What to do in Honey Creek State Natural Area

Honey Creek State Natural Area is 2293.7 acres located in western Comal County, approximately 30 miles north of downtown San Antonio. The area, once a ranch, was acquired by deed from the Texas Nature Conservancy in 1985 and by deed from a private individual in 1988 and was opened for limited access in 1985.

Chipped stone tools are all that remain to attest to the use of Honey Creek by early hunter-gatherers, who roamed throughout the Edwards Plateau region. Arrowheads which have been found on the property give silent testimony of later Indian tribes spending time on the land.

Beginning in the mid 1800s, the cultural history of the property becomes well-defined. The Doeppenschmidts from Bavaria were among the German immigrants who accompanied Prince Carl von Solms-Braunfels to settle in central Texas. They began to homestead in the Honey Creek area in 1866. Gradually, over the years, the Doeppenschmidt family members acquired many parcels of land including what would become Honey Creek Ranch. The various parcels were finally consolidated under the ownership of Adam Doeppenschmidt in 1894 and sold by him to Otto Weidner and Fred Rust in 1910. The tracts, which became Honey Creek Ranch, were worked by the Weidners until 1971, at which time, they were sold to W. O. Bartle, Jr. of Houston.

The park open Saturdays only for guided naturalist tours.

The vegetative diversity of the Honey Creek property is one of its most compelling features. Ashe juniper, live oak, agarita, and Texas persimmon dominate the dry, rocky hills, and a few grasses such as little muhly and curly mesquite somehow find just enough soil in the cracks to persist. As the juniper and Baccharis are being removed from the upland flats, the stands of native grasses are increasing and Indiangrass, little bluestem, and switchgrass are reasserting their dominance. As one moves down into the canyon of the creek itself, one is struck by the increase of cedar elm and older junipers and the rather abrupt appearance of Spanish oak, pecan, walnut, and Mexican buckeye.

Finally, the terrain levels out again in the narrow flood plain and the creek itself. Here, the dominant species are sycamore and bald cypress, associated with an assortment of flood plain species. Texas palmetto, columbine, and maidenhair fern occur along the rock banks, spatter dock floats on the surface, and a number of emergent plants are plainly visible in the clear blue-green water.

Overall, the nine soil types which occur on the property can easily be distinguished from one another by changes in the dominant vegetation.

The diversity of habitat types, naturally enough, gives rise to a varied and abundant fauna. All of the typical hill country species, from wild turkeys to fence lizards, ringtails to leopard frogs, and many types of fish can be found on the property. Several species of endemics with limited ranges also inhabit the preserve. Of particular interest are Cagle's map turtle, Guadalupe bass, four-lined skink, green kingfisher, Texas salamander, and the Honey Creek Cave salamander. In addition, Honey Creek is one of the nesting sites of the threatened golden-cheeked warbler.

Whether watching deer and jackrabbits feeding in the uplands, gazing at fish hiding under lily pads in the creek, or listening to the distinctive call of the canyon wren announcing his territory, Honey Creek is a special place for all visitors.

There are no facilities at this park except the 2 miles of nature/interpretive trails. The Saturday morning walking tour of Honey Creek has been resumed; it begins at 9 a.m. Please call in advance to confirm that the tour will be given on the particular Saturday you wish to visit.

Nearby attractions include Guadalupe River and Blanco State Parks and, in San Antonio, the Casa Navarro State Historic Park, and the Mission San Jose.

Entrance Fee and Activity Fee charged. For more details, call Guadalupe River State Park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

Recreation
Entry into Honey Creek is for guided tours only. The diverse geology, flora, and fauna make Honey Creek a special place for all visitors using 2 miles of nature/interpretive trails.

Location
The park is located at the north end of Park Road 31, adjacent to Guadalupe River State Park, and may be reached by traveling west on State Highway 46, 8 miles west of the intersection on State Highway 46 and US Highway 281; or by traveling eastward on State Highway 46, 13 miles east of Boerne.

Climate
Temperatures within the park range from a January average of 60 degrees and a July average of 86 degrees. The first/last freeze are November 15/March 15. The park has an average annual rainfall of 35 inches. Current weather conditions can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

Address
c/o Guadalupe River State Park
3350 Park Road 31
Spring Branch, TX 78070

Phone: 830/438-2656


  • Honey Creek State Natural Area Travel Q&A

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