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Canyon of the Eagles Lodge & Nature Park - a Feature Destination at Southpoint.comBurnet, Texas
A Hidden Paradise, Canyon of the Eagles
by Carl Burnham

The eagles come here to nest every year for many reasons. The scenery is some of the most dramatic in the Texas Hill Country. Situated on a secluded bluff overlooking Lake Buchanan near the Lower Colorado River, lake fishing is exceptional, especially for striped bass (nicknamed stripers), white bass, and catfish. 

Views of Canyon of the Eagles Lodge & Nature Park. Click here to enlarge.
Whether it is rest & relaxation or adventure, you will find it here. Canyon of the Eagles is a Lodge and also a Nature Park comprising 940 acres designed to protect and preserve area wildlife in partnership with the Presidian company, the LCRA, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife. Only a small portion of the property is used for the lodge, restaurant, cottages, RV park, tent sites, and buildings, so the area offers a true nature preserve experience.  

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The lodge includes 64 guest rooms, in a choice of either one or two queen-size beds, with available views of the lake or the courtyard. Each lodge room has a large window seat complete with a futon mattress for extra guests. The attractive rustic design of the buildings include porches complete with rocking chairs, board siding and metal roofs.

Views of our cottage, complete with homemade quilts and lake views. Click here to enlarge.

The cottage buildings house four separate rooms, with a dogtrot breezeway in the middle and porches on the sides. Our room gave us an expansive view of Lake Buchanan from our porch. Each cottage room includes two queen-size beds, with mini-refrigerator, microwave, and rustic table and chairs.   
Expansive views of Lake Buchanan from 1920s style cottages at Canyon of the Eagles
Standard for all rooms are private bath with shower, linens, hairdryer, and a 4-cup coffeemaker. Rates range from $94 to $184 a night for a guest room, depending on the season and type of room (rates are subject to change without notice).

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From the lodge restaurant you can enjoy tasty gourmet meals as you view spectacular views of Lake Buchanan below. The selections are impressive, especially for the remote location, with choices also for the kids. As shown, the pork tenderloin and salmon with a citrus chutney sauce are two that we enjoyed, with many other selections available to please your palate. The park also includes a conference center for business and entertainment functions and environmental learning center. Entertainment and activities are scheduled throughout the year in the park, including music, talks at the amphitheatre, or stargazing from the observation tower.

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A complimentary continental breakfast is served from Monday - Friday in the lodge restaurant. Our breakfast included a selection of pastries, english muffins, toast, cereals, cereal bars, yogurt, raisins, juices, and jelly.

View of the swimming pool at Canyon of the Eagles.

The courtyard area includes an entertainment center with television (in case anyone has withdrawals), games, and bar. A round swimming pool with whirlpool was built using area limestone rocks.

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Birders will enjoy possibly catching a glimpse of the golden-cheeked warbler, black-capped vireo, the American bald eagle, and others while hiking the 14 miles of trails that wind through the park. We didn't see any eagles, but did see numerous wildlife. The best times to catch a glimpse of eagles are from December to March. Armadillos can be seen throughout the park, and you will usually hear them before you see them as they go about their business of rummaging among the leaves and dirt searching for insects. Their distinct shells are made of bone, and their tails have rings of bone for protection as well. If they are surprised, they can jump several feet in the air.

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We took the Bird and Butterfly Trail, which connects to the Rocky Point Trail. The Rocky Point Trail meanders around, with a gradual 300 foot descent when nearer to the lake. Certain trails are closed during the year for endangered species such as the bald eagle and vireo when nesting.

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The beach area includes a general store, grill, boat and canoe rentals, and volleyball net (an armadillo had no interest in playing a game with me).

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The RV park includes 25 sites, some with scenic views of Lake Buchanan. All sites include electric, sewer, and water hookups. Primitive and improved (with potable water) tent sites are also available. Reservations can be made using the Texas Parks and Recreation Service (512-389-8900) or the Canyon of the Eagles. You can park your RV for $20 a day or tent camp from $10 a day (plus a $5 per person day use fee).

