News Flash

Boerne Visitors Center News Flash

Posted on: June 1, 2019

One Sweet Hiking Tour: Honey Creek State Natural Area


You have likely heard of Guadalupe River State Park, but do you know about Honey Creek State Natural Area? We had the opportunity to take a private tour of the preserve this past week…and WOW! It is a real Hill Country treasure! The guides were incredibly knowledgeable and personable, and the landscape was varied, beautiful and very surprising. If you’re planning on being in the Boerne area on a Saturday morning and need to get moving, hop on a tour to expand your Hill Country flora and fauna knowledge and get some exercise!

What to Expect-

Honey Creek State Natural Area is open for tours every Saturday at 9:00 AM and run approximately 2.5 hours depending on how inquisitive you group is. The trails in the preserve are defined, but are not paved or substantially improved. There are a team of about 10 volunteer guides that are all well versed in the preserve’s history and habitats. Most are certified Master Naturalists and lead tours in teams of two.

The tour of Honey Creek State Natural Area is free, but a $2 per person (or $5 per family) donation is recommended. I will say that the tour was fabulous and worth much more.

Access to the Honey Creek State Natural Area is within Guadalupe River State Park. (Directions) Once you have arrived at the state park and paid the park entry fee you will travel less than a mile on the main park road and take a right just past the Park Host campsite. The turn is clearly marked and park ranger will provide a map and verbal instructions if you tell them that the Honey Creek Tour is your goal.

Our Experience-

Our tour guides for the day (J.W. and Wilt) shared vast amounts of information about German, Indian and Prehistoric history of the land that is now the natural area. Both are certified Master Naturalists and encouraged everyone to ask questions about anything in the natural world. We had several dialogues about an assortment of trees, grasses, shrubs, mammals, birds, insects, rocks and more.

Prior to hitting the trail, the group gathered on the front lawn of the historic Rust House and told tales of the property’s past in the mini amphitheater. As we hit the trail, both guides shared tidbits of information about different plants and animals that we saw or heard. There were several stops along the tour that had obviously been orchestrated to share specific lessons, tales and nuggets of information. These breaks are ideal for a little cool down and a sip of water also. We went LIVE on Facebook for the first half hour of the tour. Check it out!

Having grown up in the Texas Hill Country and spent many weekends hiking in parks, including Guadalupe River State Park, my expectations for this facility were that we would see more of the same rocky shores that we are familiar with along the Guadalupe River and plenty of live oak and cedar (ash juniper). Surprisingly, this was not entirely the case at all! Our decent to Honey Creek revealed cypress trees draped with Spanish moss, palmetto palms mixed in among the preserved shrubbery and a layer of lily pads hugging the banks of the creek. Words can’t describe the beauty or my feeling of surprise as we made our way into the cooler riparian zone. This is an environment I would have expected a little further east of here.

Leaving the creek behind us, we headed up the most extreme part of the trail. It wasn’t particularly challenging for me, however the “steps” that have been crafted into the hill side may be tricky for someone with rough knees or struggles walking.

How to Prepare-

As with any hiking outing in Texas, it’s wise to check the weather in advance and dress accordingly. Sturdy walking shoes are a must. Flip flops will not fly on this outing.

Bring water and wear sun protection! There are several sunny spots as you head down to the creek and back up to the Rust House. While it’s much cooler down by Honey Creek, the Texas heat will make you thankful for both as the day warms up.

Remember: Take only pictures and leave only footprints!

What about the kids and pets?-

Children are welcome and encouraged to join the tour. However, as a mom of young children myself, I’d recommend taking your own child’s hiking aptitude and patience levels into account. Jogging strollers will not handle these trails. If you have little ones that may not be able to handle a lengthy hike with multiple stops to talk about an assortment of topics, a visit to the Cibolo Nature Center may be a good alternative. The trails are shorter, they CAN get into the creek, and there are regularly scheduled children’s programs happening that may be of interest.

Pets are not welcome in the preserve. This rule is in place to help protect and preserve the natural habitat and the critters that live there.

