Tips for Seeing the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail in Texas
April 2, 2021
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Bluebonnets are a big deal in Texas! They are the Texas state flower and bloom annually in April. You will find the most bluebonnets in Texas Hill Country, but they are also found in North Texas and the Big Bend region. Bluebonnets are fascinating because they thrive in soil that has been heavily disturbed. This often means soil that has gone through drought, heavy grazing or a recent fire.
Interestingly, the Texas department of Transportation times roadside mowing to allow for bluebonnets to reseed for the following year. This means you will often see them on the side of the highways when traveling through Texas in the spring. It’s a beautiful time to go on a road trip!
It is a tradition for many Texans to take springtime photos in fields of bluebonnets while they bloom in the spring. April is the perfect time of year to explore the state.
Ennis, Texas is a small town about 40 minutes away from Dallas that has been designated ‘The Official Bluebonnet City of Texas.’ Ennis has been cultivating their bluebonnets for over 65 years and is home to the oldest known bluebonnet trails known in Texas. Tens of thousands of visitors, mostly from Dallas-Fort Worth, come every year to see the flowers in bloom.
- Bluebonnets typically only bloom in the month of April. Be sure to plan accordingly to visit during that time! They typically peak in the third week of the month, but it can vary depending on the year.
- Be respectful of the flowers and do not crush, step on or pick them. Leave them beautiful for the other visitors!
- Be respectful of private property and do not trespass. Most of the driving trails in Ennis will take you past private property.
- Keep an eye out for snakes and other wildlife among the tall wildflowers.
- The Ennis Garden Club provides status updates of the bluebonnet blooms weekly in April and the surrounding weeks. Check the status on the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails website or on their social media. They also recommend the best places to go each week and share photos and videos throughout the month.
Ennis has over 40 miles of driving trails. The routes will take you through some of downtown Ennis and a lot of the nearby countryside. On the country roads, you’ll see all types of farm animals. There are many cows, but also longhorns, horses and even llamas! Bluebonnets typically line the roads and sometimes extend into large fields where cattle grazes.
Be sure to download the trail map from the Ennis Bluebonnet website or pick one up in town. There are three sections of the trails; the West Trail, North Trail and South Trail. The following destinations are my favorite stops and routes for each trail.
The photos I’m sharing are based on the bluebonnets in the first weekend of April. They are expected to be more in bloom during the second or third week. I encourage you to explore the trails and find out for yourself where the bluebonnets are most in bloom, as it may change throughout the month.
Meadow View Nature Area
This park is right on Bardwell Lake and was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The park has a large field that blooms with bluebonnets and is arguably the best place to see bluebonnets in Ennis. It’s a great place to take photos as there is plenty of wide open space. Of course, this means it might be crowded. Go early to get the best photos.
There are a couple of picnic tables and some portable toilets set up in the park. Besides that, the park is home to nothing else but fields, grass, some trees and the lake.
Veterans Memorial Park
Veterans Memorial Park is another park close to downtown Ennis. The park is smaller but the bluebonnets bloom in a field and you might find it to be less crowded. It is also home to a Veterans Memorial and has restrooms.
Andrew Road was one of the prettiest roads on the driving trails. It is up on a hill so you can see the rolling countryside in the distance. There are bluebonnets alongside the road and fields dusted with the blue flowers in the distance.
Sugar Ridge Winery
Sugar Ridge Winery is located on the driving trails near Andrew Road and the tiny town of Bristol. The winery is family owned and offers tasting, winery tours and live music. It’s the perfect place to stop and enjoy the outdoors while exploring the bluebonnet trails.
On Sugar Ridge Road, not far from the winery, you’ll find a field with Belgian horses right off the road. They have bins of oats next to the fences with a message that you can feed them. These horses were so majestic and beautiful. There were even a couple of friendly German Shepherds greeting people along the road. Look for the horse icon on the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Map to find this spot.
In between the Belgian horses and the winery, there is a beautiful pond on private property. I’ve named it swan pond, because there were two beautiful swans swimming in the water. Right across the street from this pond, there is a stunning field of bluebonnets. This is private property so please be respectful, but was definitely a highlight of the drive.
The South Trail had the least amount of bluebonnets and does not have any good places to stop. It’s still worth visiting if you have time. Highway 85 had the most bluebonnets. The South Trails are all residential and the speed limit is higher, so you’ll be gazing out at the clumps of bluebonnets as you drive past.
The annual Ennis Bluebonnet Festival typically occurs the third weekend of April. The festival has live music performances, a market with local vendors, kids activities and guided walks through the bluebonnet fields. Also during the festival, Ennis hosts a ‘Wine Wander’ where you purchase a ticket and receive a wine glass that you carry with you. You then can stroll around town and sample various wines from wineries.
In 2021, the festival is April 16-18. This is also when the bluebonnets are expected to be in peak bloom, so it’s the perfect time to visit Ennis!
Bluebonnet City Grill
Bluebonnet City Grill is located in a strip mall and serves burgers, salads and a variety of fried appetizers. The fried zucchini was delicious!
Pikositos Chamoyadas Snacks y Mas
Right across from Bluebonnet City Grill, you can get a refreshing treat from Pikositos Chamoyadas Snacks y Mas. They serve smoothies, juices, fruit cups and chamoyadas.
Fiesta Grill is a great spot in town for Mexican food. They serve delicious margaritas and Mexican food in a colorful space.
Here are a few more options to see bluebonnets in the Dallas-Fort Worth area!
Cedar Hill State Park
Cedar Hill is just minutes from Dallas and you’ll see bluebonnets in the fields and along the trails during the month of April.
Cleburne State Park
Cleburne State Park is located 45 minutes south of Fort Worth and has a great selection of hiking trails. There are large fields of bluebonnets lining the trails throughout the park. Check out my blog post on Cleburne for more information on the trails and activities.
Las Colinas is located between Dallas and Fort Worth and has several great spots to see the bluebonnets. Places to check out include the Dallas College North Lake Campus and West Las Colinas Blvd. Check the Las Colinas website for more details.
Mansfield is also in between Dallas and Fort Worth. The Oliver Nature Park is a small but great park to see the bluebonnets.
President George W Bush Library and Museum
The President George W Bush Library and Museum is located in the SMU campus and has a garden where bluebonnets bloom in the spring. At the time of writing, the museum and library are closed due to Covid-19 but you can still walk the grounds.
Enjoy exploring Texas and searching for bluebonnets during the month of April. It’s certainly one of the best times of year in the Lone Star State.
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