Wednesday, March 12, 2014

BACK TO BRAZOS BEND STATE PARK

March 11, 2014 – With a near perfect weather day, we decided to take a couple hikes at nearby Brazos Bend State Park. Located about 20 miles southwest of Houston, we last visited this park two years ago.

BRAZOS sign

Brazos has many different attractions including camping, biking trails, picnic areas, fishing piers, playgrounds, an observatory and of course hiking. Oh yea, and ALLIGATORS!

We hiked a couple of the trails including the Hale Lake Loop (2-miles), Bluestem Trail (1-mile), Pilant Slough Trail (1.5-miles), Elm Lake Loop (2.5-miles) and part of the 40-Acre Lake Trail (1.2-miles). There are over 25 miles of hiking trails in Brazos, we hiked only a small fraction of the available trails.

trail

Big Creek

Did we say alligators? We saw alligators on both the Hale Lake and 40-Acre Lake trails.

With all the rain we have had, Hale Lake is still very low.Hale Lake

The 40-Acre Lake trail circles the lake with dozens of alligators sunning themselves all along its banks. We saw one very large gator – probably the biggest we've ever seen.

A very big lazy gator at 40-Acre Lake.alligator

Oh, that sun feels so good.
two gators

All the trails were nearly deserted of other hikers. That surprised us, because all of Texas schools are on Spring Break either this week or next. We think is was one of those cases where the number of hikers quickly diminishes as you move farther and farther from the trail head. We did find a slew of hikers around the 40-Acre Lake trail. This is a very popular trail with parking right next to the lake. We found mom, dad, and the kids enjoying Spring Break vacation all around the lake. Nice to see them outside and enjoying nature.

40 acre lake

We saw so many different kinds of birds. What a wonderful treat! Both of us together know so little about birds. Judy knows more in her little pinky than we know in our entire bodies. We are going to take our best shot at identifying some of the lovelies. Please let us know if we have labeled any incorrectly. We are always in a learning mode.

Blue Heron
DSC09581

White Ibis
white ibis

Yellow-crowned night-heron bird?DSC09553

Of course, the turtles were out in full force. We love the way they stretch their little necks up to the sun.

turtles

We stopped at the visitors center, which of course was pretty crowded but not beyond being enjoyable. There are numerous wild animal displays including bobcats, alligators, snakes, spiders, turtles and more. We even got to crowd in line with the kids and pet a baby alligator!

visitor center

We both got to pet our first six-month old baby gator…very soft.
Marsha and baby gator

The flowers are beginning to bloom. So much beauty in one place.

flowers

flowers

We enjoyed our afternoon at Brazos Bend and will definitely return in the future. We recommend this fun park to anyone when visiting the Houston area.

See the gator in the background?
Brazos Bend State Park

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!

13 comments:

  1. Those gators are only an attraction from a distance. Glad you kept yours.

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  2. You walked around the edge of the lake knowing there were alligators there just waiting to greet you? Or, do I mean eat you?

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  3. We've never been to that park. Gotta do that one of these days.

    I married my Cajun hubby 25 years ago. We would come down to Louisiana/Texas no less than once or twice a year. I did not see my first Gator until four years ago.

    Also, saw my first armadillo last year. I was beginning to believe all of those creatures were just dead things along the road.

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  4. I like the looks of that trail. BUT, I just can't get past the gators - yup they scare me! Great pictures of the birds and turtles and of you and Paul too!

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  5. Is that shorts I see you wearing, Marsha!? It must have warmed up in TX finally. You certainly deserve some warmer weather.

    Sounds like a great day hiking. I love the gators. That is one big guy you got a photo of sunning itself. Beautiful photos of the birds.

    I love the selfie of you two:)

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  6. We didn't make over there when we were in the area. Maybe next time around. That is if I don;t forget by then. Looks like a great place to hike. On our way to Az.

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  7. That sure is a beautiful place! You do know that you put your scent on that baby alligator and the next time you come, he's going to smell you coming and just wait till the right minute and SNAP! You will be in his jaws....lol

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  8. Nice hike you had and nice to see those gators up close and personal.

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  9. Looks like you had a great day for a hike. Surprising the baby gator was soft!

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  10. LOVE that place. . .different each and every trip!

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  11. You done good on the bird ID's! For clarities sake, the first one is a Little Blue Heron, as opposed to a Great Blue Heron. :)

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  12. Like the size difference between the gators.

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