Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


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    Golden-cheeked Warbler

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

    Setophaga chrysoparia

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    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

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    Hunt Information

    The refuge offers the public both a big game hunt and a dove hunt every fall.

    Learn More


Delisting the Black-capped Vireo

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Not so long ago the black-capped vireo nearly went extinct. Goats ate their way through this songbird’s habitat and brown-headed cowbirds commandeered their nests. In the late 1980s there were only about 350 birds known to exist, leading to its listing as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). There are now more than 14,000 birds estimated across the vireo’s breeding range of Oklahoma, Texas and Mexico. Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the delisting of the black-capped vireo at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. The delisting of the black-capped vireo would not have been possible without the efforts of our partners including the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Fort Hood, Fort Sill Army Base, Mexico, The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, private landowners and others.

Additional information and final rule
Featured Stories

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


Trails: Where to Find Them

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Balcones Canyonlands has over eight miles of hiking trails spread across three public use areas. Explore the refuge's many wildlife habitats up close!

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