Fun Facts from the Tour-

  • Honey Creek State Natural Area is LARGER than Guadalupe River State Park.
  • Honey Creek’s headwaters are in a cave on private property near the park and the creek is only 1.5 mi. long.
  • Mustang Grapes from Texas saved the wine industry in France. These same grapes grow wild throughout the Natural area.
  • What we tend to call cedar trees is actually ash juniper. Contrary to what many locals may say, it is in fact a native species and not brought over from Europe.
  • The protected golden cheek warbler, which are very fond of using the bark of the ash juniper for its nest, are all native Texans. They may migrate and travel outside of the Lonestar State, but they breed and nest here in the “Romantic Texas Hill Country”.
  • The ash juniper berry is a popular food source for animals in the Texas Hill Country, but it is also used to flavor gin and other foods and beverages that we love.
  • Ball moss is a common site here in the trees of the Texas Hill Country. It is a bromeliad, and is actually related to the pineapple.
  • The strange brown round balls that you will occasionally find on the ground or attached to oak trees are called galls. They are created when an oak gall wasp stings the tree and lays their eggs in the tree. The tree then creates the ball around the egg and the wasps will develop inside and eventually “hatch” out.
  • Gall ink is created out of these same galls. The Declaration of Independence is signed in gall ink.

Written by: Tori Bellos, Boerne Convention and Visitors Bureau Marketing Specialist

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Boerne Visitors Center News Flash

Cutting into Food at The Bevy

Win a Stay + Dining at The Bevy!

Posted on: October 15, 2021
Older man picking up a small boy at a pumpkin patch. Photo by Jason Abbott

Boerne Pumpkin Patch Photo-ops

Posted on: September 27, 2021
A boy and a girl with their faces painted sitting in a large antique tractor wheel

Fall in Love with Boerne Events

Posted on: September 7, 2021
Richter Bakhaus Cinnamon Roll

Go on a Cinnamon Roll Tour of Boerne!

Posted on: August 19, 2021
Little Boy Locked Up at the Old Jail Museum

History is Alive in Boerne!

Posted on: June 10, 2021
Boerne Story on Oprah Daily

Oprah Toots Boerne’s Horn!

Posted on: June 4, 2021
My Curly Adventures at Flashback Funtiques in a red classic car.

Travel Boerne Like an Influencer

Posted on: April 14, 2021
Southern Living Website  Screenshot

Gold Stars for Boerne

Posted on: March 25, 2021
Cibolo Creek Brewing Co Green Beer

Find Your Irish Roots in Boerne!

Posted on: March 12, 2021
Birding at the Cibolo Center for Conservaton

Birders Soar into Boerne this Spring

Posted on: February 23, 2021
Kayaking at Boerne City Lake

Try Something NEW This Spring Break!

Posted on: February 11, 2021
Couple drinking at the bar at The Bevy Hotel

Last Second Valentine’s Planning Guide

Posted on: February 2, 2021
Bedroom inside The Coop

6 Adorable Vacation Rentals Just for 2!

Posted on: January 25, 2021
Kids in Drive Through Christmas Light Tunnel

A Guide to Christmas Lights in Boerne!

Posted on: December 8, 2020
Holiday Gift

Boerne Christmas Gift Buying Guide

Posted on: November 19, 2020
Couple at Boerne Market Days

Can’t-Miss Markets in Boerne

Posted on: November 5, 2020
Halloween Pumpkin

Spooktacular Fun in Boerne

Posted on: October 21, 2020
Shopping at 259 Main

Fabulous Fall Fashion Finds in Boerne!

Posted on: October 9, 2020
Face Painting at Antique Tractor Pull and Pumpkin Fest

Fun Fall Festivities in Boerne!

Posted on: October 2, 2020
Hill Country Food Tours - Dodging Duck Brewhaus Cheers with Beers

101 Things To Do in Boerne NOW!

Posted on: August 21, 2020
Women Shopping at The Dienger

Summer in Boerne Sweepstakes!

Posted on: June 16, 2020
Curbside Pickup Dienger Trading Co.

