Site Contents


  • Overview
  • Live Oak
  • Vista Loop
  • HAT

The Nature Center has over 6,600 feet of beautiful and interesting hiking trails divided among two loop trails and a special 600-yard long wheelchair-accessible trail. All the trails meander through diverse habitats with many species of forbs, woody plants, and grasses along their way. Many important species are marked with identifying signs. There is also abundant insect and amphibian life waiting to be discovered. There are comfortable benches placed conveniently along all of the trails for rest, reflection, and observation.

The Handicapped Accessible Trail (HAT) provides wheelchair-bound visitors the first trail of its kind in the state.

All of the trails are well maintained and should present little challenge to the average hiker.

Click here for a map of the trail system.

The Live Oak Trail meanders through a mature Oak woods, a section of typical Texas prairie, and past the Cactus Garden. A section of the trail lies adjacent to a large lake with wetlands, mudflats, and mud islands, all ideal for visiting shore birds and waders.

Cactus Garden

On the south side of the Live Oak Wilderness trail you will find the Nature Center's Texas Cactus Garden. The garden was built by a local Eagle Scout as part of his merit work. THe garden contains numerous species of Texas cacti and succulents. 2008 will see an upgrade and additions to the Cactus Garden.

Vista LoopOn its lower section, the Loop Vista Trail winds along a rocky hillside just above Live Oak Creek. The upper part of the trail follows a moderate bluff overlooking the creek. Our Butterfly Garden, bird blind, and feeding station lie along this upper part of the trail. The upper section of the trail is also the Handicapped Accessible Trail (HAT). The two trails share the same path for 600 yards.

Butterfly Garden

Butterfly GardenThe Butterfly Habitat garden is designed to provide an area to attract butterflies and other pollinators.

It is located on the upper part of the trail where the Loop Vista and Handicapped Accessible Trail run together. The garden was built with the cooperation of many local organizations, including the Boy Scouts and the Hill Country Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists. Click here for to view, print, or download a list of the butterflies seen at the Nature Center.

The Butterfly Garden provides visitors examples of plants that attract butterflies by providing nectar sources as well as larval food. An artificial food source is also provided.

The Garden also provides a photographic exhibit of butterflies you may encounter there.

More Picture of the Butterfly Habitat garden.

The newly-constructed bird blind and the bird-feeding station also lie on the Loop Vista Trail at the east end of the handicapped accessible trail (HAT). You can find information on both by clicking the HAT tab above.

The Handicapped Accessible Trail is a 600-foot long wheelchair-accessible trail that runs along a bluff overlooking the lower section of the Vista Loop Trail, passing the Butterfly Garden, the bird blind, and bird-feeding station.

HATThe HAT is five feet wide , constructed from compacted soil and a special decomposed granite base that easily accommodates most wheelchairs. A single layer of landscaping timbers border the trail along its entire length, except where, for safety, six inches of timber guard rail provides additional security.

 The grade, or steepness, of the HAT is less than twelve inches for every twelve feet of distance, well within the guidelines for both electric and manual wheelchairs.

HAT Trail PicThe covered bird blind is designed to accommodate wheelchairs. The blind incorporates an enlarged and extended lower wall beneath the viewing windows that allows birders to position the lower part of their wheelchair right under the window, giving them nearly a full 180-degree view of the feeding station.

 We welcome any feedback HAT users might have. The Friends of the Fredericksburg Nature Center is excited to make this trail the best experience it can be. Please share your ideas and comments with us by sending us an e-mail or stopping by the Park Headquarters.