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AROUND AND ABOUT:  The first picture was taken on private property (with permission) along the House Mountain Road between Loyal Valley and Prairie Mountain.  The field of Indian Paint Brush is on Hwy 1431N near Fuzzy's Corner on Hwy 29. The flowers along the fence line were located on Llano County Road 113  near Oxford.  The last two pictures in the series were taken on Hwy 29 between Llano and Lake Buchanan.

Routes of the Bluebonnet Trail
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY

If you're headed for this part of Texas in late March to early May you're in for a spectacular experience. (If not, you'll hear the stories and see the pictures from friends.) All you need is a car, road maps and a camera.  

Fill up your gas tank, load up the car with family and friends, and if you don't own a camera, those recycled (some folks call them "disposable") Kodak cameras  work just fine.  You might want to try the panoramic.


 

It really doesn't matter much which roads you take because this year the wild flowers are likely to be thick practically everywhere.  Highways 1431, 29, 281, 71, 29, 2323 and 16 are the main thoroughfares and you can't but help to travel those; but it's best to branch out and explore.
       If you're looking for Bluebonnets, they're most plentiful in the northern part of the Hill Country.  If you're traveling from Fredericksburg to Llano take highway 16.   Beginning at Willow City the Bluebonnets don't confine themselves to the bar ditches, but spread out into the fields.
      
       A few county roads, such as the renowned Willow City Loop  just north of Fredericksburg, will be (for good reason) thick with cars.  If you head that way on the weekend you'd best set aside a couple of hours due to the heavy traffic.
       For an out-of-the-way drive, take County Road 113 between Oxford and 2323 . Oxford isn't even a wide place in the road, but you'll spot the turnoff by the historic marker.   There's hardly any traffic at all on 113 and the unspoiled landscape is exceptional.  The Click Route just north of the Oxford Cemetery on County Road 315 passes through some awesome hills, but you will definitely need a 4-wheel drive. 
       The area covered on my Hill Country West  is little explored by tourists during Bluebonnet but they're missing something grand.   The first photo in the series above was taken just west of the Loyal Valley Community .  While on the trip I came across a field of Bluebonnets which were the deepest, darkest blue I've ever seen. 
       All the roadsides from Llano to Burnet and from Tow (rhymes with cow) to Marble Falls will be laden with wildflowers . Even on a so-so year all of the roads surrounding Lake Buchanan and Lake LBJ have traditionally been spectacular.  If you want some great Indian Paintbrush pictures take the Old Spanish Trail off highway 29 just south of the 1431 intersection near Fuzzy's Corner.
       If you're in the Highland Lakes area  I recommend checking out two great overlooks.  The first is from Lookout Mountain on Hwy 1431 near Kingsland.  The other is located between Longhorn Cavern and Inks LakeTurnA.jpg (4971 bytes) State Park.
       Before heading out please read page 4 on the precautions, especially if you're new to the area.

 

PAGE 1:  THE TRAIL  PAGE 2: BACKGROUND
PAGE 3:  ROUTES /  PAGE 4:  PRECAUTIONS   /  MAP


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