If you’ve ever been to Hamilton Pool, you know that part of the Texas Hill Country is simply beautiful. Right next door to Hamilton Pool, on the Pedernales River, is Westcave Preserve…
Westcave Preserve is an outdoor environmental learning center… but not boring learning. It’s beautiful learning! It’s fun learning!
What’s at Westcave Preserve?
Warren Skaaren Environmental Learning Center
The Warren Skaaren Environmental Learning Center is most people’s first stop since it is also the visitors’ center. Make this your first stop as well.
The ELC has various interesting environmental exhibits, like the Solar Observatory, the Geology Learning Wall, and several others. Spend a little time at each of these exhibits. They are all very interesting.
It is also at the ELC where you register for one of the guided tours or buy your tickets for the self-guided tour.
Weekend Guided Tours
Westcave Preserve have guided tours on weekends.
These tours take you into a canyon that has very rich plant life. They also take you into a cave! At the end of the canyon is a beautiful waterfall that drops into an emerald pool below. This is truly something special to see!
These tours start at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with three additional tours starting every two hours thereafter.
They limit the size of the tours to 30 people to avoid them being over-crowded. For this reason, it’s a good idea to arrive about 45 minutes before your preferred tour time to reserve your spot. Reservations are made at the Environmental Learning Center.
A ticket to a weekend tour also gives you free access to the Upland Trails self-guided tours.
If you like to explore things yourself, the Upland Trails self-guided tours are a great way to do that.
These tours consist of two loops of approximately one mile. They don’t take you into the canyon, but also have nice nature scenes.
In 2014, they built a bird viewing blind that is great for bird watchers.
The Upland Trails are open on Tuesdays to Fridays from 10 .a.m to 2 p.m., or on the weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Westcave Preserve hosts school field trips, which is an excellent way for kids to learn more about nature in Central Texas. Programs are adjusted for different age groups or interests.
Westcave also hosts non-school, private tours. It is best to call them to ask about availability. Their number is (830) 825-3442.
Other Tips for Westcave Preserve?
Here are some more tips to make your visit to Westcave Preserve as enjoyable as possible:
- Wear comfortable shoes. The tours, whether guided or not, will involve a reasonable amount of walking.
- Take your camera. You will see many beautiful things that will give many opportunities for great photos. Make your visit memorable!
This part of Central Texas is spectacular and Westcave Preserve gives you a perfect chance to explore and learn more about its natural beauty in a fun way!
Have you been to Westcave Preserve before? Tell us about it below…