How do you know when spring has arrived in Texas? The hint of blue that begins to peek out from the once-again green grasses—bluebonnets! Texas’ state flower shines its brightest in a small town that’s only a short drive from Dallas, perfect for a Saturday excursion. Deemed the “Official Bluebonnet City of Texas” by the Texas State Legislature, Ennis boasts more than 40 miles of trails that wind throughout blossoming bluebonnets—a great getaway for a family looking to ring in the arrival of spring.
Before you hop in the car and head southeast, check the Ennis City website to ensure that the blooms are ready and waiting for you; the exact blooming dates are hard to predict due to weather, but city recommends visiting in April (you can also call the hotline, 972/878-4748).
Traverse down Highway 45 toward Corsicana, and about 40 miles south, you’ll begin to see the rolling hills of Ennis, spotted with bluebonnets. You can join a guided bus tour hosted by The Ennis Garden Club (call the Ennis Visitor Center at 972/878-4748 to reserve a seat). Or, families can park at Bluebonnet Park to roam around the trails as their own guides. Simply snag a trail map (or download online before your arrival). Ennis Garden Club members will be on site at the Bluebonnet Park, should you have questions about how to get started. Several playgrounds and picnic areas are available throughout the bluebonnet trails for families (and are marked on the maps). Strollers are not recommended on these trails, unless it’s a jogging stroller; however, several trails do not allow strollers at all (only foot traffic) due to the fragile ecological environment. There are also driving trails for those who prefer to stay in their car.
While the trails are open from April 1-30 from dusk till dawn, the City of Ennis hosts the official Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival April 17–19 with live music, food and family entertainment in downtown Ennis. Check the website for official times and day activities.
Other Blues To View
Campión Trail, 972/721-2501. Find some near the far north end where Sam Houston Trail Park is, under Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, or south towards T.W. Richardson Park, under Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway.
Cedar Hill State Park, 1570 FM1382, Cedar Hill; 972/291-3900. Find some near the campsites and throughout the roads. There is a patch in the Penn Farm Agricultural History Center area as well.
Coppell Nature Park, 367 Freeport Pkwy, Coppell; 972/304-3581. Find some in the small wildflower area near the parking lot.
On FM 423 in Frisco next to the historic Zion Cemetery, the hillside is blanketed in bluebonnets. And since it’s next to a cemetery, you don’t have to worry about parking on a highly trafficked road.
Blubonnet Trail, Spring Creek Parkway and Custer Road, Plano. While jogging on this 8.3 mile trail, you’ll most likely pass a few blooms along the way.
Russell Creek Park, 3500 McDermott Road, Plano. Visit this park for a nice pop of blue amidst the green.
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, 6701 W. Parker Road, Plano; 972/941-7250. Take the opportunity to walk through this beautiful preserve and spot some bluebonnets while you’re there.
We highly recommend calling in advance to ensure the bluebonnets are in bloom.
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Photo courtesy of ©iSTOCK. Originally published April 2010 in DallasChild.