HITTING THE WILDFLOWERS IN MASON COUNTY
If you think Texas is only cactus, mesquite trees and sagebrush, you haven’t visited the Hill Country in the springtime. The bluebonnets burst forth first, in late March and early April, followed by flowers of every hue; reds, whites, yellows, and pinks throughout April and May. And this winter, the Hill Country has been blessed with the plentiful rains that practically guarantee a Technicolor wildflower display. On the northernmost edge of the Hill Country, you’ll find Mason County. It’s not a big county geographically speaking, but our wildflowers put on a ‘Really Big Show’ and we invite you to attend a ‘viewing’. To help you enjoy this show at a slow country pace, the Mason County Chamber of Commerce offers “Mason Historic Country Lanes”, this is a selection of three different drives through the county on the back roads. #1 – James River Road, #2- Fredonia-Pontotoc Drive; and #3 – Hilda Drive is available from the Mason County Chamber of Commerce.
DRIVE #1: FREDONIA – PONTOTOC DRIVE
- Take RR 386 north from NE corner of Courthouse Square in downtown Mason.
- Approx 8 miles, turn right on FM 2618. This area of Mason County is particularly scenic with hills, valleys and exposed granite boulders.
- Approx 7 miles, turn right on RR 1900. Road passes the first Fly Gap community school originally built in 1884.
- Approx 8 miles, intersect Hwy 29. At this point, driver can turn right to return to Mason or turn left to drive to Llano.
DRIVE #2: JAMES RIVER ROAD
- Drive south from Courthouse Square on Hwy 87 (Fredericksburg Hwy)
- Approx 1 mile, turn right on RR 1723. Several pre-1900 houses along road.
- Approx 3 miles, turn right on FM 2389. Look for historical marker on left for Todd Mountain Cemetery. John Wayne’s movie, The Searchers, based on Todd story.
- Approx 4 miles, reach double bridge crossing over Llano River. Road turns sharply right and becomes James River Road. (James River Road is gravel road, so it is a slow drive, but THE SCENERY IS SPECTACULAR)
- Approx 7 miles, reach James River. Turn around on gravel area and drive back to Mason.
DRIVE #3: HILDA DRIVE
- Drive south from Courthouse Square on Hwy 87 (Fredericksburg Hwy).
- Approx 11 miles, turn right on FM 783.
- Approx 3 miles, turn left on Simonsville Road.
- Approx 1 mile, watch for Turkey Mountain. Turn right on Loeffler Lane. You are driving through private property, please do NOT litter or trespass.
- Approx 3 miles, reach Hilda Methodist Church & Hilda community cemetery. This area provides excellent photo ops but please respect the sanctity of the area.
- Just past Church, turn left on FM 783. More scenery and old homes.
- Approx 6 miles, turn left on Threadgill Creek Road. This 10-mile gravel road EXTREMELY SCENIC with multiple low water crossings. Watch for wildlife and livestock.
- Approx 10 miles, reach Hwy 87. Turn left to return to Mason or turn right to drive to Fredericksburg.