GO: Readers’ Choice Top 10 Wildflower Roads #1 Willow City Loop

April 22, 2014

Background

The town of Willow City itself is a few wooden buildings located at the apex of a 90-degree turn. And there’s no way to know unless someone tells you that down that rural, one lane blacktop with a rusty sign reading “Willow City Loop”, you’ll find some of the most beautiful Hill Country scenery in Texas.

What this 13 miles of pocked, narrow, and sometimes way-to-popular-for-its-own-good pavement is famous for, is its springtime display of bluebonnets and other wildflowers. And famous is the right word.

Of course Texas weather is a fickle thing, but once spring starts in earnest, you can rely on a display of bluebonnets along “the loop” that is peerless. The carpets of blue may fool you into thinking there are ponds in valleys where there is absolutely no water at all.

Slow down and take the loop at a casual pace. It winds through hilly countryside marked by ranches and free-range cattle. And where there’s cattle on the road, there’s what on the road? Cow-pies, of course! Numerous.

Riders need to be particularly cautious. More than a few have taken headers into the creeks on the myriad low water crossings. If there’s water flowing over the road, you need to consider carefully your next move. There’s no shame in turning back. It’s pretty both ways.

But the number one threat on the number one wildflower road in Texas are cagers who, it is un-scientifically proven, lose their minds completely in the presence of bluebonnets. Drivers are even less predictable than deer on the sides of roads. Danger, Will Robinson!

 

Classic sign along the Willow City Loop. Don't look for it, now; it's long gone. Things are changing along the loop, with more development coming into the area all the time.

Classic sign along the Willow City Loop. Don’t look for it, now; it’s long gone. Things are changing along the loop, with more development coming into the area all the time. (Valerie Asensio photo)

The Ride

From Fredericksburg head north on TX 16 for about 13 miles. Then take a right on FM 1323 and travel about 5 miles until you reach Willow City. Keep your eyes open. At the 90 degree bend, turn left to enter the loop.

As you exit Willow City and head down the loop, you will travel through some brushland. There is a large warning sign indicating that the land along the loop is posted and there is no trespassing or stopping along the sides of the road allowed.  But you’ll likely see people driving, tromping and stomping all over bluebonnets as if they were harvest grapes. If only people read signs, eh?

Past the sign, the road then cuts down into a beautiful pink granite boulder strewn valley called Hell’s Half Acre. It is nice, really, in spite of the ominous name. If it was given the name to scare the tourists away, it hasn’t worked. The road crisscrosses Coal Creek in several spots, so watch out for the low water crossings. The usual safety advice applies.

Several miles into the loop, on the right is a mining operation. It is strangely misplaced in this wild place, but it is there none the less. Serpentine is mined there for flooring and other uses. It’s the green stone that litters the roadside near the mine.

As mentioned, this road is famous with the wildflower crowd, and on the weekends during the spring at the height of the bluebonnet season, there can be genuine traffic jams in this village of 52.

The best time to go is during the week. But for those who have regular jobs, the next best time to go is early in mornings on Saturday or Sunday, before 9:00 am.

After completing the 13 mile loop, you’ll pop out on TX 16. Fredericksburg is only a few miles south. After a ride through the loop, a stop in F’burg for a meal, or just coffee and dessert. It’s a great way to polish off an excellent day out on two wheels.

 


Hill Country Region

#1 Readers’ Pick for Best Wildflower Road in Texas

Willow City Loop

Willow City


View Larger Map


More resources

Wildflower ride guide

Wildflower Roads of Texas edition

Wildflower Roads of Texas edition

Events

$40

Realities Ride, the World’s Largest Poker Run

May 25 - May 26

  Realities Ride, the world’s largest poker run and fundraising vehicle for Realities For Children charity, will host it’s annual rally and ride for the kids on Memorial Day Weekend, May 25th and 26th, 2019. Advance tickets are now on sale. Celebrating those who’ve served in our armed forces and helping Northern Colorado children in need, Realities Ride has been bringing people together on Memorial Day weekend for the past 18 years. This year’s event kicks off Saturday,…
Find out more »

Free

2019 Basics for the Best

May 25 @ 7:45 am - 10:45 am

2019 BASICS FOR THE BEST This is to honor those that served and can no longer get out and about. To let them know they are not forgotten. It cost nothing but your time for the ride. But we are taking donations either with money or with items the vets are in need of. Tshirts-colored with pockets, slippers military themed hats and t-shirts, blankets and throws. There will be a collection point and the items…
Find out more »

Yamaha Off-Road Motorcycle Demos

May 25 @ 8:00 am - May 26 @ 5:00 pm

Yamaha has teamed up with 6-time AMA National Champion Jason Raines and his first-class Raines Riding University to bring you FREE motocross and off-road motorcycle demos for all ages and skill levels! Join us May 25th – 26th at Village Creek Motocross Park! A special course will be laid out specifically for the program and riders will be able to demo several different 2019 models like the TT-R 50E, TT-R 110E, TT-R 125LE, YZ65, YZ85,…
Find out more »

$3

Fredericksburg Vintage Motorcycle Show

May 25 @ 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm

DATE CHANGED 3rd Annual Vintage Motorcycle Show & Swap Meet Free admission to the public with a donation of 3 cans of food or cash donation for the local food bank. Thanks for your support. Ride out. We have Motorcycle Only parking in the lot. 12-9:00pm Bike show, Swap meet, Vintage ride, Live music, food and drink. Open class Vintage Bike Show $20 entry fee per bike. For more info call: 830-990-4433. Registration will be…
Find out more »

$20.00 – $25.00

16th Annual Big Bike Run for the Little Tryke Fund

June 1 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

GRAPEVINE HERITAGE AMBUCS CHARITY POKER RUN INSPIRING MOBILITY AND INDEPENDENCE Registration: $25.00 per rider/ $20.00 per passenger per poker hand ($20.00 for additional poker hand). 1st Stop/Registration (2 cards) 9:00am-11:00am at Willhoite’s in Grapevine, TX. (Bikes out by 11:00am) 2nd Stop (1 card) at Roanoke ChopShop Live in Roanoke, TX. Final Stop and HUGE PARTY (2 cards) 12PM – 4PM at American Eagle Harley-Davidson in Corinth, TX. Party featuring live music by Lone Star 92.5‘s…
Find out more »

Bike Nights