Texas, one of our countries largest and most diverse states offering such a great variety of beautiful ever-changing landscapes, rich enthralling history, and complex captivating culture, providing an almost endless list of things to do, places to see, and experiences to behold!
Nicole & I had the privilege to get a taste of Texas during the winter season between the months of October 2018 through May of the following year. The extremely popular time of year when a large number of nomadic travelers known as “snowbirds” or in Texas called “Winter Texans” who descend from the Northern regions of the country to escape the imposing winter elements in exchange for the utterly wonderful mild weather that encapsulates the states gulf coast shoreline.
During our time there, we did as we always do and took full advantage of every opportunity to explore the area and absorb as much as was possible during our allotted time there. One of the many areas that we discovered which really stuck out for us was a State Park called Brazos Bend.
Resting in an area just a few miles South & West of the Houston suburbs, I was utterly amazed at how serene and remote this gem of a park felt being so close to such a large city! I was also amazed to discover that being so close to the city that the park was not overly crowded, which was very nice as it preserved the natural element of peace and tranquility that we are particularly fond of when visiting these types of areas.
Brazos Bend is known as a Nature Lovers Paradise, which is what initially lured us to make our visit. We had learned from a few locals that the park was inhabited by an abundance of resident alligators and that the opportunity to see these awesome creatures in their natural environment was very high and that was all it took for us! But upon arriving at Brazos, we discovered that this fantastic wonderland contained so much more!
Visiting Brazos provides a full variety things to do such as hiking, biking, fishing, picnicking, bird & wildlife viewing, horseback riding, as well as several options for just about any style of overnight camping.
As with most Texas State Parks, there is a small per person entrance fee. The fee at Brazos Bend is $7 for individuals 13yrs or older, but children 12 and under are free. You can also avoid paying the entrance fee by obtaining a Texas State Parks Pass, which I would highly recommend if you are planning to spend much time exploring in Texas.
Keep in mind that camping fees are in addition to the entrance fee and vary based on the different types of site amenities that are available at each site. There are many types of sites to choose from that should accommodate just about any camping style or preference from tent sites to screened shelters, full-sized cabins, and RV sites with water, electricity, and an onsite dump station. RV sites can accommodate rigs up to 42′ in length.
The park is situated along a diverse system of ecosystems including wetlands, prairie land, and bottomland forest, which attract an equally stunning variety of native wildlife and migratory birds. Nature trails weave their way along the many ponds with occasional viewing platforms that provide ample opportunity to catch sight of each of these beautiful creatures. And though I was not aware of it at the time, I learned that fishing is permitted from the banks and that a fishing license is not required within Texas State Parks!
Brazos Bend State Park boasts some 37 total miles of beautiful trails to explore, some of which are wheelchair accessible while others are mixed-use and offer opportunities for horseback riding. Pets are welcome so long as they remain leashed at all times and follow the 6-foot maximum leash length restriction, which is not a bad idea in order to help prevent spot from becoming a potential afternoon alligator snack! But, with such an extensive trail system, I would highly recommend a sturdy pair of comfortable hiking shoes, plenty of water and maybe, if your anything like me, a few snacks as well as a decent pair of binoculars and or camera as there are many oprtunities for great sightings and photographs around every corner!
Also located onsite is a wonderful visitors center / nature museum with both living and preserved exibits of the local wildlife from the area. We were fortunate enough to have visited when the center had a baby alligator in their possession and were able to actually pet it! There were also a couple of Rngers onsite that did a wonderful job of explaining the history around the area and the park itself as well as answering questions about all the different wildlife that can be found in the park. I truly found this feature especially fascinating and thought it would be a highly entertaining stop for children too.
So, I must say, that no matter the occasion or time of year you might happen to find yourself in this region of beautiful Southern Texas and are looking for a fun, fascinating, outdoor activity to enjoy the sights and sounds of a truly natural paradise that the whole family, young to older can enjoy, We can highly recommend Brazos Bend State Park!
And if you have already visited Brazos before and happen to have any additional comments, suggestions, or advice for us or our readers, we would love to hear from you and welcome you to please posts those in our comment section below.