Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Texana Loop

Texana Loop map

Texana Loop mapLake Texana Mustang Creek Boat RampMustang Creek Recreation AreaLake Texana State ParkBrackenridge Plantation Park and CampgroundPalmetto Bend DamLavaca / Navidad EstuaryBennett ParkGarcitas Creek Boat Ramp

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More information:

  • Jackson County Chamber of Commerce
    P.O. Box 788
    Edna, Texas 77957
    (361) 782-7146

018.gif CTC 018 Lake Texana Mustang Creek Boat Ramp

Suggested Seasons to visit: Winter, Migration

Site open for day use only.

The Lavaca Navidad River Authority (LNRA) Mustang Creek boat ramp near Ganado offers the opportunity to park and bird the oak woodlands that typify the bottomlands of the sister rivers: the Navidad and the Lavaca. Eastern woodland species such as Red-shouldered Hawk, Pileated Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, and Carolina Chickadee abound here. Wood Ducks often spill out over the woodlands in early morning while the lake waters around the boat ramp are frequently swarming with a variety of dabbling ducks.

019.gif CTC 019 Mustang Creek Recreation Area

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons except for Summer

Site open daily. Developed camping available.

This interesting wooded enclave is admittedly difficult to find. From Ganado, go west on Loop 522 W to FM 2982 S, then turn left (south) on FM 2982 to CR 249. Turn left (east) on CR 249, and drive straight to the entrance of the Mustang Creek Recreation Area. Relatively unspoiled and rarely visited, this forested area offers the opportunity to see a variety of eastern woodland birds, most of which are identical to those seen in Lake Texana State Park (SP). However, migration tends to shuffle the deck, and one will never know exactly what to expect at any given location. Wilderness camping is allowed.

020.gif CTC 020 Lake Texana State Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open daily. Developed camping available. Fee charged.

To reach the LNRA Lake Texana Boat Ramp and then Lake Texana State Park, continue southwest on US 59 and cross the Lake Texana bridge. Immediately west of the lake exit for the LNRA boat ramp on the north side of the lake.

Continue southwest on US 59, turn north on FM 530 for a stretch of interesting roadside birding between Cordele and Vienna, including the Navidad River crossing in Lavaca County.

Return to US 59 and continue southwest on US 59 to Edna, then turn south on TX 111. Continue on TX 111 as it veers to the east until reaching the entrance to Lake Texana SP (approximately 6.5 miles from Edna). In pre-European Texas, prairie grasslands dominated the coastal landscape. Only along the rivers that intermittently bisect these coastal grasslands were there woodlands. Lake Texana SP safeguards an example of this Texas coastal riparian forest, as well as the woodland birds that inhabit such a forest. Mississippi Kite (in summer), Red-bellied, Downy, and Pileated woodpeckers, Carolina Chickadee, and American Crow are examples of eastern species that soon disappear (to be replaced by more tropical species) as one drifts to the south. The park offers overnight facilities (campsites with water and electrical hookups, showers, restrooms).

Lake Texana State Park
P.O. Box 760
Edna, Texas 77957
(361) 782-5718

021.gif CTC 021 Brackenridge Plantation Park and Campground

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open daily. Developed camping available. Fee charged.

With similar habitats, birds, and facilities as the state park, Brackenridge Plantation is a private counterpart to the public facilities at the state park. Brackenridge Plantation is located directly across TX 111 from the entrance to Lake Texana SP. Full hook-ups are available at this campground.

Brackenridge Campground
P.O. Box 487
Edna, Texas 77957
(361) 782-5249 or (361) 782-7145

022.gif CTC 022 Palmetto Bend Dam

Suggested Seasons to visit: Winter

Site open for day use only.

Return west on TX 111 to the intersection with FM 3131, then travel south on FM 3131 as it turns east to Palmetto Bend Dam. The agricultural fields along FM 3131 are attractive to grassland shorebirds in the spring, so be alert for flocks of American Golden-Plovers, Long-billed Curlews, and Upland Sandpipers. Turn left (east) on CR 417, and continue to Lake Texana and the LNRA Simon’s Boat Ramp. Returning to FM 3131, continue 2 miles south to Palmetto Bend Dam. Upon reaching Palmetto Bend Dam, park in the designated sites and scan the lake for loons, grebes, and diving ducks. In recent years Palmetto Bend Dam has been among the most consistent locations along the Texas coast to see Western Grebe. Also listen for a variety of woodland birds in the bottomland forest below the dam.

023.gif CTC 023 Lavaca/Navidad Estuary

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Enhancements: Parking, Observation Platform.

Continue on FM 3131 east to the intersection with FM 1593, then turn right (south) on FM 1593 until reaching FM 616 at Lolita. Turn right again (west) on FM 616, and proceed until reaching the observation deck on FM 616 that overlooks the Lavaca / Navidad estuary. Few sites along the Texas coast match this estuary for its wildlife spectacle. The thousands of herons, egrets, spoonbills, Anhingas, ducks, bitterns, and shorebirds milling in, above, and around these marshes will thrill even the most stone-hearted observers. In late summer and early fall look for Wood Stork, a wading bird that breeds in the tropics to our south but migrates north after nesting to loaf along the Texas coast.

024.gif CTC 024 Bennett Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migration

Site open for day use only.

Local birders consider Bennett Park to be the foremost site for migration birding in Jackson County. The number of migrants to be seen along the Texas coast is always a reflection of weather conditions, yet Bennett Park always rates a visit even if only briefly. The palms within this small park (40 acres) are Mexican palmettos or Texas sabal palms (Sabal mexicanas), a species once thought limited in Texas to the Rio Grande Valley in southernmost Texas. The palms in the park occur here naturally and if left undisturbed will eventually grow to tree size. To reach the park, continue west on FM 616 and turn right (north) on CR 325 at LaSalle. Cross the tracks, and at the T-intersection (0.7 mile) follow CR 325 left. Turn left on CR 326 (1.3 miles) to the entrance to the park (1 mile).

025.gif CTC 025 Garcitas Creek Boat Ramp

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migration

Site open for day use only.

Retrace your path from Bennett Park to FM 616 at LaSalle, then continue west on FM 616 to the Garcitas Creek crossing. Park at the boat ramp, and bird the surrounding woodlands. The boat ramp offers a similar habitat to Bennett Park, and with proper weather conditions (inclement) migrants will enliven these woods as well. Check the marshes adjacent to the boat ramp for Common Yellowthroat, Marsh Wren, and the two species of waterthrush in migration. Please do not cross fences or trespass on adjacent private property.


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