Soaring Through the Canyon of the Eagles
By: Suzanne Ferrara
Nestled in the heart of the stunning Highland Lake region of Texas’ Hill Country is a 940-acre escape for wellness and relaxation. The Canyon of the Eagles resort in Burnet, Texas is a place to unplug yourself from all of your cares while enjoying breath-taking surroundings and natural offerings that nurture your soul.
You will certainly immerse yourself in a world oozing with flora and fauna. The Canyon of the Eagles offers several activities including nature walks, guided-wildflower and wildlife nature hikes, birding and yoga. The resort’s stunning terrain is a refuge chock-full of wildlife, including the endangered black-capped vireo, golden-cheeked warbler, and American bald eagle. The resort offers 14-miles of trails and views and access to glistening Lake Buchanan. (Fact: This very landscape was conducive to a large Native American community, and guests have found artifacts such as arrowheads). The resort’s master gardener, Willard Horn, will show you just how easy it is to procure a green thumb in his garden workshops. (Tip: From March through May, there’s a dazzling display of color including the gorgeous Texas Bluebonnets. One more natural event worth scheduling? April and October are the best times to witness the spectacle of thousands of migrating monarch butterflies).
From the ground to the sky, Canyon of the Eagles delivers it all including an escape to outer space! One of the best astronomic viewing sites in the country is offered right here at the resort’s Eagle Eye Observatory, due in part to the unmatched dark-sky location. This is a true journey into the stars and planets, one unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. The amazing astronomer, Jim Sheets, will literally open up your world to some of the most unforgettable and awe-inspiring sites you can view from earth— many by way of the naked eye and some through the greatest astrological technology available. (Fact: The resort’s observatory is operated by the esteemed Austin Astronomical Society and includes state-of-the-art telescopes with computer-enhanced imaging and instrumentation). With the help of the observatory’s unique sliding-roof– which opens up to the Texas night sky– you will have unmatched views of the moon, distant stars and deep sky objects. This is a magical opportunity, and you will never see the stars and the sky the same way again.
While the view of Lake Buchanan is stunning from the resort, getting out onto the water gives you another unforgettable vantage point, and taking a complimentary wilderness cruise or kayaking right from the resort’s docks is a must. The resort’s private cruises take you close to the breathtaking labyrinth, one of several hypnotic spots where you can relax. Nature guide Steven DeBorde will help you get up close with the stunning rock formations and waterfalls unique to the area; he can also help you master the paddle board as well. Need more things to do? Take part in the resort’s reptile show, listen to live music by local musicians or enjoy several family fun activities including making smores by a beautiful fire.
One of many beautiful spots at the resort is Sunset Point, which overlooks the lake and—as per its name— has one of the most amazing sunsets in view. (Fact: This is a very popular spot for weddings). It’s at this stunning spot that guest can join a yoga class in this breathtaking point. Yoga instructor and health coach Barbara Martinez, who is also the resort’s program manager, has an amazing and de-stressing lake-view yoga class. A yoga instructor for several years all across the region, Martinez has the gift of intuitiveness and can easily get a feel for her guests’ abilities. This class is unintimidating and is for every level; in fact, you will wish the amazing and compassionate Martinez offered yoga in your hometown!! (Tip: After yoga, take a tip in the resort’s refreshing outdoor pool).
Hungry? Do not miss breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Overlook Restaurant which offers a panoramic view of the lake and the stunning terrain. There’s a dual fireplace which opens to the outside patio as well as the inside of the restaurant, and has an outside deck with, yes, grand views. The Overlook offers scrumptious Texas cuisine including steaks, signature dishes and house-made desserts and has an extensive wine list. The Canyon of the Eagles culinary team incorporates the freshest of ingredients, many which come right from the resort’s garden, into their dishes. (Dietary Tip: Their full-service restaurant caters to dietary requirements and offers vegan dishes as well as gluten-free options). (Tip: Grab a boxed lunch or snack for a picnic, hike or to take to your rooms at Guest Services).
Before and after dinner, wet your whistle at the Eagles Nest Lounge which overlooks the lake. Award-winning bartender, Steven Ysais, makes one of the best Margaritas and Manhattans around! Steve is also a consummate mixologist and one of the friendliest people on the planet. Speaking of caring staff, Cindy Bowers, who operates the Eagle Canyon Resort, has an unmatched innate knack for taking care of her guests which is emulated throughout her staff which are all truly one big family. Bower’s has a deep love and passion for preserving Mother Nature’s wonders and runs the Eagle Canyon Resort like a well-oiled machine. (Tip: Be sure to meet Nick Itayem, the Director of Guest Services. Nick is not only a great resource for guest but he will go above and beyond, like the rest of the staff, to meet your wants and needs).
Speaking of rooms, all are ground-level and have rocking chairs and a porch. For some of the best views on the grounds request the following rooms: M2, M3, N2 and N3. Rooms in the ‘P’ Building that face the forest are great for waking up to deer right outside your window! The two corner lake-view rooms at Sunset Point are very nice as well (and those rooms are: J4 and K1); there are also double rooms with connecting doors and a shared porch for larger parties.
You’ll find that in just one day at this unparalleled natural setting, you’ll reach an extremely peaceful state; it will be hard to tear yourself away from the Eagle of the Canyons and its caring people and return to the fast-paced world. One thing is almost certain: you’ll be thankful for the bit of respite you received amid this unparalleled backdrop of flora and fauna, and you’ll long to return to this natural oasis.