12 miles northeast of Fredericksburg is the
hidden jewel of Gillespie County, Willow City, Texas (population 75).
Willow City is the gateway to "The Willow City Loop" which is a 20 or
so mile stretch of beautiful Texas back road that any motorcyclist will
enjoy. If you haven't ridden this jewel, then it is time to plan a trip
towards Fredericksburg and experience what the Willow City Loop has to
offer. You will not be disappointed.
narrow road winds up, down and around green hills highlighted with
wildflowers including large bluebonnet displays, Indian paintbrush and
more. There are numerous cattle guards, farm gates
and low water crossing so be prepared for most anything. Oh did I say
cattle like to wander on the roadway as well? The Willow City Loop is just wide enough for two cars,
provided both hug the side and the cattle get out of the way. One word
of caution, if you go during the peak of the bluebonnet show, be
prepared for a lot of other slow moving cars. To really enjoy the
Willow City Loop, I like to go after the bluebonnets are done blooming,
usually late April or early May. The Willow City Loop is also a great
Fall season ride as well. Get a group of friends together and go ride
ride takes about 30 minutes to complete. If you happen to stop, DO NOT
cross onto private property. All property around the Loop is privately
owned so please respect that.
are two really great places to stop and relax, eat and wet your throat
while riding the Willow City Loop, one is "Harry's on the Loop" and the
other is "The Knot on the Loop Saloon". Both are a must see while
riding the Loop.
Knot in the Loop Saloon is well....not in the Loop but you must pass by
it on your way to Willow City from Fredericksburg. To quote them it
is "Part Saloon and Part Wild West-O-Rama." Wander around, check
the walls, the rafters, toss a dollar on the ceiling... It's all
so rustic/eccentric, tong in chic, it's a feast for the eyes.
you are in Willow City, stop at Harry's on the Loop, a bar/restaurant
with "Ice, Beer, BBQ & much more." It's a great place to down an
icy Lone Star, either inside or outside in the grove of picnic tables.
Harry's on the Loop is what the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop is to
Leaky. You just have to stop in. It is part of the ride. If you haven't
irritated Harry before you leave, he may even ask you to sign the
building's graffiti-covered walls.
To Willow City Loop:
Austin, take 290 West to Fredericksburg. From there, go 12 miles north
on Highway 16, then right on FM 1323. Go about two miles to Willow
City; the Loop begins there.
Kerrville, take Highway 16 North through Fredericksburg, then right on
FM 1323. Go about two miles to Willow City; the Loop begins there.
All photos on this page courtesy of
Michael Knight - Southlake, TX