Balcones Canyonlands Preserve (BCP) is one of the nation’s largest urban
preserves, protecting more than 32,000 acres of endangered species habitat. It
is a system of preserves managed by a diverse group of public and private
partners; the majority is managed by Travis County and the City of Austin.
of the trails established in Steiner Ranch go through the Balcones Canyonlands
Preserve (J-Canyon, Powerline Hill, and Eastridge trails).
on the BCP can only be accessed at the approved trailheads, which are marked
with green signs installed by the SRMA. Users must stay on the approved trails
at all times.
BCP was created in 1996 to protect habitat for eight endangered species: two
migratory songbirds called the golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo,
and six karst invertebrates found in caves. The black-capped vireo was removed
from the federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in May 2018. The
BCP continues to provide habitat for this rare bird as well as the seven
still-endangered species and 27 species of concern found on the preserve.