November 1, 2014

Wild Texas Parks: Brazos Bend State Park - Needville, TX

Brazos Bend State Park
Needville, Texas (Fort Bend County)


Get Campsite & Facility Reservations   Download a Park Map from TPWD

About the State Park

40 Acre Lake Trail
24k JPEG
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.

Park Ratings

Explanation of Symbols
Campsites/Overnight Facilities*** 3 star
Leashed Pets Permitted?Animated Running Dog 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

15k JPEG
Copyright © Justin W. Moore
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.

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
  • moorhen*
  • Northern cardinal
  • Northern mockingbird
  • brown thrasher*
  • black & white warbler*
  • mottled duck
  • great egret
  • snowy egret
  • anhingua*
  • 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
  • Location

    The park is located about 30 miles southwest of Houston. Travel south on State Highway 288 to Rosharon, then proceed west on FM 1462.

    The nearest major Texas cities are: San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christi

    Maps for Brazos Bend State Park

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    Coordinates for GPS Users:

    29.38024° Latitude    -95.59713° Longitude (WGS84/NAD83; decimal degrees)
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    Hours

    Open 7 days a week year-round from 8 AM to 10 PM for day use activities.

    Check for restricted park access before any trip. When controlled public hunts are in progress, general access is not permitted.

    Fees

    A park entrance fee is charged per day -- $3 per person for adults 13 years of age and older. (Texas residents age 65 or older pay only $2 per person.) NOTE: Listed fees may not be accurate year-round due to seasonal changes. Contact the park directly to confirm fees.

    Campsite and other facility fees are in addition to the park entrance fee.

    Note: Learn about the $60 Texas State Parks Pass which exempts passholders, and the passengers in their vehicle, from the entrance fees at all Texas State Parks.

    Reservations

    Reserve Now for campsites or other park facilities.

    Reservations can also be made by calling TPWD's Central Reservation System at (512)389-8900 from 9 AM to 8 PM Monday through Friday, 9 AM to noon on Saturdays.

    Needville, Texas Weather

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    Volunteer Opportunities

    Contact the Brazos Bend SP Volunteer Organization, the officially recognized non-profit support group of Brazos Bend State Park, at 21901 FM 762, Needville, TX 77461.

    Official Contact Information

    The State Park is managed by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

    Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Brazos Bend State Park
    21901 FM 762
    Needville, TX 77461

    Telephone: (979)553-5102
    TPWD Park Info: 1-800-792-1112

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