PLEASE REMEMBER THIS REFUGE WAS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A PROTECTED HABITAT FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES. HIKERS SHOULD REMAIN ON THE TRAILS. ALSO REMEMBER THAT HIKERS SHOULD "TAKE ONLY PICTURES AND LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS". PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT THE REFUGE. THE REFUGE IS OPEN FROM SUNRISE TO SUNSET.
The refuge has two locations with public trails. Warbler Vista just outside of Lago Vista on 1431 and Doeskin Ranch located on FM 1174. Warbler Vista has three trails that take you through the limestone terraces that give the refuge its name "balconies". Cactus Rocks trail is a 0 .6 mile one-way trail and is an easy to moderate hike. This trail winds through Golden-cheeked Warbler habitat of juniper and hardwood trees. Pick up a guide pamphlet at the parking lot kiosk and enjoy the interpretive trail. The Vista Knoll Trail is 1.2 miles round trip and is a moderate hike. This trail offers great views of Lake Travis and Lago Vista. The newest, Ridgeline Trail is .75 miles and it leads to the Sunset Deck.
Doeskin Ranch has 5 trails for everyone to enjoy. The Pond and Prairie trail is an easy 0.4 mile trail that takes you through grasslands and monarch butterfly habitat. This trail is opened for handicap access. The Creek trail is 0.6 mile and takes you around the old ranch corncrib and down along the creek where you can sit and enjoy the birds that frequent this area. The Rimrock trail is 2.2 miles of moderate to difficult hiking that takes you up through the "balconies" and into the juniper and oak habitat that the Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler need for nesting. The Shin Oak trail is a .5 mile trail that branches off from the Rimrock trail. This trail offers great views of the hill country. The Indiangrass Trail is the latest addition. It is a 1.5 mile back country trail, moderately difficult. The trail head is identified by a sign on a tree.
Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge Receives National Trail Recognition June 2005
Doeskin Ranch currently has over 5 miles of trails from relatively easy to moderate walking. Bring water and good foot wear! Doeskin Ranch is open during daylight hours for people most every day of the year. It is located on RR 1174 about 11 miles from the refuge office (on FM 1431) via Cow Creek Road.
Trail maps as well as maps to get to the Refuge public area are available here.