewpoint. On the way back down, take a left to head to Blue Stem
. Follow this north past the junction with Sink Link and at the junction with Buckeye
take a right. Follow Buckeye
east until you reach Blue Heron Trail
and follow this left back to the trailhead.
There are plenty of wonderful hill country views along this route, and even a pond where you can pause and enjoy the silence. Some of the trails here have rocks and tree roots, so it may be tricky for little kids.
There are various signs along the way if you didn’t bring a map, and other signs that showcase various sightseeing focuses in the area.
Flora & Fauna
This part of Texas provides nesting grounds for the Golden Warbler. Trails are usually closed from March until the end of May. Plenty of birding and wildlife viewing. Cacti are a plenty, but all off of the trail.
History & Background
According the SM Greenbelt Alliance website, the Spring Lake Natural area consists of 251 acres of parkland (making it the second biggest park area in San Marcos) just above the San Marcos River. This area supports five endangered species as well. I recommend visiting the website to learn all of the great history San Marcos parks have to offer!
Shared By: Danny Laurel