Davis Mountains Preserve outdoor activities free this weekend

The Nature Conservancy’s Davis Mountains Preserve will be open to the public for hiking, biking, camping, horseback riding, picnics, photography, birding, stargazing and other outdoor activities on March 18-20, 2016.  Hours for Open Weekend events are from 8am Friday to 4pm Sunday.  The event is free and open to the public; donations are welcomed.  Guests will be required to sign in and out at the McIvor Conservation Center.

Dr. Ben Hutchins, biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, will lead an interpretive hike to visit prime snail habitat on the Preserve.  Over 20 species of snails have been recorded at the Preserve, some of which occur nowhere other than the Davis Mountains.  The moderately strenuous hike will leave the McIvor Center at 10am on Saturday and is limited to 15 visitors.

On Sunday morning at 10 am in the McIvor Center, Bert Geary will present some of the findings from a four-year study of mountain lions being conducted by the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University.  Bert is an area landowner who has helped fit over 20 mountain lions with satellite beacons on their collars to track their movements in the Davis Mountains.

The Davis Mountains Preserve is located approximately 25 miles northwest of Ft. Davis on Hwy. 118 (about 10 miles past McDonald Observatory & about ¼ mile past the Lawrence E. Wood Picnic Area).

Important Reminders:

• Only high clearance street legal vehicles will be allowed past the McIvor Center.

• Only camp stoves are allowed, and ground fires are prohibited.

• Restrooms are available at the McIvor Center.

• Guests should bring their own food and drinks, and take their trash home with them.

• Hikers should bring their own binoculars, cameras, sunscreen, hats, appropriate footwear and plenty of water to drink.

• Firearms and any technology that disrupts quiet enjoyment are not permitted.

• For safety reasons, children must be supervised by parents or other designated adults.

• No pets are permitted on the Preserve, other than service animals for assistance.

For more information or to register for the snail hike, contact Deirdre Hisler at [email protected] or call 432-426-2390.