We love to go for walks and besides walking around Texas A&M University our next favorite place to take walks in this area is the nature preserve at Lick Creek Park. Lick Creek Park is part of a 1265 acre tract acquired by College Station in 1981 in a trade for development land along Highway 6. About 500 of these acres were set aside as a “natural area for education and enjoyment of future generations”. It also provides protected habitat for Spiranthes parksii, a federally listed endangered orchid known as the Navasota Ladies’ Tresses. October and November are the only months to see them in flower.
Located at 13600 East Rock Prairie Road even the drive over to the park in the spring revealed many of the native wildflowers in this area. The park is always a fun hike in the spring because of the wildflowers and the new growth. The park is popular with hikers, mountain bikes, and those who love to walk their dogs unleashed. Soon there will be many birdwatchers at the park as it is a good place to spot migrating warblers and other migrants this time of year.
Lick Creek is a major tributary to the Navasota River. It contains well-developed riverine and alluvial hardwood forest, open marshland, oxbow meadows, upland oak forest, and sandy prairies. There are several miles of trails and we usually walk a larger loop that is a bit over 3.5 miles. On this trail one can see all the diversity that exists in this county. Post Oak Savannahs, Water Oak wetlands and Sandy Meadows which are populated with many wildflowers in the spring.
There are several benches scattered along the way to simply enjoy the solitude of this park as it is far enough away from the noise of the highway and the trains. Lots of families bike with their kids here on the weekends so we found it to be a quieter time to hike here in the early mornings on weekdays.
I remember the many years we lived here I always considered this area to be an ecological desert void of diversity and of little interest. Now when we return we always enjoy a walk through this unique vegetative habitat found only in the part of Texas. Funny how time sharpens ones focus and allows us to rid ourselves of negative thoughts. We now can see the beauty that each area has to offer and enjoy walks such as these in every place we stop…