Enchanted Rock State Natural Area consists of 1643.5 acres on Big Sandy Creek, north of Fredericksburg, on the border between Gillespie and Llano Counties. Located within the park is a 4 mile trail for backpacking/day hiking that winds around the granite formations. Part of the trail is a short, steep trail leading up to the top of Enchanted Rock (foot traffic only).
Note: The park reaches capacity (in terms of parking) and frequently closes on weekends (sometimes as early as 11 a.m.) Reopening usually occurs at 5 p.m. Call ahead or have alternate plans if you arrive at the park and find it closed.
Flora/Fauna:The four major plant communities of Enchanted Rock are open oak woodland, mesquite grassland, floodplain, and granite rock community. Live oak, post oak, and blackjack oak dominate the oak woodland, with black hickory in moister areas. Common shrubs are Texas persimmon, agarita, white brush, and prickly pear. Bluestem, three-awn, and grama grass often are found in the shade of the oaks, while American tripogon is more common on gravely slopes which are seasonally wet. The mesquite grassland, once an area of bluestem, is now covered with three-awn, grama, Texas wintergrass, panicum, and sand bur, along with
invading mesquite. Elm, pecan, hackberry, black hickory, soapberry, and oak characterize the floodplains. Common shrubs are white buckeye, agarita, Texas persimmon, Roosevelt weed, and buttonbush. Grasses and sedges, as well as annual and perennial herbs, form the ground cover. Some of these are water bentgrass, late eupatorium, Indiangrass, bushybeard bluestem, frost weed, and switchgrass. In the spring bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, yellow coreopsis, bladderpod, and basin bellflower bloom.
Both rock and fox squirrels are common, as are armadillos, rabbits, and other small animals. Lizards and turkey vultures are conspicuous on and above the rock year-round. White-tailed deer are frequently observed, and the park's bird life is varied and abundant. A bird checklist for the park is available upon request.
Directions: From Fredericksburg, TX, Travel 18 miles north on Ranch Road 965, or from Llano, take State Highway 16 for 14 miles south and then go west on Ranch Road 965.
Elevation: 1,825 feet
Distance: 4 miles
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Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Texas
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