Acton Nature Center is Outdoor Fun for Families in Granbury
Acton Nature Center is located at the end of Smoky Hill Court in Acton, Texas, and at the edge of the city limits of Granbury, Texas. This nature center is open to the public seven days a week from dawn to dusk and is always free. It makes for an amazing and great activity beyond the lakes and rivers in Granbury for residents of all ages.
The History Behind Acton Nature Center
In 2004 Hood County Development District was made aware of 73.96 acres of land being made available to the residents and general public for use as a park through the Department of the Interior Federal Lands to Parks Program. The land was donated to Hood County and the county transferred oversight and development responsibility to the Hood County Development District.
For several years following World War II this plot of land was one of the hundreds of sites across the country used by the FAA. The location was named VORTAC where equipment was placed that helped to tell pilots of their location. As these types of sites became obsolete, a federal program was enacted to turn these tracts of land over to local governments to use as parks. Today there is a committee that takes care of the park called Friends of the Acton Nature Center. The Rio Brazos chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist also helps in maintaining this tract of land. Lake Granbury Master Gardeners also played a significant role with their volunteers and helping design plans for this nature center.
The main objective for the design of the nature center was to maximize the natural history and natural science of the area by keeping native plants and being a place where local animals can recreate in a natural habitat while people in the area enjoy the natural beauty.
Activities to Enjoy at the Acton Nature Center
There are several trails leading through the nature center to view the beauty of the land including the natural pond filled with croaking toads. In the shaded ravine, guests will find live large growth old oak trees. There is a large number of brightly colored wildflowers blooming in the spring to enjoy and a functional windmill that is now the source of water for the abandoned well that used to water livestock that roamed in the area many years ago.
Some of the many great trails you will find at the Acton Nature Center include:
Bowie Bike Trail
This 2.3-mile mountain bike and horseback riding trail extends around the perimeter of the park and is marked by a series of numbered stones
San Jacinto Pass
This trail leads to the showcase garden which is the Elizabeth Crockett Memorial Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden
Travis Hiking Trail
This trail is about 1.3 miles of mulch-covered easy to walk land leading to a wildlife overlook and viewing area built by local scouts. Continuing along the Travis Trail you will come along the Sam Houston Bridge built over a Shady River in which becomes a stream and heavy rains.
There’s also around half a mile of granite-covered trails winding through the nature area that is handicap accessible leading around to the restored windmill and old stock tank near the recently built stock pond.
There’s a historic farmhouse at the nature preserve as well that dates back to the 1930s, it is now used for individual gatherings and classes.
The main focus of designing the Acton Nature Center for the residents of Hood County was to help entice people of all ages to come out and enjoy the natural beauty of the area surrounding of Granbury and Acton and get people outside and off of technology for a bit.
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