Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge


(361) 286-3559

Map Directions

Things To Do



The bugle of an endangered whooping crane echoes across the far reaches of the marsh. Only at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge do North America's tallest birds find an enduring winter stronghold. Here, too, pelicans, herons, egrets, roseate spoonbills, ducks, and geese dine in brackish waters and salt marshes teeming with fishes, blue crabs, and clams. On shore, javelinas, bobcats and deer wander oak woodlands. Alligators peer from still waters of ponds and sloughs. Ringed by tidal marshes and broken by long, narrow sloughs, this 59,000-acres refuge sprawls mostly across the Blackjack penisula, where grasslands, live oaks, and redbay thickets cover deep sandy soils. Storms and waters of the Gulf of Mexico constantly reshape this vital refuge, home to over 390 different bird species.

You will find the refuge to be an excellent place for observing and studying wildlife and plants. The following facilities are available for visitors:

* 16-mile, paved tour road. * Wildlife Interpretive Center. * 40-foot observation tower. * Several miles of walking trails. * Picnic area.

A few simple rules: * Daily registration is required of all visitors. * Pets must be leashed. * Please observe speed limits and watch for wildlife crossing roadways. * All firearms must be unloaded and broken down and/or cased while on the refuge.

When you visit: # The Refuge Public Use Area is open from sunrise to sunset. # The Wildlife Interpretive Center is open daily 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. # Poisonous snakes are present; watch your step. # There is no public camping on the refuge. # Mosquito repellant is recommended. # There are no facilities on the refuge to provide food or fuel. Hopper's Landing (3 miles) and Tivoli (14 miles) have the closest gas stations. Food, motels, and campgrounds can be found 35 miles away in Rockport, Port Lavaca, and Refugio.

Map of Aransas NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 28.235440, -96.878128



  • Bird Watching

    The mild winters, bay waters and abundant food supply attract more than 400 species of birds to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, including the whooping crane, one of North America's rarest birds.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is not permitted in the park.



From Rockport, TX, take Highway 35 north approximately 20 miles. Turn right on FM 774, go approximately 9 miles to FM 2040. Turn right and follow FM 2040 for about 7 miles to refuge entrance.

Phone Numbers


(361) 286-3559