The following rules apply to the 1,140 acres of the Bull Creek Nature Preserve. This fenced area is accessed through the dodgeway entrances at Loop 360, Jester Blvd., Aralia Dr., and the southern corner of St. Edwards Park. For information on the rules for St. Edwards Park, please visit the Parks and Recreation Department website.

Proper Trail Use

  • Stay on marked trails. Do not create new trails or widen existing trails. Use of unauthorized trails can disturb sensitive habitat and impede the growth of restored vegetation. Trails may be rerouted due to safety concerns or habitat sensitivity. Again, to safely enjoy a trail, stay on the marked path.
  • The Preserve is open for foot-traffic only. Hikers and joggers should be in groups of three or less. Mountain biking, dog walking, horseback riding, and use of motorized vehicles are not allowed at any time. 
  • Children should be supervised at all times.
  • During golden-cheeked warbler breeding season—March 1 through July 31—citizens must obtain a permit to access the Preserve.
  • Hours are from dawn to dusk. No nighttime activity is allowed.
  • Trails are closed when wet.

Take Only Photographs and Leave Only Footprints

  • Do not collect plants, animals, rocks, or fossils. Fallen leaves and branches create habitat for insects and contribute to formation of soil. The weathering of rocks and fossils contributes important minerals to the soil.
  • Camping, hunting, fishing, picnicking, and the building of fires are strictly prohibited. All trash should be carried out and placed in containers outside the Preserve. Glass containers, alcohol, and weapons are strictly prohibited in the Preserve.
  • Do not release unwanted cats, dogs, fish, raccoons, opossums, or other animals into the Preserve. They disturb the balance of the ecosystem by competing with native animals and preying on endangered species and their young.

Safety Tips

  • Stay on the marked trails at all times. Bull Creek Nature Preserve contains hundreds of acres. You can get lost and there are steep ravines and dropoffs.
  • Hike with a friend and take a cell phone. You may need to call for assistance. Remember that cell phones can fail within a ravine or valley.
  • Do not approach dangerous animals such as feral (wild) pigs, feral dogs, feral cats, white-tailed deer during breeding season, and venomous snakes. Remember that killing snakes of any variety is prohibited. Simply walk away in the opposite direction and warn approaching hikers.  If charged by a sow that is protecting piglets, you can climb a tree on the trail until they pass.
  • Do not approach homeless encampments or hostile people engaged in illegal activities. Call 911.
  • Take extra water—especially during hot weather—and wear sunscreen and a hat.
  • Wear appropriate shoes suited for hiking. Limestone surfaces can be slippery so use caution.
  • Supervise children. The Preserve is inappropriate for children without adults.
  • Know poison ivy and avoid it. If you are sensitive, wear long pants, long sleeves, and a poison ivy barrier product. If you believe you have the oils on your skin, you may want to wash with a product that helps dissipate the oils within a certain number of hours.  A native plant to our area, poison ivy is abundant on the banks of Bull Creek.
  • In case of emergency, call 911.