Longhorn Caverns and Inks Lake State Parks, and Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery

Hoover Valley, Texas

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Inks Lake, located between Lake Buchanan and Lake LBJ, is the smallest of a series of six lakes along the Colorado River. The 2,000-acre park is dominated by the 1,200-acre lake, which is heavily used for boating, fishing, and swimming; birding should be limited to early mornings. From early July to early September, the park offers canoe tours, with special emphasis on bird life, to Devils Waterhole. Longhorn Caverns State Park, located on Backbone Ridge, a huge piece of limestone, was established in 1932 to provide protection to the cave. It is a Registered National Landmark. The park also contains a network of hiking trails that offer easy access to good Golden-cheeked Warbler habitat. The 170-acre Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery, located on a narrow bench along the Colorado River, contains 25 acres of ponds. Key birds: Wild Turkey, Greater Roadrunner, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Western Scrub-Jay, Cactus and Canyon Wrens, Canyon Towhee, Rufous-crowned and Black-throated Sparrows, and Lesser Goldfinch are present year-round. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Bell’s Vireo, Golden-cheeked Warbler, Painted Bunting, and Orchard Oriole occur in summer. Osprey, Bald Eagle, and Fox and Harris’s Sparrows can usually be found in winter.

Longhorn Caverns & Inks Lake State Parks, and Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery Professional Review and Guide

"Inks Lake, located between Lake Buchanan and Lake LBJ, is the smallest of a series of six lakes along the Colorado River. The 2,000-acre park is dominated by the 1,200-acre lake, which is heavily used for boating, fishing, and swimming; birding should be limited to early mornings. From early July to early September, the park offers canoe tours, with special emphasis on bird life, to Devils Waterhole. Longhorn Caverns State Park, located on Backbone Ridge, a huge piece of limestone, was established in 1932 to provide protection to the cave. It is a Registered National Landmark. The park also contains a network of hiking trails that offer easy access to good Golden-cheeked Warbler habitat. The 170-acre Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery, located on a narrow bench along the Colorado River, contains 25 acres of ponds.

Key birds: Wild Turkey, Greater Roadrunner, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Western Scrub-Jay, Cactus and Canyon Wrens, Canyon Towhee, Rufous-crowned and Black-throated Sparrows, and Lesser Goldfinch are present year-round. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Bell’s Vireo, Golden-cheeked Warbler, Painted Bunting, and Orchard Oriole occur in summer. Osprey, Bald Eagle, and Fox and Harris’s Sparrows can usually be found in winter."

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Hoover Valley
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Best Mid-March to July for Golden-cheeked Warbler at Longhorn Caverns; April-May for spring migrants & nesting activities
Local Contacts: Longhorn Caverns and Inks Lake State Parks
Local Maps: Texas Atlas & Gazetteer, DeLorme
Driving Directions: Directions to Longhorn Caverns & Inks Lake State Parks, and Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery

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May 2018