Chandor Nature Trail


Along the Chandor Nature Trail 

By Eileen Leslie & Christie Tull, members of Chandor Gardens Foundation & Friends (April 13, 2021)


The following information is intended to give a starting point for the creation of interpretive signage with QR codes by the Parks & Recreation Department, City of Weatherford, and suggestions for trail users to engage and more fully experience the trail beyond just taking a walk. This urban nature trail presents a unique opportunity to connect those who walk it to the natural world around them. It also presents an interesting juxtaposition with the formal cultivated gardens of Chandor Gardens. 


Where in the world are we?

This part of Texas is commonly referred to as the Western Cross Timbers area (oak trees and prairies). Even though the Chandor Nature Trail is only half a mile in length, it is comprised of two distinct ecosystem sub-areas common of the Western Cross Timbers.    

Upper portion of the trail:

  • Escarpment of caliche clay and sedimentary fossils consisting of a mix of sandy prairie grassland with smaller shrubs and trees. 

Lower portion of the trail: 

  • Forested with loamy soil and a seasonal riparian (near a water source) zone.  


What do you see?

There is a diverse mix of flora and fauna, some seasonal and others present year round, to be found along the Chandor Nature Trail. Below you will find a short list of the most common and easily identifiable species found along the trail.  

For those visitors who have a keener interest in identifying more diverse species (plants, animals, birds, insects, reptiles) which they encounter along the trail, they could be informed/encouraged at the entrance to the trail about the free iNaturalist app. This app can easily be download on to a smart phone and provides the ability to quickly identify the name of what is being observed in nature. It is an excellent interactive tool for species identification, and it also allows users to actively participate in true research data collection.  iNaturalist ( iNaturalist is a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society. It is “Nature at your fingertips.”


Listing of the most commonly found species observed along the Chandor Nature Trail: 

Note: The trail was only built late in 2020 so there has not yet been a full year of observations made.  


Native Plant Species:

Lower portion of trail:

  • Bur Oak (Quercus'macrocarpa)
  • Texas Red Oak (Quercus'buckleyi)
  • Juniper [Eastern Red Cedar] – (Juniperus'virginiana)
  • Rusty Blackhaw (Viburnum'rufidulum)
  • Texas Redbud (Cercis'canadensis'var.'texensis)
  • Wild Plum [Chicksaw Plum] (Prunus angustifolia)
  • Aromatic Sumac [Fragrant Sumac] - (Rhus'aromatica)
  • Western White Honeysuckle (Lonicera'albiflora)
  • Cherry Laurel (prunus caroliniana)
  • Moss/Lichens – various species observed but not yet identified 

Native plant species continued …


Upper portion of the trail:

  • Pale Leaf Yucca (Yucca'pallida) – This is a special species for the trail, as Pale-leaf yucca is endemic (native only to a particular area) to North Central Texas.  
  • Texas Prickly Pear (Opuntia engelmannii)
  • Juniper [Eastern Red Cedar] – (Juniperus'virginiana)
  • Live Oak [White Oak] – (Quercus'fusiformis)
  • Grasses? – various species observed but still need to identify the species present  
  • Wildflowers: (Note these are currently just a few of the early spring varieties more will be added as identified throughout the year)
  1. Fineleaf Fournerved Daisy (Tetraneuris linearifolia)
  2. Fringed Puccoon (Lithospermum incisum)
  3. Eastern Bluestar [Amsonia] – (Amsonia tabernaemontana)
  4. Drummond’s Onion (Allium'stellatum)



Invasive Plant Species: 

Not all plant species seen along the trail are native Texas plants; many are invasive plant species. An “invasive species” is defined as a species that is non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm. An invasive species grows/reproduces and spreads rapidly, establishes over large areas, and persists. Species that become invasive succeed due to favorable environmental conditions and lack of natural predators, competitors and diseases that normally regulate their populations. Caused by: livestock watering areas/over grazing, dumps, garden debris, bird and animal scat containing scarified seeds.


  • Chinese Privet (Ligustrum sinense
  • Japanese Privet (Ligustrum japonicum)
  • Heavenly Bamboo (Nadina domestica)
  • Chinese Pistachio (Pistacia chinensis)
  • Redtip Photina (Photonia x fraseri)
  • Garden Iris? – waiting for it to bloom in order to identify the particular species




Note: Some birds are migratory, some year-round inhabitants.

  • Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
  • Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis)
  • Ruby Crown Kinglet (Regulus calendulas)
  • Northern Mockingbird (Minus polyglottos)
  • Carolina Wren (Thryothorus Iudovicianus)
  • American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
  • American Crow (Corvus brachyrbynchos)
  • Red Shoulder Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
  • Greater Road Runner (Geococcyx californianus)
  • Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)




A visitor might see the actual animal or simply see footprints, scat (feces), bones, and dens indicating the presence of the particular animal. 

  • Eastern Fox Squirrel
  • Coyote (Canis latrans)
  • Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
  • Red Fox ((Vulpes vulpes) – introduced species to Texas
  • Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)
  • Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)
  • White Tail Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
  • Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)
  • Raccoon (Procyon lotor)
  • Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis)
  • Eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius)
  • White-footed Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus)



Additional categories that could be further identified and interpreted:


Insects (present but not yet species identified along the trail)





True Bugs 

Pollinators - Bees



Dragon flies/Damsel Flies




Reptiles (possible but none yet observed along the trail)

Copperhead Snake

Western Diamond Back Rattlesnake 

Western Hog-nosed Snake

Eastern Box Turtle

Green Tree Frog

Ground Skink



What’s in this place for me?

  • Access to nature has major mental, physical, and economic benefits.
  • Recreation:  A simple walk in nature satisfies our innate need to connect to our natural world, increasing our overall wellbeing.  Mental abilities, stress recovery, social and physical fitness are all improved. Reflect on how the impressions of the trail affect you and your thoughts.
  • Environmental quality:  Green spaces are natural filters for water, air pollution, and temperature reduction.  The plant, animal, and insect life green spaces host are crucial to preserving our ecosystem.
  • Essential to economy:  Parks and greenspaces increase property values, which more than offset their expense (imagine New York City without Central Park!).   Outdoor activities and nature tourism such as birdwatching, iNatting (using the iNaturalist app), proximity to animals, and enjoying outdoors with friends are so popular that 81% of citizen stakeholders surveyed want open space conservation.
  • Dark skies setting:  The world animals see has been drastically changed by continuous electric light.  Their life cycles and migration patterns are affected.  Each patch of natural green space, especially when contiguous with other green spaces, helps other species survive and thrive.  We see the world differently, too! 
Chandor Trail Map
Chandor Nature Trail Image 3
Chandor Nature Trail Image 2
Chandor Nature Trail Image 1