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40 Acre Lake Trail Copyright © Justin W. Moore
The Brazos River, coupled with numerous lakes, creeks and marshes, infuses Brazos Bend State Park with life. Located thirty minutes from Houston, Texas' largest city, the 4,897-acre park transports visitors to another world; that world is one in which American alligator, white-tailed deer, raccoon and bobcat reign supreme. Over 270 bird species have been observed within the park, making Brazos Bend a prime birding locale as well.
The park is particularly well laid-out, with more than twenty miles of hiking and mountain biking trails (Trail Map) traversing its wildlife-rich landscape. Several trails in the park are paved/handicapped accessible, including the .5 mile Creekfield Lake Nature Trail which features special signage for the visually impaired. Fishing is permitted from the lighted fishing piers along Elm Lake, Hale Lake, and 40 Acre Lake. Picnic tables are located in scenic lakeside areas throughout the park.
Visitors wishing to stay overnight in the park have several hundred campsites to choose from, ranging from RV and tent sites to screened shelters. An ampitheatre and dining hall are available. The George Observatory, located near Creekfield Lake, is an especially unique man-made feature of the park. The observatory houses several telescopes, including a 36-inch reflector that is usually available for public viewing on Saturday evenings from 3 PM to 10 PM; call (409)553-3400 for more information.
Explanation of Symbols Campsites/Overnight Facilities 3 star Leashed Pets Permitted? YES Picnic Areas/Playgrounds 4 star Solitude 3 star Trail System 3 star Water Recreation 0 star Wildlife 4 star Ratings are based on a scale of 0 (low) to 4 (high).
Wild Texas Notebook
Justin and I have explored much of Brazos Bend State Park, including the 1.2-mile 40 Acre Lake Trail and the observation tower near Pilant Lake.
Copyright © Justin W. Moore
Check out our panoramic photo taken from the observation tower.
As much as we have raved about the alligators at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, it has nothing on Brazos Bend. We saw at least eight American alligators during our visit. Every twenty steps or so we found another alligator--a pair sunning on the lakeshore, others floating menacingly in the waters, some sliding up to the waters edge as we approached.
While the alligators are hard to ignore, the bird life is equally conspicuous. During our three hour visit, we added several species(*) to our life lists:
Brazos Bend Birding Report
- American crow
- American coot
- blue winged teal
- great-tailed grackle
- turkey vulture
- red-winged blackbird
- pied-billed grebe
- Northern cardinal
- Northern mockingbird
- brown thrasher*
- black & white warbler*
- mottled duck
- great egret
- snowy egret
- double-crested cormorant
- white ibis
- common yellowthroat*
- American bittern*
- tri-colored heron
- little blue heron
- great blue heron
- black-capped chickadee
- white-faced ibis
- cinammon teal*
- tufted titmouse
For more information, read our trip reports:
Birding on the Bayou Camping at Brazos Bend
The nearest major Texas cities are: San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christi
Check for restricted park access before any trip.
Campsite and other facility fees are in addition to the park entrance fee.
Visit parks often? Learn about the $70 Texas State Parks Pass which exempts the passholder, and the passengers in their vehicle, from the entrance fees at all Texas State Parks.
Reservations can also be made by calling TPWD's Central Reservation System at
|Brazos Bend State Park
21901 FM 762
Needville, TX 77461
TPWD Park Info: 1-800-792-1112