Beautiful trail system, amazing views

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User: figment - 11/5/2005

Location: Balcones Canyonlands NWR - Warbler Vista

Difficulty:  Solitude:
Miles Hiked: 3.90 Miles  Elapsed Time: N/A

Comments: The NWR just opened up a new trail called Ridgeline. Its 0.75 miles, and it goes from the Vista Knoll trail to an observation deck with beautiful views. It looks very new, but the map at the trailhead information kiosk had the updated map info. To get to the new trail, follow the cactus rocks trail to the vista knoll trail. Go down the vista knoll trail about 200 ft (give or take), where you will see a sign for the Ridgeline trail. The Ridge line trail basically continues going in the same direction as the Cactus Rocks trail, and is an equally beautiful trail. No interpretive markers though. This trail system is highly recommended, and 1431 is a really nice drive out there.

Area around Balcones Canyonlands NWR - Warbler Vista
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The southwestern United States--in this case, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas--harbors several dozen federally administered wildlife refuges, 31 of them open to the public and profiled in this guidebook. Some of the refuges, such as New Mexico's heavily visited Bosque del Apache, are stopovers for great numbers of birds (in this instance, more than 17,000 sandhill cranes alone) and residences for diverse plants and animals. Others, such as Texas's 3,500-acre Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, are devoted (but, of course, not limited) to a single endangered species. Natural-history writer Daniel Gibson gives a thorough description of the region's wildlife refuges and of the wildlife they shelter, providing a guide that nature-minded visitors will want to have on hand when visiting the desert country. --Gregory McNamee