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South Llano's River Trail hike a favorite

Special to the Courier From TPWD

As the temperatures drop a bit, be sure to include a visit to a state park with the family this fall. Head to South Llano River State Park to hike the River Trail. This easy trail follows the South Llano River, one of Texas' most pristine rivers, spring-fed year-round by the 700 Springs Ranch just upstream. It also leads through bottomland hardwood forests noted for their mature pecan groves.
Pack the binoculars when you head to this birding hot spot. Plan for frequent stops to look for seasonal favorites. Watch for the endangered golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, ring-necked kingfisher, great blue heron and painted bunting. The park's birding checklist offers a preview.
Sharp-eyed hikers might see beaver, porcupine, grey fox, a variety of turtles and Guadalupe bass, the state fish.
You may also be surprised by the occasional displays of Central Texas wildflowers, weather permitting. Benches are placed along the trail for wildlife observation.
The river trail is 2.32 miles and takes about 1.5 hours to complete. It's an easy hike, family friendly, even for small children.
South Llano River State Park is located at 1927 Park Road 73 in Junction, Texas.