Though we had a reservation in advance, the sites are not assigned until arrival. We'd scoped out the camp sites via the park map and Google Maps prior to arrival so we knew we'd like to be in site 21, 23 or 25, and 23 happened to be available. These three sites are situated along the curve at the far end of the campground, each opens onto forest and are well separated from each other. There are a total of 58 water/electric sites here.
The park supports abundant wildlife in a variety of habitats. The South Llano River flows along the North edge of the park, pecan trees grow in the river flood zone, and the juniper and cedar forests of the hill country rise away from the river bottom. We saw dozens of deer each day and several armadillos. There are even beaver in the river, though we did not see any.
There are 18 miles of trails here and we must have hiked at least 12 of them, some multiple times. All of the trails along the river or in the pecan bottoms are flat, if you head into the hills you'll get a good workout.
There are several elaborate bird blinds set up in the park, each with a water feature for the birds, feeders and enticing bird habitat, with comfy seating and bird identification books in the humans viewing enclosure.
Turkeys are also a big deal here. Approximately 800 Rio Grande Turkey roost here each year between October and April...numbers like that would certainly be a sight to see! We only saw a handful of turkeys during our stay, perhaps the few males that had not managed to attract a female during the normal roosting season.
I'll let the photos tell the story of our wonderful stay at South Llano River State Park...
|Site #23, deep and private.|
|Rosie is a bit freaked out by the deer so near our campsite!|
|The view from our big picture window.|
|We took our chairs just a few feet into the forest from our site for total privacy and nature immersion.|
|Most of the other sites have less privacy, though most are well separated from each other.|
|The South Llano River has undercut the bank and a large pecan tree is now providing fish and turtle habitat.|
|Walking the bottom land.|
|We were wildly excited to see our first armadillo!|
We had two full days in the park so we headed into the hills for several miles each day. I didn't take many pictures up in the hills because we didn't see many animals and the vegetation consisted of dense juniper and oak forest with views of hills covered in more dense juniper and oak forest. We enjoyed our hikes, they just weren't particularly photo worthy!
|The bottom land was prettier in our opinion, brilliant spring green everywhere you looked.|
|One of many viewing blinds scattered throughout the park.|
|One of the prettiest parts of the hill country trails!|
|View from the scenic viewpoint. |
You can see tiny bits of RV's right behind Hans' head, that's the campground.
The pasture on the right is private property.
|This is the type of environment the armadillos forage in.|
|Armadillos are amazingly fast creatures...most of my photos looked like this due to their speed!|
We'd spot one, make our way in its direction and it would take off through the prickly pear landscape,
heading for its hole.
|Our second evening turned sunny, lighting up the green all around us.|
|They are hard to miss!|
|Pretty scissor tailed flycatchers are new to us in Texas.|
|One of the few tom turkeys strutting his stuff across a meadow.|
|There's an armadillo in this shot...|
|I stopped when I saw this one and then slowly crept towards it, |
they have poor vision so I hoped to get closer without it seeing me...
|He senses me and stands up to sniff the air...|
|See how easy it is for them to hide in this environment?!|
|Here's another one trying to sniff out the danger.|
Notice the hairy belly!
|We even had a beautiful sunset one evening.|