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  • GCW_218x116

    Golden-cheeked Warbler

    Golden-cheeked warblers are the only bird species that nests exclusively in Texas, including the refuge.

    Setophaga chrysoparia

  • CowCreek_218x116

    Amazing Views

    Miles of trails lead you through old growth cedar forests, meadows and along rocky creeks. Come enjoy the beauty of the Hill Country!

    Wildlife Watching and Nature Trails

Public Use Areas

Trails: Where to Find Them

hp promo 119 H Warbler Vista trail sign

Balcones Canyonlands is not a continuous piece of land. It is actually fragmented with only 3000 of its 27,500 acres open to the public.

Trails and Where to Find Them

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

Follow NWRS Online


What's Happening at the Refuge

  • Proposed Delisting of the Black-capped Vireo

    In the late 1980s the future for the black-capped vireo looked bleak. Only about 350 birds were known to survive in a few locations. Following the bird’s listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1987, the Service began working with the states of Oklahoma and Texas, the U.S. Army, private landowners and non-governmental organizations to protect and recover the vireo. There are now more than 5,200 known birds and more than 14,000 estimated across their breeding range.

    More about the proposal
  • Morning Bird Walks

    J Harrington birding by ear 242x158

    Come join other birders at the refuge for a guided bird walk, learn about how to identify birds and get expert advice on finding elusive species. Walks held weekly on Thursdays.

    Morning Bird Walks through February
  • Internationally Important for Birds

    The refuge has been identified as an internationally Important Bird Area, an official designation indicating its unique importance to birds, specifically the golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo.

    IBA Designation
Page Photo Credits — All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Golden-cheeked warbler / Greg Lasley ©, Black-capped vireo / Greg Lasley ©
Last Updated: Feb 09, 2017


  • Sparrowfest 2017

    February 04, 2017

    Participants in last year's event found 21 species of sparrow!

    Event Details
  • Songbird Festival 2017

    Featured Event FE 119 H GCWApril 21, 2017 - April 23, 2017

    This premier birding event gives birders access to refuge tracts not open to the public areas.

    Event Details
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