Explore Texas

Canyon of the Eagles – Best Nature-Based Resort in Texas

Canyon of the Eagles is considered the best nature-based resort in Texas.  Their slogan is “Where the road ends, the adventure begins.”  It truly is as Ranch Road 2341 dead ends into the nature preserve.  The full-service nature resort is nestled in the beauty, serenity, and tranquility of a 940-acre nature preserve on the northeast side of Lake Buchanan (pronounced Buck-CAN-nun) near Burnet (pronounced bur-KNIT) in the Texas Hill Country’s Highland Lakes Region.  I mentioned it in a road trip segment on Small Texas Towns to Put on Your Road Trip List on Good Morning Texas in Dallas.

The resort gets its name from the American Bald Eagles that nest in the surrounding area from October through March each year.  Other animals you may spot include the endangered Black-Capped Vireo and Golden-Cheeked Warbler, cotton tail rabbit or jackrabbit, coyote, deer, rattlesnake, raccoon, bobcat, feral pig, skunk, or armadillo.  In the spring and early summer, wildflowers are abundant.

The 61 eco-friendly guest rooms were designed by Lake Flato Architects and patterned after 1920’s hill country homes with porches and rocking chairs.  The buildings are made of native stone, rough board-and-batten siding, and corrugated metal roofs to blend in with the incredible scenery of Lake Buchanan.  There are also RV sites and campsites.  It’s pet friendly too.  For my two-night stay, I was in one of the guest rooms.  I arrived just as the sun was setting over the lake.  The next morning I was treated to an equally beautiful sunrise enhanced by a layer of fog wafting across the lake.

There is a plethora of outdoor activities including swimming, biking, and hiking.  They offer 2-hour guided sightseeing cruises.  You can rent a kayak or go on a guided hike.  The Eagle Eye Observatory is a must for stargazing on a clear night so make sure to attend a Star Party.  Sit around one of the outdoor fireplaces roasting s’mores.  In summer, watch a movie under the stars.  I visited in late fall and enjoyed hiking through the preserve looking for birds.  There are 14 miles of groomed nature trails.

 

Overlook Restaurant is a hilltop award-winning restaurant with a fireplace, patio, and exterior deck overlooking Lake Buchanan and the Texas Hill Country.  You get a 180-degree sweeping view of incredible scenery from the restaurant’s three walls of windows.  The view of sunset and the last rays of daylight or perhaps a distant thunderstorm is stunning.  In winter, an eagle or red-tailed hawk may make an appearance.  The restaurant features traditional Texas Cuisine with an emphasis on steaks and seafood with a Hill Country twist of course.  Desserts are house-made.

There are six Texas State Parks within an hour and a half drive of Canyon of the Eagles.  Enchanted Rock, one of the country’s largest batholiths, is an hour away.  Colorado Bend State Park known for its Spicewood Canyon and picturesque Gorman Falls is just under an hour and a half away.  During my stay, I took a day trip to hike the Spicewood Springs Trail.  Or take a drive around Lake Buchanan enjoying some of the wineries not far from the resort including Fall Creek Vineyards, Perissos Vineyards, and Flat Creek Winery and Estate.  On my way back from Colorado Bend State Park, I stopped at Fall Creek Vineyards location in Tow for a little wine tasting then enjoyed a scenic drive back to the resort.

 

For rock climbers, mountain bikers, and all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts, the 3-000 acre park of Hidden Falls Adventure Park is a must with its 240 miles of trails.  Just 17 minutes from Canyon of the Eagles is Reveille Peak Ranch, a world-class adventure park for trail runners and mountain bikers open on weekends.  If you want to soar through the trees, Cypress Valley Canopy Tours is about an hour away.  It has seven zip lines, two sky bridges, and a rappel.  Just four minutes from the resort, you can take a ride with Vanishing Texas River Cruise to learn the history of Lake Buchanan and go bird watching on a day or evening cruise.  From golfing to water sports and taking a dip in local swimming holes to picking berries on a farm, you’ll find all sorts of activities close to Canyon of the Eagles.

Author Jennifer Broome has traveled extensively in Texas.  For other road trip ideas, check out Texas Small Town Gems and 5 Trails to Hike in Texas.