In order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, all volunteer activities and guided hikes on the Travis County-managed parts of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve have been suspended. Hamilton Pool Preserve and Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve are also closed to the public until further notice. Please email any questions to [email protected]. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

three people on a guided hike in hamilton pool

There are many ways to get involved at the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve (BCP)! If you’re interested in hiking, more than 3,500 acres of the preserve are regularly open to the public. Plan a trip to Hamilton Pool, Wild Basin Preserve, the Barton Creek Greenbelt, Emma Long Park, Commons Ford Park, St. Edwards Park, Mount Bonnell Park, or Westcave Preserve.

Visit other areas of the 32,000+ acre preserve by joining a guided hike or volunteering. Travis County and its BCP partners offer more than 500 guided hikes each year. Check out our Google Calendar for events across the BCP from partners including Travis County, the City of Austin, Wild Basin, Travis Audubon, and Westcave Preserve.

Also don't forget to check out the many Travis County Parks as well as the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge (BCNWR), 3,000 acres of which are open to the public. The BCP and the BCNWR are often confused with each other because of their similar names. They were created around the same time to protect the same endangered species and are not far from each other. The National Wildlife Refuge is owned and managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and is located in northwest Travis County off FM 1431.


Volunteering with Travis County BCP

group of hikers smiling

Volunteers are an integral part of our team – we couldn’t do it without them! They help us with nearly every aspect of managing the preserve: invasive plant removal, trail maintenance, native plant gardening, bird surveys, guided hikes, cleanups, and much more. So if you want to get out in nature, have a positive impact, and meet some great people, join our family of caring, active volunteers!

Activities range from large group work-days to individual projects, and can be one-day events or ongoing. We also have opportunities for companies and other groups to volunteer on the preserve together. To learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities, check out the calendar above, or email the staff.