Trees use shade to reduce the competition from ground cover plants and to reduce potential fuel for wildfires that might destroy them. Here is a small remnant of live oak forest whose canopy has shaded out most of the light needed to sustain much plant... read more

 Geology and Rock Exhibition  Some Hill Country rock formations date back for more than one billion years. This exhibit features one specimen from each geological formation in the Hill Country and includes igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock type... read more

  Bird Blind and Feeding Area. We have seen over 160 species of birds in the park. More than 30 species have been seen in this feeding station area, mostly during the winter months. Birds require food, water and cover, all of which are present here. Plea... read more

Stop 12   Butterfly Habitat We designed our butterfly habitat to provide both larval and nectar plants for butterflies. We have more than 60 butterfly species visiting our habitat. Butterfly adults and larvae prefer native plants. Please note the solita... read more

The Self-Guided Tour can be used to explore and learn about the entire area. A detailed description of the Trails can be found under “Nature Center Trails“.  A map of the area is found below:   1. Grotto with Ferns 2.  Live Oak Woods ... read more

Self Guided Tour Stops along the trail are marked with 4X4 posts with the stop number on top of the post. Numbers are noted on the trail map.   Stop 1 Sandstones deposited during the time the dinosaurs roamed this part of the Hill Country over 100 ... read more

  FredericksburgNatureCenter Fish   Common Name Scientific Name Alligator Gar Atractosteus spatula River Carpsucker Carpiodes carpio Blacktail Shiner Cyprinella venusta Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides   &n... read more

FredericksburgNatureCenter Mammals Common Name Scientific Name Ringtail Bassariscus astutus Beaver Castor canadensis Didelphis marsupialis Didelphis marsupialis Nutria Miocastor coypus Odocoileus virginianus Odocoileus virginianus Racoon Procyon lotor Eas... read more

FredericksburgNatureCenter Reptiles & Amphibians Common Name Scientific Name Red-spotted Toad Bufo punctatus Texas Spotted Whiptail Cnemidophorus gularis gularis Texas Rat Snake Elaphe obsoleta lindheimerii Blotched Water Snake Nerodia erythrogaster t... read more

  A mixture of grasses and wildflowers, once covered vast areas of Texas, including the Texas Hill Country. Mixed grass prairies were the dominant habitat of the Hill Country prior to European settlement in the mid-nineteenth century. Prairies in thi... read more

Ash juniper is a native plant, but prior to settlement of the Hill Country it was confined to the canyons and steep slopes that protected it from wildfires. As settlers suppressed wildfires, ash juniper spread across the former savannah habitat to dominat... read more

Blackjack and Post oaks are trees that form open forests in higher, dryer sandy areas of the region and state. Upland sandy soil areas are often inhabited by post oak and blackjack trees as you see along this narrow corridor. The open field south of the f... read more

The marshy area below the dam is home for water loving plants, dragonflies, and wading birds.The plants that live in the marshy area below the dam don’t mind wet feet. Sedges and rushes don’t have a problem growing in standing water. Fall aste... read more

Please note the change in vegetation along the face of the slope. The habitat has changed from that across the creek because the soil is mostly clay, drier (above the water table) and well drained. Note the vegetation is dominated by prickly pear, mesquit... read more

A riparian zone or area is the interface between land and a river or stream. Riparian is also the proper nomenclature for one of the fifteen terrestrial biomes of the earth. Plant habitats and communities along the river margins and banks are called ripar... read more

  Lake islands may form in numerous ways. They may occur through a build-up of sedimentation as shoals. These islands provide a wide variety of habitat for wildlife from dragonflies to birds.