5 Ways to Stay Boerne Strong!

Posted on: April 3, 2020
Cut Flowers Workshop at Cibolo Nature Center

What’s New at the Cibolo Nature Center?

Posted on: February 24, 2020
Family with Wild Bill in Boerne

The Ultimate Boerne Spring Break Guide!

Posted on: February 4, 2020
Chocolate Walk - Grabbing Chocolate

Enter to Win the Sweetheart Sweepstakes!

Posted on: January 15, 2020
Champagne Toast

Celebrate and Welcome 2020 in Boerne!

Posted on: December 17, 2019
The Dienger - Ladies Enjoy Coffee

Take a Coffee Crawl Through Boerne!

Posted on: December 5, 2019
Wayfarer Photography - Santa at The Dienger Trading Co.

Boerne Santa Sightings

Posted on: November 19, 2019
Meetings in Boerne, TX

All Roads Meet in Boerne, TX!

Posted on: November 17, 2019
Stealing a Kiss at Old West Christmas Light Fest

Boerne’s Lit This Christmas!

Posted on: November 15, 2019
Shopping in Boerne - Jewelry at Celeste

Shop Small for Big Holiday Cheer!

Posted on: October 22, 2019
Key to the Hills Rod Run - Photo by Bob Lewis

Hit Up These 4 Fall Car Shows!

Posted on: October 1, 2019
Black Rifle Coffee Company - Brew Crew with Latte

Grand Opening: Black Rifle Coffee Company

Posted on: September 23, 2019
Wild Game Dinner - Smokey Meats On The Grill

Boerne’s Fun Fall Foodie Festivities!

Posted on: September 5, 2019
Second Saturday Bluegrass Jam Circle

Second Weekends in Boerne!

Posted on: July 12, 2019
Boerne Enter to Win

July “Come and See” Contest

Posted on: June 27, 2019
Website-New Visitors Center Home Page

Exciting News & Some Changes!

Posted on: June 4, 2019
Mothers Day in Boerne

A Mother's Day Guide for DADS!

Posted on: June 3, 2019
Black Board Bar B Q

5 MORE of Boerne's Best Burgers!

Posted on: June 3, 2019
Beyond Happy Hour in Boerne

Boerne Beyond the Happy Hour!

Posted on: June 3, 2019
Peggy's On The Green

6 Unbeatable Boerne Brunch Menus!

Posted on: June 3, 2019

Fun Fitness While Visiting Boerne!

Posted on: June 3, 2019

An ABC Guide to Visiting Boerne!

Posted on: June 1, 2019

Upgrade Your Road Trip!

Posted on: June 1, 2019

Taco 'Bout Boerne

Posted on: June 1, 2019

Oh, Those Boerne Hot Rod Nights!

Posted on: June 1, 2019

A Day At The Lake? Why, YES!

Posted on: June 1, 2019

Valentine's Date Ideas in Boerne!

Posted on: May 31, 2019

5 of Boerne's Best Burgers!

Posted on: May 31, 2019
Activity-Cibolo Nature Center-Couple-in-Grass

9 Summer Date Ideas in Boerne

Posted on: May 30, 2019

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Posted on: May 30, 2019
Activity-Hill-Country-Food-Tour-Walking Downtown

TWO New Downtown Boerne Tours

Posted on: May 30, 2019
Activity-Cibolo Nature Center-Kids-at-Pond

Your Summer Boerne Bucket List!

Posted on: May 30, 2019

Oompah All Summer Long in Boerne!

Posted on: May 30, 2019

7 Local Parks to Make a SPLASH in!

Posted on: May 30, 2019

Something Old, Something New

Posted on: May 30, 2019

24 Hours in Boerne!

Posted on: May 30, 2019

Heading to Boerne: Then vs. Now

Posted on: May 30, 2019

Relaxed Romance in Boerne

Posted on: May 30, 2019

Boerne Is So Blessed!

Posted on: May 30, 2019
History-Boerne Shooting Club

Did you know....Boerne edition!

Posted on: May 30, 2019

Boerne Spooks!

Posted on: May 29, 2019

Bonus Points for Boerne

Posted on: May 29, 2019