If you visit Texas in spring, especially during the month of April, you will not be able to miss the wildflowers blooming along the side of the road. Brilliant blue flowers blanket fields and pastures and decorate the countryside every spring. Drive just 20 minutes outside one of the major Texas cities, like Fort Worth, Dallas, or San Antonio and you will find a canvas of colors. The Texas Bluebonnets truly are a springtime attraction in the state. The wildflowers are such a draw that there is even a Bluebonnet Festival in Ennis, Texas. And the popular Ennis Bluebonnet Trails just outside of Dallas-Fort Worth bring thousands of people to the small town each year.
A complete guide to visiting the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails
Ennis, Texas may be a very small town, but its huge wildflower presence has put the town of less than 20,000 residents on the map. In fact, Ennis is known as the official Bluebonnet City of Texas.
When to visit the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails
The bluebonnets in Ennis begin blooming in early March, but the wildflowers do not peak in this North Texas town until April. In fact, to see the bluebonnet fields in Ennis in all their glory, mid-April is the best time to visit. Visit too early, and some of the flowers will still be yet to bloom. Visit too late in the spring season, and many of them will have started to die out, drop their seeds for the next year, or become overtaken by tall grasses.
So if planning a trip to Ennis, the best time to do so is the month of April, ideally, the second or third week of the month when the Ennis bluebonnets will be at their peak.
What to expect on the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails
While you may spot bluebonnets along the highway approaching Ennis, the best way to experience the flower fields is to venture off the interstate and drive the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails. This trail takes you along country roads and past farm fields and pastures that are overtaken by vibrant wildflowers in spring.
The Ennis Bluebonnet Trails include 40 miles of mapped driving trails. Along the popular wildflower route, you will find field upon field of Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush. The scenic trails wind thought tiny country roads, passed longhorns, donkeys, horses, and picturesque barns, antique cars and even wineries.
You can stop along the Bluebonnet Trails for a glass of wine or to shop at a quirky antique shop. Both of these businesses would otherwise be in the middle of nowhere if the scenic drive didn’t draw masses of people to the rural road.
How to get to the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails
Driving this quaint and picturesque country trail is free and worth the hours you will spend off the main roads. There are several routes known as the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails. There is a north trail, a south trail and a west trail. Which trail you should take really depends on the season and the amount of time you have to spend driving.
The North Trail is the longest, and in our opinion, the most beautiful. This trail is just north of the town of Ennis. You’ll find a small winery that makes for a great stop, horses and plenty of perfect photo opportunities. Many of the flower fields you will see along the North Trail are on private property. However, several of the property owners had signs displayed welcoming guests to take photos on their land.
The West Trail is the shortest bluebonnet trail in Ennis. It is found just west of the Ennis Visitors Center. The town of Ennis recommends families take their photos here, because the park trail is on public land. However, because of this, the west trail is typically the first of the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails to get trampled and lose its splendor.
Like the North Trail, the South Trail primarily takes you down rural roads lined with private ranches and horse and cow pastures. You’ll find plenty of picturesque places to stop and witness nature in all its majesty. The south trail is slightly closer to the town of Ennis as the beginning of the trail is just across Interstate 45 from downtown Ennis.
Tips for visiting the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails
If visiting the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails for the first time, there are a few tips to keep in mind when photographing the Texas Bluebonnets or taking family photos in them.
Be careful where you sit or step
Be careful where you sit, stand, and step when taking photos in or near a patch of bluebonnets. There may be ants, snakes, or cow manure hiding under that beautiful blanket of flowers. (It is Texas, after all).
Do not pick the flowers or trample on them
Respect nature and try not to trample the delicate flowers when walking or sitting for a photo. While it isn’t illegal to pick the Texas Bluebonnets, it is highly frowned upon in the state. Leave nature as you found it for others to enjoy, as well.
Do not trespass and respect private property
As previously mentioned, many of the wildflowers along the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails are on private land. Some of the land owners are generous enough to allow visitors onto their property each spring to take photos and enjoy the beauty of nature. But be a good guest, and do not damage their beautiful property for a photo op. Also, respect those who do not want visitors on their property.
What else to do when visiting Ennis
While the town of Ennis may be small, if visiting the bluebonnet trails, stop for lunch or dinner to support local businesses in the tiny town. If you time your visit perfectly, you may also get to experience the annual Ennis Bluebonnet Festival.
Ennis Bluebonnet Festival
The wildflowers have become such an attraction, that the small town of Ennis now hosts a festival each spring dedicated to the state flower of Texas. The Bluebonnet Festival, which is typically held the third week in April, features arts and crafts, Texas souvenirs, food, family activities, and entertainment that fill the streets of Downtown Ennis. The festival is free to visit, but the biggest draw of course, are the wildflowers themselves.
Where else to see Texas Bluebonnets besides Ennis
If you don’t want to make the drive to Ennis, you can still find Bluebonnets across much of Texas in spring from the central hill country to far North Texas areas like Denton. Even parts of Oklahoma have the famous wildflowers. While you won’t typically find bluebonnets in West Texas, you’ll find them just about everywhere else, including in some of the largest cities in Texas. People who live in the state or are visiting Texas can be seen stopping along the side of the highways to take pictures of their children in the flowers.
Outside of the Austin and San Antonio areas, near the quaint German town of Fredricksburg, the Texas Bluebonnets spring up early. But you don’t have to stop along the side of the highway. Wildseed Farms outside Fredricksburg gives guests a safe and ideal place to take stunning photos in fields of the Texas Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, and Poppies. In North Texas, throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, and it’s many suburbs, you can also find sporadic patches of bluebonnets blooming wild.
Planning to visit to DFW? Check out our complete guide to inexpensive things to do in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Bluebonnets are our favorite thing about Texas in the spring. Families get outside together, enjoy the beauty of nature, and capture some priceless memories. It has become a tradition for our family to road trip to Texas each year, and the bluebonnets are a large part of that tradition!
Have you seen the Texas Bluebonnets, visited the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails, or the Bluebonnet Festival in Ennis? Leave us a comment and let us know your experience!