:: updated March 2017 ::
It’s a sure sign of spring seeing bluebonnet patches pop up on local green spaces. In Fort Worth, we are located within “the Bluebonnet Triangle.” If you imagine the area of Houston, San Antonio, and DFW as the corners and add in Hill Country, this is where the majority of bluebonnets in Texas grow.
When it comes to photographing your children in bluebonnets each spring, it’s not only a great way to show how much the child has grown over the year, but your family can also take pride in participating in one of Texas’ time-honored local traditions.
And while there isn’t a guarantee any given location will provide you the perfect photo backdrop, these special spots below are known to be among the best patches around, and usually peek around mid-April.
Ennis, Texas: Ennis is probably the most well-known place to see large areas covered by Texas’ state flower. In 1997, the State Legislature designated it the “Official Bluebonnet City of Texas.” Located about 60 miles southeast of Fort Worth, the drive is a pretty doable day trip. Given that they are known for widespread bluebonnet blankets, it’s easily the best bet for stunning displays. The town’s 40 miles of mapped Bluebonnet Trails sees about 100,000 visitors during the annual sightseeing event April 1-30. The trails are supported by the Ennis Garden Club, whose members regularly drive the trails and post the bloom status weekly, starting in April on the Ennis Convention and Visitors Bureau website so visitors can stay informed where the best flowers are. You can take the self-guided tour (click here to download the map) or stop by the Ennis Visitor Center to get a highlighted trail map and talk to someone about the best bluebonnet drive.
Willow Park, Texas: Located near a police and fire station are a few small fields known for a stellar bluebonnet crop — well off from the road where you can safely monitor your children. To get there, head west on I-20, take Exit 418 Willow Park/Ranch House, and turn right. Continue on Ranch House Road for about a mile, and then turn left at the police and fire station at W. Stagecoach Trail. Just past the station on your left will be a public play area perfect for toddlers. Surrounding the play area are some small, tree-scattered fields where the bluebonnets should be in their glory come mid-April. There are a couple of picnic tables too, so it really could make for a nice little, sunny picnic spot.
Texas Hill Country: Hill Country is also a known bluebonnet hotspot. Instead of spreading wide into fields as in Ennis, Hill Country bluebonnets and other wildflowers typically line roadways. And while it’s not possible to get out and be photographed in the wildflowers off the highways because of safety concerns, it sure provides some pleasurable springtime viewing for the whole family — from the safe confines of your automobile.
Benbrook YMCA/Dutch Branch Park Area: There are many fields located around the Benbrook YMCA and Dutch Branch Park off Highway 377, so this area is definitely worth a look if you want to stay closer to town. In recent years there were tons of bluebonnets by the nearby FWYSA soccer fields off of Winscott Road, where you can safely park in a parking lot and photograph your children far away from the road.
Another spot in Benbrook: Navigate your way to the back of the Chisholm Trail Dental off of Highway 377 (381 Mercedes St, Benbrook, TX 76126) office for a surprising patch of plentiful bluebonnets among a somewhat rocky, picturesque terrain.
Grand Prairie: From Interstate 20 West, exit Highway 360 South. Continue on 360 South to Broad Street and take a left. Broad Street will become England Parkway as you enter the community of Mira Lagos. Continue on England Parkway until you come to Grand Peninsula, which will be a four-way stop. Turn left on Grand Peninsula and travel about a mile. The patches of bluebonnets will be on the left where they are building new houses. (Address for GPS: 2824 Mastil Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas 75054.)
Mansfield: The Oliver Nature Park has an entire section that boasts wildflowers, but the bluebonnets are the star of the show.
Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT): There have been some sightings of bluebonnet patches at the BRIT, located on University Drive in Fort Worth.
Take Interstate 20 East to Texas 408 Spur: Bluebonnets are plentiful close to this area. There is a shoulder along Texas 408 Spur, if you feel it’s safe to pull over along there.
Texas Bluebonnet Sightings: Follow them on Facebook and receive updates from follower-submitted sightings. These will be wildflower patches all over Texas, so you may not be inclined to pick up and hop in the car to any and all, however, it’s still fun to take a peek at some of the beautiful displays around our great state.
Around area lakes: One spot in particular seems to stand out, a patch on High Road at Lake Grapevine in Flower Mound that features a narrow, rocky path that cuts through the bluebonnets, and looks to be quite a hidden gem of a location.
One more tip: To show even more Texas pride, consider wearing jeans with white or red shirts for boys or white or red dresses for girls, as both seem to be popular color scheme choices that contrast well with the blue.
If you are not interested in snapping your own shot, many local photographers offer mini sessions to capture that perfect bluebonnet pic. Check out the Fort Worth Moms Blog’s “Guide to Fort Worth Area Photographers!”
Wherever you find bluebonnets, I hope it’s a lush, beautifully rustic patch, located in a safe area, for you to frolic in this wonderful Texas tradition.
Where are your family’s favorite places to take bluebonnet photos?