They say, “April Showers Bring May Flowers." Here in this part of Texas, spring blossoms can come earlier than that. In fact, the recent 80+ degree days are already bringing forth buds and flowers. The bleak browns and tans of winter are giving way to blooms.

Here are the top 7 trails in the San Angelo area for spotting the earliest brave budding delights of Spring.

#7 Tassajilla Flats, Talley Valley Trail 

Photo: Big Guy Hiking and Trail Running via YouTube
Big Guy Hiking and Trail Running via YouTube
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This easy 4-and-a-half-mile trail is popular for hikers and mountain bikers. Because the trail is so drab with sage brush and dead grass this time of year, it's so much easier to see the occasional blooms that burst forth from the pits of nature’s seeming desolation. If you fail to see wildflowers or cactus blooms on this trail, at least, you are sure to see colorful birds and enjoy their calls.

#6 Burkett Trail and Trailhead Route

Following the O.C. Fisher Reservoir, this 12-mile hike is a great place to find incredible views and a great selection of wildflowers. The horse crippler or echinocactus texensis cactus can be found along the route with pink or peach colored blooms. These blooms will appear over the next couple of months, earlier if we have a hot dry spring as forecasted. The small nipple cactus (that's really is name), otherwise known as the pineapple cactus, is already beginning to show its single yellow flower 

Photo: featheredfan via Youtube
featheredfan via YouTube
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#5 The Roadrunner Trail/San Angelo State Park

You won’t see Wile E. Coyote here, but you might catch a glimpse of the coyote’s nemesis—the roadrunner.

With recent warm weather, this just over 3-mile loop trail takes about an hour and 25 minutes to complete. You might catch a glimpse of the Yellow Rose of Texas, otherwise known as the bloom of the Prickly Pear cactus. Even if you don’t see a bloom just yet, the buffalo that roam the area will be a stirring sight to see. However, if you spot antelope at play, then you'll probably need to adjust your medication.

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash
Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash
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#4 Winding Snake and Lankey Lackey Trail

The Winding Snake Trail is a well-marked path that’s lined with beautiful flowers. You can find this trail at San Angelo State Park. This trail complex is just under 3 and a quarter miles. It's known for a burst of colorful flowers lining the path. Some of that floral color is already breaking through the drab deadness of fading Winter.  This path will only get better with more 80+ degree days.

City of San Angelo
City of San Angelo
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#3 Red Arroyo Trail

On this path, red and blue live in perfect harmony. This just over 13 feet wide path at 3215 Millbrook Drive runs from Knickerbocker Road to Sherwood Way with two loops. With all the loops, sections and spurs, this trail runs just over 4 miles. Catch it as the parade of spring color emerges and you’re in for a flourish of colors.

The highpoint might be the spectacular bluebonnets, which became Texas’ official state flower in 1971. An ambitious planting project for bluebonnets was championed by Texas' own First Lady, Ladybird Johnson. The bluebonnets look stunning against the backdrop of red rocks on this trail. The trail is often flooded in spring, but not this year. An excellent celebration of spring.

Photo: San Antonio Parks and Rec
Photo: San Antonio Parks and Rec
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#2 The San Angelo Nature Trail

Photo: City of San Angelo
City of San Angelo
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This trail is short but oh so sweet. It consistently ranks as a favorite of visitors and natives to our area. There's a wild diversity of plant species and a burst of spring color. This is also a favorite playground of armadillos, who frequent the area. Everyone knows armadillos have great taste when it comes to nature. Hopefully, it keeps them from crossing the road at night.

#1 International Waterlily Collection at Civic League Park

This trail is a world-class Texas miracle. In fact, it's been designated by the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society as the premiere collection of waterlilies anywhere in the world.

Amazed by the selection of color, this two-hour trail is where the word “vivid” gets its name. If Van Gogh lived today, this would be his canvas. The colors are so vibrant, scientists say our eyes are incapable of fully processing their wondrous beauty. This “water” garden is such a striking contrast to the barren and almost desert like vistas of West Texas. Believe it or not, all this beauty is the brainchild of a man named Ken Landon, and these lilies only represent 1 percent of his total collection.

Water Lily Photos City of San Angelo
Water Lily (City of San Angelo)
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City of San Angelo
City of San Angelo
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Prickly Pear Cactus
DesertUSA via YouTube
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Spring is like a thunderstorm of color here in San Angelo if you just know where to look. Sometimes, the best wildflowers of all grow right in our own backyard.

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