Scott Tiller, our knowledgeable Lake Buchanan Adventures guide pointing out some interesting aspects of the terrain.

The best part of our trip to the park was to go kayaking with Lake Buchanan Adventures, which is the exclusive outfitter service in the park. We met Scott Tiller, our guide, and Jan Clark, who outfitted us with all the essentials, including life preservers, paddles, and lunch. Scott, a native local Texan, has a solid background in geology and taught us alot about the varied landscape and wildlife that surround the lake. 

We rode in a two-person kayak. Kayaks are quite stable on the water, with little chance for turning over. Solo kayaks, canoes, and sailboat rentals are also available, as well as a boat-shuttle service if wanting to quickly get across the lake.

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We paddled along the shoreline, seeing pelicans, great blue herons, terns, cormorants, a kingfisherand, and even an armadillo on one of our stops to stretch our legs. Paddling past an island, Scott noted that it is usually almost submerged, and is now a peninsula due to the water levels being much lower than normal. Being shallower and wider, you won't find ski boats here, and it was almost like we had the lake to ourselves, seeing only an occasional fishing boat in the distance.

Native Americans once lived in the area, considering it sacred ground. During the 1930s as the Buchanan Dam and Lake were being built, over 30,000 artifacts were found. Lake Buchanan is the second largest of the Highland Lakes, with a length of 30 miles and width of almost 5 miles. The lake is wider and shallower than many of the other Highland Lakes, which gives you the impression of being alone when out on the lake.

Some of the most popular trips include kayaking to the Fall Creek Falls to see the waterfalls and to the Fall Creek Winery. You can also take in one of their Wilderness Kayaking trips, which is a four mile tour to focus on the area wildlife. Reservations are required for trips, with pricing ranging from $48 to $65 per adult ($39 to $52 per child). Custom trips can be planned for groups such as families, class reunions, Boy/Girl Scouts, and others. For extended trips beyond the lake on the Lower Colorado River, you can kayak next to impressive limestone and granite cliffs, and even take an overnight trip.

Once we paddled across the lake, we went up a side creek to rest under the shade of pecan and oak trees near Fall Creek Winery to enjoy a tasty deli lunch which came with a complementary insulated lunch bag.

Fall Creek Winery, across the lake from Canyon of the EaglesBeing so close, we couldn't resist doing a little wine tasting at nearby Fall Creek Winery, a family-owned vineyard, known internationally for their quality red and white wines. The geology of the property and location next to the lake make for an optimal location for growing grapes. Our favorite pick was the Twin Springs Red, a sweet after dinner dessert wine. Events during the year at the winery include Burgers & Blues 4th of July Celebration, an Annual Grape Stomp Festival in August, and a Hill Country Fall Festival & Wine Auction in October.
At nearby Fall Creek Falls, from your kayak you can experience cascading waterfalls from the travertine canyon walls. In places further up the Colorado River, the side limestone and granite cliffs rise high above the lake. We had already been on the water almost all day, so we decided to see the falls on another trip. Some of the other wildlife which you may see while on the water include bald eagles, egrets, ospreys, feral pigs, and whitetail deer. As we made our way back across the lake, we made our plans to return, and maybe see an eagle or two.

After visiting Canyon of the Eagles, you'll want hang around longer...We would like to thank Canyon of the Eagles Lodge and Nature Park and also Lake Buchanan Adventures for assisting with our feature.

Getting There:
In the Texas Hill Country, about an hour and a half drive northwest of Austin. If driving from Austin, take Interstate 35 north to State Highway 29. Go west on 29 through the town of Burnet, and continue until you see the Canyon of the Eagles Lodge and Nature Park sign, turn right onto Ranch Road 2341 and drive about 15 miles till until the road ends, which will be the entrance to the park.

Google Map | Detailed Area Map | GPS 30.890 lat -98.430 long | Weather

Canyon of the Eagles Lodge and Nature Park Book a Stay at the Canyon of the Eagles Lodge now
16942 Ranch Road 2341
Burnet, TX 78611
Reservations 1-800-977-0081
Lake Buchanan Adventures 512-756-9911

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