Hike, stroll, or sit and enjoy Wildcat Bluff whenever you’re in need of a bit of nature. Many of us live in cities with limited access to the wild things we enjoy. The Amarillo area is fortunate to have this nature preserve to fulfill that need for us.
Wildcat Bluff is a nonprofit open space, 645 acres provided by a generous donor. It’s available to the public, for city dwellers and folks passing through the area, as well as public-school and college classes, to experience the rolling grasslands, the bluff itself where bobcats lived long ago, a treelined stream bed, rocky outcroppings, and the living things that reside there or pass through. Visitors are asked to stay on the trails to prevent damage to the land or its wildlife, and pets should be left at home. More than five miles of trails lead the visitor along. Some are fairly flat on the prairie, others rolling or even traversing a steep mesa, allowing access to native plants and animals of the High Plains, including many birds and insects. (See pictures of many of these on the attached slide show.) You may see a variety of wildlife, from deer to lizards to harvester ants. Notable plants include yucca, sunflowers, and cacti. A bulletin board near the entrance to the trails provides current info you need to know before starting your trek. The visitors center is presently open only by appointment. Adjacent to it is Libb’s trail, a self-guided nature tour, which is handicapped accessible.
The entrance to the center is less than a mile from the Amarillo city limits, just northwest of Amarillo on Soncy Road, about one mile south of its intersection with Tascosa Road. Watch for the direction sign indicating a west turn into Wildcat Bluff’s parking lot, which is also handicapped accessible. For access to the trails, there is a small daily admission fee: $3 for adults, $7 for families with children, etc. A metal tree sculpture near the bulletin board provides a slot for depositing fees. Memberships are available.
Check the website for more information. Click on the “Articles” tab, where you can choose from such topics as the Adopt-a-Species Project, Citizen Science, and Our Residents. In that latter topic, click the titles over the pictures, “Animalia Kingdom, Animals” or “Plantae Kingdom, Plants,” with pictures and scientific data for many of the living things of the area. You’re invited to contribute to that wealth of information. Many other volunteer opportunities are available, from picking up trash to trail maintenance, from greeting visitors to guiding hikes. Any of these will make you a part of Wildcat Bluff.
But whether you visit for an hour or volunteer for years, just being there connects you with the wild things near Amarillo.