Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge

Texas

(979) 849-7771

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The thunder of 40,000 snow geese taking flight, the salty breeze off the Texas Gulf, or the sight of a 12-foot alligator loafing on a muddy bank make a trip to Texas Mid-Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex a sensory banquet in any season. Three national wildlife refuges -Brazoria, San Bernard and Big Boggy - form a vital complex of coastal wetlands harboring more than 300 bird species. They serve as an end point of the Central Flyway for waterfowl in winter, and an entry point for neotropical migratory songbirds tired from a 600-mile Gulf crossing from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Near greater Houston, the refuge complex offers haven for both wildlife and people. For wildlife, the expanse of salt and freshwater marshes, sloughs, ponds, coastal prairies, and bottomland forest represent feasting and lodging for all or part of the year. For people, these vestiges of wild Texas offer exceptional wildlife watching. Freshwater sloughs wind through salt marshes. Rare, native bluestem prairie graces the uplands. The greater the number of habitats, the richer the ecology. Brazoria NWR is no exception. It has a key location on the Texas Gulf which helps Freeport draw one of the highest Audubon Christmas bird counts in the nation - more than 200 species.

Brazoria NWR is open every day from dawn to dusk.

Map of Brazoria NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 29.065194, -95.319432

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Activities

  • Boating

    At the Brazoria NWR, a new launching ramp was built to allow access of non-motorized boats, kayaks and canoes into the Salt Lake recreation area.

  • Bird Watching

    The Texas Mid-Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex has been designated as an internationally significant shorebird site by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. This designation indicates that the combined complex hosted over 100,000 shorebirds during spring migration. Dowitchers, dunlins, lesser yellowlegs, semipalmated and western sandpipers can best be observed in the spring between mid-March and mid-May and in the fall between July and September.

    While great numbers of shorebirds crowd the shorelines and shallow water, thousands of waterfowl fill the marshes and freshwater ponds. The winds spread the calling of the many rail species while carrying passerines during their long migration.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The park offers a 7 mile self-guided auto tour.

  • Fishing

    The Brazoria and San Bernard National Wildlife Refuges have established new public use facilities for fishing opportunities.

    At the Brazoria NWR, a new launching ramp was built to allow access of non-motorized boats, kayaks and canoes into the Salt Lake recreation area. The new facilities include an open shelter with a picnic table, a boat ramp with floating dock for loading/unloading and an accessible fishing area with restroom and parking space.

    The Cedar Lake Creek fishing area has been improved at the San Bernard NWR. A new accessible fishing pier and parking space provides easy access to the creek while the Cedar Lake Creek Fishing Trail takes the adventurous angler up stream for nearly 300 yards of relaxing fishing and crabbing. The trail also provides great birding opportunities during the spring and fall migration.

    Fishing is allowed year-round. The refuge has a handicapped fishing area at Bastrop Bayou. To reach the designated area, cross over the bridge and circle under it. Bank fishing for redfish, spotted seatrout, black drum, sheepshead, and flounder is allowed at the Clay Banks, which are accessible via a gravel road running south from the Bastrop fishing pier, and at the Salt Lake area. Boat fishing is permitted on Salt, Nicks, and Lost lakes by way of the Intracoastal Waterway or Bastrop Bayou. Boats are not allowed to be launched at the Salt Lake Fishing Area parking lot

  • Hiking

    Be sure to stop at the Discovery Center as you enter the refuge. Two diarama's on freshwater wetlands and coastal woodlands are currently on display. The refuge is working on additional interpretive panels to describe the major habitats across the refuge. Walk out on the boardwalk across wetlands to the Big Slough hiking trail. This could be your first chance to see an alligator. A boardwalk bench offers a quiet spot for absorbing the beauty of the marsh.

  • Hunting

    Waterfowl hunting for ducks, geese, and coots is permitted on Christmas Point Hunting Area (southeast of the Intracoastal Waterway on 4,000 acres) reached by boat access only and on Middle Bayou (1500 acres), reached by both walk-in and boat access. The regular waterfowl season runs from late Oct. through mid-Jan. For details please view the links listed below or contact the complex office at 979/964-4011. No fees are charged and no special use permits are required for hunting these areas.

Directions

Driving

From the intersection of Highway 288 and FM 523 in Angleton, take FM 523 to FM 2004 intersection. Continue on 523 for 5.5 miles to County Road 227. Turn left on CR 227 and proceed 1.7 miles to the refuge entrance and Big Slough public use area. The refuge office is located 5 miles northeast of the intersection of FM 523 and FM 2004 on FM 2004. The Refuge Complex Office is located on the San Bernard NWR. From the intersection of FM 2004 and SH 288 in Lake Jackson, Take FM 2004 west. FM 2004 becomes FM 2611 when you cross SH 36 south of Brazoria, Texas. Continue on FM 2611, crossing the San Bernard River. Continue 3.5 miles to County Road 316.

Flying

The nearest major airport is George Bush International Airport in Houston, TX.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(979) 849-7771

Links