Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Laguna Madre Loop

Laguna Madre Loop map

Laguna Madre Loop mapLos FresnosPalo Alto Battlefield National ParkLaguna VistaPort Isabel

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More information:

  • Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce,
    Phone: (800) 527-6102, (956) 943-2262
    Email: info@portisabel.org
    Web: www.portisabel.org
  • Los Fresnos Area Chamber of Commerce
    Phone: (956) 233-4488

030.gif LTC 030 Los Fresnos

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

From the intersection of US 77/83 and TX 100, go east on TX 100 toward FM 1847 in Los Fresnos. Along TX 100 there are numerous resacas for the first few miles, all worth checking for waterbirds (Masked Duck is a possibility in any of these ponds). Least Grebe, Anhinga, Neotropic Cormorant, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, and a variety of wintering waterfowl should be found in these lakes.

In Los Fresnos check the city’s water treatment ponds on the south side of town. Access is limited, so call ahead to check entry regulations at (956) 233-9121. To reach the ponds from US 77/83, drive east on TX 100 6.2 miles. Turn south (right) on Nogal opposite a sign for the Ethel L. Whipple Memorial Library. Continue 0.4 mile to the water treatment plant. Turn right on the dirt road just before the chain link fence and proceed cautiously to the two diked ponds. Watch for such species as Harris’s Hawk, Plain Chachalaca, Long-billed Thrasher, Bewick’s Wren, and Olive Sparrow. Several species of ducks and shorebirds are likely to be present. During summer, nesting Killdeer, Willets, and Black-necked Stilts vigorously defend their territories. One visit produced a dozen species of dragonflies and damselflies including the typically coastal Marl Pennant and Seaside Dragonlet.

The Inn at Chachalaca Bend is a bed-and-breakfast for birding enthusiasts near Los Fresnos. There are nature trails and resacas within their forty acres, allowing for a leisurely birding respite. The Inn maintains numerous hummingbird feeders. Green-breasted Mango appeared here in May 1999!

The Inn at Chachalaca Bend
200 Chachalaca Bend
P.O. Box 197
Los Fresnos, Texas 78566
(956) 233-1180, (888) 612-6800
Email: Inn@chachalaca.com
Web: www.chachalaca.com

031.gif LTC 031 Palo Alto Battlefield

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

From the intersection of TX 100 and FM 1847, go south on FM 1847 approximately 3.5 miles to the Palo Alto Battlefield National Park.

At this site on May 8, 1846, three future presidents fought in the first major battle of the Mexican-American War: General Zachary Taylor and Ulysses S. Grant for the Americans, and General Mariano Arista for the Mexicans. A short nature trail and parking area have been developed at this battlefield. The nature trail crosses a short section of coastal brush and prairie. Birds such as Long-billed Thrasher, Olive Sparrow, Green Jay, Harris’s Hawk, and Chihuahuan Raven may be found during a brief walk along the trail.

032.gif LTC 032 Laguna Vista

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Winter

Site open for day use only.

Return north on FM 1847 to TX 100, and then continue east to FM 510 in Laguna Vista. As you approach Laguna Vista, notice the seasonal wetlands bordering TX 100. These wetlands attract impressive flocks of waterfowl during winter. Check the telephone poles in this area for Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, Harris’s Hawk, and White-tailed Hawk. Go northwest on FM 510 approximately 5 miles to Buena Vista Rd. There are numerous opportunities to view the Laguna Madre along this drive, particularly at Roloff Park (0.7 mile from the intersection of TX 100 and FM 510). Check the tower in Laguna Vista during the evening for Great Horned Owl.

For Laguna Atascosa NWR (LTC 024), continue north on Buena Vista Rd. to FM 106, and then continue north on Buena Vista Rd. to Laguna Atascosa NWR.

033.gif LTC 033 Port Isabel

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Winter

Site open for day use only.

Return to TX 100, and then continue east to Port Isabel. Parking is available near the Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historical Park, and you may walk to the water’s edge for a splendid view of the Laguna Madre. Brown Pelicans are ever present; cormorants and various waterfowl may be viewed from this vantage point. While in Port Isabel, cross TX 100 to S. Tarnava St. and the Port Isabel Historical Museum (Champion Building). An impressive collection of historical memorabilia tells the story of the original settling of this once remote area. Return to TX 100 and continue east to the Queen Isabella Causeway.


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