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There's a new, 1,200-acre nature preserve north of Austin. Here's how to visit.

A creek runs through a grassy area surrounded by trees on a sunny day with clear skies.
Courtesy of Rich Kosteke
The Pecan Springs Karst Preserve sits within the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone and features the headwaters for three tributaries of Salado Creek, including Pecan Springs Branch (pictured).

Salado salamanders, golden-cheeked warblers and tricolored bats: These are just a few of the endangered species you will find at the Hill Country Conservancy's new Pecan Springs Karst Preserve.

The 1,205-acre nature preserve is located about five miles west of Jarrell in northern Williamson County. It sits within the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, and features the headwaters for three tributaries of Salado Creek, including the Pecan Springs Branch.

A photo shows light illuminating the inside of a cave as two people walk through it.
Courtesy
/
Rachael Lindsey
The Pecan Springs Karst Preserve is home various endangered species, including Salado salamanders, golden-cheeked warblers and tricolored bats.

The land was donated anonymously to the Hill Country Conservancy to be used for conservation, research, educational outreach and public recreation.

"Pecan Springs Karst Preserve is by far the largest land donation that Hill Country Conservancy has ever received, and the property is well-suited to our mission to protect the water, wildlands and wonder of the Texas Hill Country," Hill Country Conservancy CEO Kathy Miller said in a statement.

The conservancy has started opening the preserve to the public on a limited basis for guided nature hikes, cave talks, bird-watching and other educational and recreational events.

How to visit

People interested in visiting the nature preserve should keep an eye on the events tab on the Hill Country Conservancy's website and Facebook page. You can sign up for email alerts from the Conservancy here to be the first to know about upcoming events.

Kailey Hunt is KUT's Williamson County reporter. Got a tip? Email her at khunt@kut.org. Follow her on Twitter @KaileyEHunt.
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