Wildlife Bluff Nature Center is located in Amarillo, Texas. Visitors will enjoy the outdoor recreational activities offered by the center. Wildcat Bluff encompasses six hundred and forty acres of the Texas Panhandle. The center was originally a part of the Frying Pan Ranch, a historical property.
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The Nature center has five miles of trails, five acres of accessible, pave paths, and a dig pit that serves as a learning tool for students about the prehistory of the Texas Panhandle. Wildcat Bluff is also home to the Gilvin Science Education Building, and a portion of the Gregg-Marcy Santa Fe Trail.
The Wildcat Bluff Nature Center’s mission is to cultivate an understanding, appreciation, and awareness of nature on the Texas Panhandle, and to boost education in natural sciences from both a historical and current viewpoint. The goals of the Center include educating and encouraging the public, teachers, and students about the environments and habitats of the natural world. This can be accomplished through hands-on activities and direct discovery. The Center also seeks to inspire a sense of responsibility in people to take care of the environment. The Wildcat Bluff Nature Center manages its acreage as an outdoor classroom and living museum.
Things to Do
The Wildcat Bluff Nature Center offers five miles of trails, five acres of paved paths, a pit for digging and learning about the prehistory of the Panhandle, the Gilvin Science Education Building, and a part of the Gregg-Marcy Santa Fe Trail.
Hiking- The Center offers five miles of trails for hiking and exploring the wildlife of the Texas Panhandle. Trails include the Windmill Trail, Upper Bluff Trail, the Lower Bluff Trail and Libb Trail. While hiking these trails, hikers can explore the old windmill which still works, The Bluff Overlook which looks down on the portion of the Gregg-Marcy Santa Fe Trail that is encompassed in the center, and the Wildlife Rehab area of the Nature center.
Veranda- The veranda offers visitors a place to stay in the shade on hot days and view the birds of the Panhandle as they come to the feeders. During the cooler months of the year, mule deer can be seen drinking water and foraging for food. The veranda also offers a Free-Exchange Library for visitors who like enjoy the peace of sitting outside and reading.
Gilvin Nature Science Building- This building is used for classes and meetings that are hosted inside by the Center. Other organizations that visitors can be involved in that have free meetings at the building include Friends of Wildcat Bluff, Amarillo Area Photography Club, and Panhandle Archaeological Society.
Visitor’s Center- All visitors to the Center who wish to take advantage of the hiking trails are required to stop in a register on the Visitor’s Log. The Visitor’s Center also offers brochures full of information and displays about the Nature Center. These amenities allow visitors to learn about the wildlife and how to observe them.
Tours- The Wildcat Bluff Nature Center offers several kinds of guided tours.
· Custom Tours- The center offers specialized tours for visitors interested in a subject such as insect hunting, birding, plants, deer watching, and photo opportunities and historic sites. These tours can be organized for groups and individuals.
· Scheduled Tours- Scheduled tours are led by naturalists on certain dates and times.
· Self-Guided Tours- There are several types of self-guided tours visitors can embark on.
o Visitor’s Center and Nature Walks- This tour is for visitors who want to explore the sidewalks around the Centers and the Libbs Trail which offers a tiny representation of the wildlife within five acres of the center.
o Published Self-Guided Tours- These tours are in development and can be planned before visitors get to the center. The tour information includes a map and labeled locations with some of the plants, geology, plants, and history. Each location labeled on the map has a number that corresponds to a marker, a description, GPS coordinates, and a QR code along with a URL for more details.
The Wildcat Bluff Nature Center offers several educational opportunities for visitors of all ages. These opportunities include:
· Guided Hikes for all ages
· Self-Guided Hikes for all ages
· Animals of the High Plains for ages kindergarten through sixth grade
· Amphibians and Reptiles for ages kindergarten through sixth grade
· Texas Insects and Their Relatives for ages kindergarten through sixth grade
· Geology Rocks! For ages third grade to eighth grade.
· Talking Bones and Rocks for ages third grade through eighth grade
· Walking in Their Footsteps for ages third grade through seventh grade.
The Center also offers an outreach program that involves school field trips. If students are unable to make it to the center, the Center sends educators out to the schools to offer educational activities.
2301 N. Soncy, Amarillo, TX 79124, Phone: 806-352-6007