Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron Eating Snake at Brazos Bend – Pic courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

Brazos Bend State Park near Houston has ranked 11th in a list of the best parks in the US according to a recent survey. 

The HomeToGo survey has mapped the Top US State Parks keeping in mind recreational opportunities far exciting than a simple picking by the lake or a hike up a local mountain. With 21 parks from 16 states, the survey takes into account the park’s size, annual visitors, the biodiversity it hosts as well as the nearby accommodations and their prices to make a list that tourists can turn to for picking an adventurous and rejuvenating state park trip.

The Brazos Bend State Park, a mere 45 miles from Houston offers many things to do including hiking & biking trails,  camping, birdwatching, fishing, stargazing and more! 

Things to do at Brazos Bend State Park Near Houston

1. Brazos Bend is a must visit for wildlife enthusiasts

American Alligator

American Alligator at Brazos Bend – Image Courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife Facebook page

At the Brazos Bend State Park, visitors can view a great mix of wildlife ranging from deer, birds and river otters to armadillos and alligators. Enveloped in nature, full of clean air and green cover, this state park near Houston is the perfect place for Houstonians to simply pack a bag and escape into a peaceful natural environment.

The 5000-acre park is a huge area with 37 miles of trails, an observatory and a nature center that features exhibits on the varied reptiles and the three ecosystems that thrive in this region. The Creekfield Lake Nature Trail is a tour of the park’s wetlands complete with an acces­si­ble board­walk and obser­vation deck from where outdoor enthusiasts can watch the animals go by. The Elm Lake and 40 Acre Lake are both recommended points for spotting birds, alli­gators and other wildlife.

2. Hiking & Biking trails at Brazos Bend State Park near Houston

Biking Trails at Brazos Bend

Biking trails at Brazos Bend – Pic courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

Brazos Bend is a state park that can be explored on foot, on a bike or even horseback!  The hike and bike trails circle lakes and connect with each other heading into the hardwood forest. And if you are perhaps an equestrian on horseback, you can avail of 13 miles of multi use trails as well as a spot at the primitive campsite designed specifically with your horses in mind.

3. Fishing, Birdwatching Paradise


Heron at Brazos Bend – Pic courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

Along with nature trails and campsites, what makes this place all the more exciting is fishing from the shore at one of the lakes or fishing piers right in the park.

And if that’s not enough, Brazos Bend has a stream of activities in store all year round including the Birding Hike for amateur and enthusiast birdwatchers alike to spot as many as 300 varieties of birds that can be glimpsed in the state park, all year round.

Be sure to check the Interactive Trails Map of Brazos Bend to go on a virtual tour of the state park.

4. Stargazing at the George Observatory 

George Observatory

George Observatory at Brazos Bend – Pic courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

Do your kids have an interest in space? Have they looked through a telescope at Mars or Saturn’s rings? The George Observatory, which has been open since the Fall of 1989, is a great place to take your family to learn about the universe. Visitors are urged to bring their own binoculars or telescopes to see the night sky under the supervision of an expert.

The George Observatory recently completed 2 years of renovation and now has real-time camera feeds from telescopes and laser tours of the night sky with trained astronomers!


So this summer, consider giving Brazos Bend a visit to enjoy the mesmerizing greenery of the lush forest, bike along trails under the shades of trees wrapped in Spanish moss, gaze at the stars from the George Observatory and spot alligators along the route for a thoroughly fun filled and memorable vacation!


To know more about the activities that Brazos Bend State Park offers, click here


And if you are looking for parks within Houston itself, there are plenty to choose from. Check out our post on Best Parks In Houston to find one near you


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