Brazos Bend State Park

Brazos Bend State Park lies just less than 30 miles southwest of Houston, Texas. The park encompasses 5,000 acres dotted with six lakes, three of which have piers for fishing or just observing the waterfowl and alligators that populate the area. Located at 104 feet over sea level, the park has facilities for camping, picnicking, cycling, and fishing and has three interpretive centers that schools or organizations can reserve for educational events during the week. The Nature Center is open on weekends for the public. The George Observatory is also open on weekends for tours. Visitors can observe the night sky on Saturday nights from the observatory.

This park is open all year long. Thirty-five miles of hiking and cycling trails, eight miles of horse trails and five miles of nature trails provide ample outdoor opportunities for park visitors. One of the trails is handicapped-accessible. A dining hall on site has air conditioning and heat, cooking appliances, running water. This building seats up to 150 people. Barbecue pits are available outside the dining hall.

The park’s camping sites include improved sites for RVs and truck campers and primitive sites for tent campers. The fees for the sites vary by amenity. Brazos Bend State Park has 20 campsites for people who bring their horses to ride on the park’s trails. People bringing horses into the park must provide proof that their horses have not tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia within the last 12 months. There are several group camping sites for youth. Fourteen of the campsites are enclosed with screen. With the exception of the group camping areas, no more than eight people are allowed per campsite. The park has showers and flush toilets for campers. Fires may be restricted during drought periods to protect the forests and grounds at this park. The state publishes these bans and the staff at the entry gates inform visitors of restrictions.

The park hugs parts of the Brazos River and Big Creek bisects the park. The trails go through hardwood forests. The trees at this park also include live oak, cottonwood and black willow. The annual rainfall is almost 44 inches per year, and the ground covers are lush. The park boasts over 300 different varieties of birds and 800 species of plants. The park has an observation stand where visitors can photograph and watch white-tailed deer, raccoon, grey fox, and bobcats. The park has 39 different species of dragonflies, as well.

There are two gift shops, at the park, one of which is located at the George Observatory. Brazos Bend State Park opens at 7 AM and closes at 10 PM. The park recommends reservations for camping or group picnicking, since it is so close to a major urban area. The park’s contact phone number is 979-553-5102. Its website is http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/brazos_bend/#fac.