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Warbler Vista - Great views, fun trail, recent improvements
Balcones Canyonlands NWR - Warbler Vista
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Distance: 3.00 Miles
Duration: 2 hours
I walked every inch of all the Warbler Vista trails on March 10th. Started just after sunrise and the only other folks there were the couple cleaning the bathrooms at the trailhead. They have just poured new concrete and asphalt road from 1431 to the first trailhead. Perfect road. And there is fresh mulch down on the trailheads and ends. The trails themselves are quite nice with great tree cover and some nice openings with views across the countryside. The noise from the nearby roads/highways was a bit of a nuisance but it was only occasional. I really liked the Ridge trail. It had a lot of rock and branch debris which made it a bit adventurous to get through it. Not at all a "nice, flat, improved" trail at all.
You'll enjoy these trails. Easy to get to from Austin.
A nice quick-hit challenge
Balcones Canyonlands NWR - Doeskin Ranch
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Distance: 4.00 Miles
Although there were a half-dozen cars at the trail-head parking lot, I only saw a few people near the trail-heads and then no one else the rest of the day as I covered all but one of the trails. I arrived at 3pm and I covered all but the creek-side trail within 2.5 hours. The Indian Grass trail was especially nice with some small but interesting elevation changes and the trail meandered a bit allowing one to enjoy it even though it could have been much shorter ala point A to point B. Some varying hill-country views from different vantage points throughout the trails. It was near 80 degrees that day and I managed to break a sweat. I'll be back with my kids as the trails were more than interesting enough to satisfy them. But I sure liked the solitude and "quiet" I enjoyed this first time I did it so I may go that route with it again soon as well.