One of the most beautiful times of the year in the Lone Star State is spring because it becomes colorful with the most beautiful flowers in full bloom. You can find orange and yellow wildflowers popping up throughout the Texas hill country and of course, the Texas state flower, the bluebonnet. People travel near and far to see the famous bluebonnet flower and Ennis, Texas is the best city to see them. Moreover, Ennis is the official Bluebonnet City of Texas which features the famous Bluebonnet Trail.
Needless to say, Ennis is where you want to find and see bluebonnets. So, I have created the ultimate guide. You will learn the best time to visit and see the bluebonnets, what to expect, which Bluebonnet Trails to take, where to eat, and more – I have everything you need to know about Ennis Bluebonnets!
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When to Visit Ennis Bluebonnet Trail
The beautiful Ennis bluebonnets will start blooming in mid-March and will reach full peak in April. So the best time to visit and see the Ennis bluebonnets is during its full bloom which is typically the entire month of April. With that said, the bluebonnets will reach their full peak at different times of the month. Most of the time, the Ennis bluebonnets will be at its best peak near the third week of April.
Since Ennis is the official Bluebonnet City of Texas, they do an excellent job of keeping the public informed of the bluebonnets. In fact, they have a designated Ennis Garden Club that drives the Bluebonnet Trail every week to check the bloom status. So it is highly recommended that you visit the Ennis bluebonnet website to receive weekly updates.
Ennis Bluebonnet Festival
The Ennis Bluebonnet Festival takes place every year in April for three days (Friday – Sunday) and is FREE ADMISSION! Over the course of the three days, visitors can find arts and crafts, bluebonnet souvenirs, wildflower walks, wine sampling, live performances, children’s activities, scenic country rides, state fair rides, and more. It is truly the perfect festival for everyone of all ages.
How to See Ennis Bluebonnets
The best way to see the Ennis bluebonnets is on their official Bluebonnet Trail which runs annually from April 1-30. With that said, the Texas state flower can also be seen throughout the city and on the side of roads. Moreover, you can enjoy the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail at your own leisurely pace or on a 2 hour guided tour with a member of the Ennis Garden Club for $50.
On the Bluebonnet Trail, you will see the bluebonnets in parks, lakesides, along fences, in vast fields, and private properties. When you visit the bluebonnets along private property fences, remember to respect the bluebonnets and the locals. Do not go on private property! Make sure you read the signs and abide by the law.
What to Expect on the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail
The Ennis Bluebonnet Trail is the oldest trail known in Texas and is over 40 miles. The best way to follow the trail is by vehicle because the trails are on gravel roads and paved roads. The rule of thumb is you can pull off on the side of any road as long as you do not block driveways or fire hydrants. Depending on how much of the trail you want to see and the number of times you stop to take photos, you could spend at least five hours driving the Bluebonnet Trail – we did.
As I briefly stated earlier, the Ennis Garden Club will drive the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail every week to check the bloom status. Then they will report their status to the visitor center so they can create a weekly trail map for visitors. So what might be the best trail one week may be different during the next week. With that said, I highly recommend you visit the Ennis Visitor Center before you begin the Bluebonnet Trail. They not only provide a color-coded and informative map, but they also walk you through the different trails and help answer any questions you may have. Overall, I was very impressed with the center. They were very organized to truly make the Bluebonnet Trail the best experience possible.
How to Follow the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail
Again, every year the trails will vary, but to help guide you through what to expect on the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail, I will use my personal experience with the trails I drove. During the peak week (third week of April), we were able to visit three trails – west, south, and north. Furthermore, to follow the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail, use the trail map as your guide. There will also be small visible Bluebonnet Trail signs on almost every left or right turn on the trail to help guide you along.
The West Trail is just west of the Ennis Visitor Center and downtown area. It is the shortest trail, but it is suggested that visitors take their family photos on the West Trail at specific locations. To be honest, all of the marked locations had the least amount of bluebonnets because so many people had visited throughout the month. With that said, it was easy to find areas to sit and take photos because of the footprints people left behind. The best part of the West Trail is Lake Bardwell. The bluebonnets along Lake Bardwell not only provide the most beautiful scenery but also the best place to gather for a family picnic. There are several picnic tables with shaded areas to enjoy a lovely lunch.
On the South Trail, you can expect to find a lot of beautiful bluebonnets in full bloom along the barbed fences and on private properties. Remember, you cannot go on private property and should respect the bluebonnets along the fences as well. There is one property off Zmikek Rd and Mach Rd that has bluebonnets covering every inch of the vast front yard. It is one of the most beautiful properties and scenic landscapes of the Ennis bluebonnets on the South Trail.
We thought the South Trail was beautiful, but it almost does not compare to the North Trail. The North Trail is by far our favorite for many reasons. It has countless scenic photo opportunities, several fields covered in orange and yellow wildflowers and bluebonnets, horses along fences, and a winery. Though the entire trail is beautiful, you can find the most picturesque field of bluebonnets and wildflowers along Union Hill Rd, Andrews Rd, Slate Rock Rd, and Stacks Rd. Furthermore, I highly recommend you end your Ennis bluebonnet trip on the North Trail so you can enjoy a wine tasting at Sugar Ridge Winery. After the winery, you can feed friendly horses along the fence to complete your Ennis Bluebonnet Trail.
Where to Eat in Ennis
Ennis has several great dining establishments with a lively atmosphere in downtown to enjoy when you are visiting the Bluebonnet Trail. From fresh sandwiches, salad, and soup to Texas BBQ and Mexican cuisine – you will find something delicious to satisfy your taste buds. A few local favorites include Wildflower Cafe, Bubbas BBQ and Steakhouse, and El Mexicano Grill. You can also order food to go and enjoy an amazing lunch on Lake Bardwell or at Sugar Ridge Winery with a wine tasting.
Sugar Ridge Winery
As the name depicts, Sugar Ridge Winery is known for its luscious sweet wines. In fact, more than half of their wines are sweet and delicious! However, they also feature a few dry reds that are also fantastic. Though Sugar Ridge Winery is a Texas winery and they produce the wine in-house, the grapes come from all across the United States and Canada. In addition to wine, they sell prepackaged cheese, crackers, and sausage for visitors to enjoy and welcome everyone to also bring in food from local businesses.
The wine tasting is only $10 per person and includes not only 15 wines but also a free glass souvenir. The wines include sweet whites, dry reds, and sweet reds. Our absolute favorites were Papa’s Peach and Little Green Apple. They were both the perfect sweet white wines to enjoy after a hot sunny day on the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail.
The atmosphere of Sugar Ridge Winery is very lively and fun. There is plenty of seating around the shaded porch with live performances and a free look inside their winery. Needless to say, a wine tasting at Sugar Ridge Winery is truly the perfect way to finish your day in Ennis.
Lastly, you can download the new Ennis Y’all mobile app for both iPhone and Android. The app includes a map of the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail with GPS locations and a full directory of restaurants, shops, hotels, attractions, and events. With that said, I hope my guide to the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail has been informative to help you plan your perfect trip!