Shield Ranch Barton Creek

A 6,400-acre nationally designated historic district and protected wildland comprising 10% of the Barton Creek watershed.

Conservation Management

Shield Ranch Barton Creek is located on the eastern edge of the Texas Hill Country just 20 miles southwest of Austin. The Ranch is sustainably managed for the benefit of people and nature. To support our ambitious land management program, we partner with conservation organizations, universities, and governmental entities.

Permanently Protected

Shield Ranch Barton Creek is protected in perpetuity by two conservation easements held by The Nature Conservancy and the City of Austin. The easements preclude commercial development while allowing traditional agricultural and recreational activities and limited development within strict parameters for a small number of family residences, ecotourism activities and facilities for nonprofit use. The permanent protection of Shield Ranch represents a significant investment by the Shield-Ayres-Bowen family and the citizens of Austin in the protection of Barton Creek and Barton Springs.

National Historic District

Shield Ranch Barton Creek is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Ranch is significant for its rare intact collection of 19th- and 20th-century vernacular resources that represent the evolution of agricultural land use along the eastern edge of the Hill Country including the ca. 1873 Haas Log Cabin.

Scientific Research and Monitoring

Shield Ranch Barton Creek provides a real-world environment for scientists and students to work and learn by conducting ecological, hydrogeological, and historical research. This research contributes to the public knowledge of our region and advances our understanding of methods for better stewarding the natural and cultural resources of the Ranch.


Shield Ranch Barton Creek
9433 Bee Caves Road, Suite 140
Austin, TX 78733

For Any Ranch Emergencies, Dial 911.