Canyon of the Eagles Juniper Ridge Trail

A quick loop through rocky juniper woods along the highest ridge in this lakeside Hill Country park.
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A quick loop through rocky juniper woods along the highest ridge in this lakeside Hill Country park.

Canyon of the Eagles, a 940-acre park on the northern end of Lake Buchanan, has 14 miles of hiking trails through terrain ranging from grassy shore to rocky ridges. Trails are well-marked and maps are available at the park. Much of the property is a nature preserve for protection of black-capped vireos, golden-cheeked warblers, and American bald eagles, which can be seen soaring above the water in winter.
This short loop starts from the parking area for the park's observatory, which is open most Wednesday and Saturday nights. A gate on the caliche road to the observatory is generally locked during the day time, adding a little over a half-mile (each way) to get to the trail head.
The first part of the trail is wide and grassy, and ascends the ridge for an elevation gain of about 125 feet. Junipers, often called cedars, shade much of the trail, with some oaks mixed in and lots of prickly pear cactus. Occasional open areas sport tall grasses and, in spring, some wildflowers. In fall and spring, birds are abundant in this part of Texas, which is on a major migratory flyway.
The loop begins two-tenths of a mile in - this track goes clockwise. In another half-mile, you reach an intersection wtih the Peacock Loop Trail, which traces the length of the ridge along the top and bottom (combine this track with that trail for a 3.5 mile route). The next intersection is just one-tenth of a mile farther. Turn left. Here the trail becomes a narrow track among the trees, often rocky and rugged. In some spots, you can catch a glimpse of Lake Buchanan, one of six in a chain of lakes from here to Austin. At one spot, enjoy a nice, panoramic view of the lake. Continue along the rocky ridge back to the start of the loop, and turn left to retrace your steps to the trail head.
Canyon of the Eagles resort has 62 guest rooms scattered among the trees, all with covered porches and some with lake views, a swimming pool, and recreation room. RV and camp sites are available. The park also offers canoe and kayak rentals, and has a swim beach. The Overlook Restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pets are welcome at the resort and in the park, but must be on leash at all times.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 2.3

Waypoints

Start of loop

Location: 30.890353, -98.42212

18-NOV-10 9:22:41AM

Intersection

Location: 30.885756, -98.422374

18-NOV-10 9:33:15AM

Intersection

Location: 30.886161, -98.42326

18-NOV-10 9:35:26AM

Glimpse of lake

Location: 30.886963, -98.422658

18-NOV-10 9:38:44AM

Panorama of lake

Location: 30.888482, -98.423165

18-NOV-10 9:42:43AM

Trail head

Location: 30.890771, -98.424824

18-NOV-10 9:54:30AM

Marker post

Location: 30.890726, -98.424717

Ascent

Location: 30.890827, -98.423697

Trail intersection with marker

Location: 30.890247, -98.42212

Fall grass

Location: 30.889345, -98.420672

Narrow trail

Location: 30.886224, -98.422989

Lake Buchanan through the trees

Location: 30.886877, -98.422624

Wider view of lake

Location: 30.88859, -98.423225

Rocky wash

Location: 30.888746, -98.421916

Trail beneath trees

Location: 30.890579, -98.423333