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Texas Bluebonnet Trail

Photo by Bryan Dickerson on Unsplash

We have been away for a while, traveling and generally just busy.

But, oh my goodness, what an excellent road trip we recently completed through the Texas Hill Country this week. I am amazed at the splash of vibrant colors that greet me every spring along the roadways of central Texas. I tried to capture the beauty of the Texas wild flowers on my phone but couldn't do it justice. I picked this one from the Unsplash archive to share what awaits you if you decide to take in the splendor of seeing Texas wildflowers in the spring.

Every spring, it seems we venture to all points east, west, north, and south to view the Texas bluebonnets in bloom, which is a beloved springtime tradition in the Lone Star State. The best route for viewing these stunning wildflowers depends on the time of year, as the blooming period can vary slightly from region to region. If you decide to enjoy a trip through the Hill Country to view these wild flowers make sure you plan ahead and visit any of the local websites to determine the best viewing dates and routes. This year, Mother Nature afforded us a splendid display of color in every direction we headed. However, here's a suggested route that we recently took that covers some of the prime bluebonnet trails in Texas:

  1. Begin in Austin and head west on Highway 290 toward Fredericksburg in the rolling hills along this route are often blanketed with bluebonnets in early to mid-April.

  2. Continue on Highway 290 through Fredericksburg and Johnson City, taking in the beautiful wildflower displays along the way.

  3. From Fredricksburg, head north on Highway 16 towards Llano. This stretch of road is known as the "Willow City Loop" and is famous for its bluebonnet displays.

  4. From Llano, take Highway 29 east towards Burnet, passing through the picturesque Hill Country landscape adorned with bluebonnets.

  5. Continue east on Highway 29 towards Georgetown, where you can explore the Brushy Creek Regional Trail and other areas known for their bluebonnet displays or Head south on Highway 281 back to Johnson City

  6. And finally, head back to Austin where you can visit local parks and roadsides to enjoy the vibrant bluebonnet blooms.

We had a bit of a detour before heading north to Llano. We simply couldn't resist the ever-growing wineries all along Highway 290 to Fredricksburg so we stopped a few too many times for a glass of wine or tasting 😊. Our designated driver finally called it a day, and we retraced our route back home. But don't be deterred. The route north to Llano and east to Georgetown will uncover amazing views of the Hill Country.

As for the history of the Texas bluebonnet, it has been a beloved symbol of the state for centuries. The bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) is a species of lupine native to the prairies and meadows of Texas. Spanish missionaries first recorded it in the 17th century, and it has since become deeply ingrained in Texas culture and folklore.

The bluebonnet was designated as the official state flower of Texas in 1901 after the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in Texas campaigned for its adoption. The flower's striking blue color, distinctive shape, upright spikes, and white tip have made it an iconic representation of the state's natural beauty.

We Texans have a deep affection for the bluebonnet, and its blooming season is celebrated with festivals, photography contests, and even laws protecting the flowers from being picked or damaged. If you happen to be in the Dallas area during this time of year, Ennis, TX, about 25 miles south southeast of Dallas, is a beautiful spot to take in the bluebonnets as the official bluebonnet trail of Texas.



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