Explore the Cibolo

An Abundance of Nature Right in the City

Article by Leigh Owen

Photography by Allison Russell Photography/John Freud Photography/Cibolo Center for Conservation/Paul Manniko

Originally published in Boerne Lifestyle

Spring is here and there is no better time to hit the trails than the present. The Boerne
community is fortunate to have a variety of city and nature trails for residents and visitors to enjoy. The Cibolo Center for Conservation is proud to offer more than five miles of trails
across more than 160-acres that offer adventure, education and a connection to the beauty
of nature. The Cibolo Nature Center and Herff Farm are the two campuses of the Cibolo.

The Cibolo Nature Center at 140 City Park Rd. offers four distinct ecosystems: the creek, the prairie, the marsh and the woodlands. A trail map is available at the Visitor’s Center and gift shop.

The Herff Farm at 33 Herff Rd. has a special appeal and is open to the public on Saturdays from 9am until 1pm. From gardens to historic buildings, bird blinds and monarch meadows, an  adventure awaits you at the Farm. From the serious trail enthusiast to families with young children and dogs, everyone can find something to enjoy. In all seasons, the trails offer new experiences and opportunities to connect with nature.

Celebrating 35 years of conserving natural resources through education and stewardship, the
Cibolo also offers an array of educational programs to get you connected to nature and fun. The
Night Hikes series offers monthly guided hikes for adults and families that allows for special
access to see the wildlife that comes out at night. Don’t forget to check out our gardening and sustainable living series in the Teaching Garden at Herff Farm each month. If your adventure is more slow and steady, then you will want to check out the Wellness Walks that offer a guided meditative hike along the trails to get you refreshed for the week ahead.

The Cibolo is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and is completely supported by the generosity of friends like you. Become a member of the Cibolo’s Circle of Friends at 


Restoration efforts by the City of Boerne and the Cibolo have saved this last remaining portion of the marsh. Look for redwing blackbird, kingfisher, cattle egret, whistling tree duck, and many others. This handicap-accessible trail is best enjoyed at a slow pace so you do not miss the wonders in the tall rushes and clear pools.

Wind along the bluff overlooking the Cibolo Creek and enjoy the dense shade of the oak and
juniper overhead, as American beautyberry, elbowbush, and Mexican buckeye provide
understory.  An easy trail loops back through wildflower meadows and open grassland -- an inspiring look at nature!

The towering cypress trees along the Cibolo Creek create a canopy of life.  Birds flit about,
squirrels race from limb to limb.  Raccoon, opossum, and ringtail cat sleep peacefully through
the day in tree hollows. Along the lush bank, you can discover mustang grape, rough-leaf
dogwood, spicebush, and the threatened sycamore leaf snowbell.  Peer into the clear water to
see turtles, bass, perch, and catfish. The Cibolo Creek is a critical habitat for wildlife and an important source of recharge for the Edwards Aquifer.  The creek is tested regularly for water quality and is part of the Texas Watch Stream Monitoring program.

Prairie once covered oceans of Texas acreage, but is now one of the region’s most endangered
ecosystems. This pocket prairie contains the tall-grass species that our ancestors knew: big
bluestem, Indian grass, and switch grass.  It is home to the red-shouldered hawk, scissortail
flycatcher, meadow lark, and rabbit.  Deer graze where the buffalo once roamed. 

The Cibolo Nature Center offers four distinct ecosystems: the creek, the prairie, the marsh and
the woodlands.

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