Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Anahuac Loop

Anahuac Loop map

Anahuac Loop mapWhite Memorial ParkWallisville ReservoirAnahuac Pumping StationFort Anahuac ParkDouble Bayou ParkSmith Point & James H. Robbins Memorial ParkCandy Abshier WMAAnahuac NWR (Main Entrance)Anauac NWR (East Bay Bayou Tract)

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More information:

  • Anahuac Area Chamber of Commerce
    (409) 267-4190
  • Chambers County Office of Economic Development
    (409) 267-8225 or 267-8228
    Email: nitebird@pernet.net
    http://meredith@co.chambers.tx.us
  • Wallisville Heritage Park
    (409) 389-2252
    Email: wallisvilleheritagepark@juno.com
  • Winnie Area Chamber of Commerce
    (409) 296-2231
    www.winnietexas.com

042.gif UTC 042 White Memorial Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Summer

Site open daily. Developed camping available. Fee charged.

From San Jacinto Battleground/Monument SHP, travel north on TX 146 to I-10, then go east on I-10 to TX 61. Traveling from Winnie, go west on I-10 to TX 61 (Exit 813). Go south on TX 61 a short distance to White Memorial Park. White Memorial Park, located on Turtle Bayou, hosts an impressive selection of eastern woodland birds. Hairy Woodpeckers and Brown-headed Nuthatches are seen infrequently, and Pine, Swainson’s, and Hooded warblers nest here as well as in the surrounding forests. Prothonotary Warblers are often seen along Turtle Bayou in the summer.

043.gif UTC 043 Wallisville Reservoir

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to I-10, and continue west to the Trinity River. Cross the Trinity River bridge, and exit immediately. Turn back east toward the river on the service road, and continue under the bridge to the Wallisville Reservoir West Levee. The levee is 4 miles in length, and is accessible only by foot. To obtain permission to visit this area, contact the ACOE Wallisville office at 409-389-2285.

Continue west on the service road to the I-10 E access ramp. Go east on I-10, across the Trinity River, to Exit 806 (approximately 1 mile). Loop back west on the service road to the Trinity River and the Trinity River Mouth Waterbird Rookery (immediately to the south). The rookery may be viewed from the service road. Look for Anhingas, White Ibis, Little Blue Herons, and Roseate Spoonbills in this area.

Continue east on I-10 to Levee Road (approximately 1.1 miles) and the Wallisville Reservoir East Levee. The East Levee is being developed as a public access point for the reservoir. Another interesting area is the Horseshoe Ponds Trail. Continue east from Exit 807 at Wallisville, cross under the freeway, then return west on the north service road for approximately 0.5 mile.

044.gif UTC 044 Anahuac Pumping Station

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

From the Wallisville Reservoir East Levee, go south on Levee Road to Wallisville-Turtle Bayou Road. Turn east on Wallisville-Turtle Bayou Road to FM 563 (the woods along Wallisville-Turtle Bayou Road can be excellent in spring). Go south on FM 563 to TX 61, then west on TX 61 to the Anahuac Pumping Station. The Chambers-Liberty Counties Navigation District has developed a nature trail along the levee that impounds Lake Anahuac. Public parking is available at the beginning of the levee, and foot traffic is allowed during daylight hours. The trail is bordered by woodlands, fresh and brackish marshes, and the open waters of Trinity Bay and Lake Anahuac.

045.gif UTC 045 Fort Anahuac Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations

Site open daily. Developed camping available. Fee charged.

Return east on TX 61 to South Main, then go south on South Main to Fort Anahuac Park. The trees in this city park, bordering Lake Anahuac, should be checked during migrations for landbirds.

046.gif UTC 046 Double Bayou Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations

Site open daily. Developed camping available. Fee charged.

Continue south on TX 61 to Eagle Ferry Road, and go east on Eagle Ferry Road to Double Bayou Park. During migrations (particularly during the spring), no park or sanctuary is too insignificant to discount in a search for migrant landbirds. Migrants can appear ANYWHERE, so take a chance! Double Bayou Park is another small tract that should be inspected as you travel toward the more famous migrant traps such as High Island.

047.gif UTC 047 Smith Point and James H. Robbins Memorial Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Continue east on Eagle Ferry Road to FM 562. Go south on FM 562 to its intersection with FM 1985, then veer west to continue on FM 562 to Smith Point Road in Smith Point. Smith Point is one of the most isolated and undeveloped coastal peninsulas left along the Texas coast. The marshes and open grasslands along FM 562 are productive throughout the year. Travel west on Smith Point Road to Hawkins Camp Road, then go north on Hawkins Camp to James H. Robbins Memorial Park. Robbins Park, with its observation platform, offers an unobstructed view of Trinity Bay. Look for Magnificent Frigatebirds in summer and fall, both species of pelican, and an assortment of gulls and terns. The oak mottes (isolated stands of trees) along Hawkins Camp Road attract migrant landbirds in spring and fall. The Spoonbill RV Park, situated on Trinity Bay off Hawkins Camp Road, caters to birders (409-267-4190).

048.gif UTC 048 Candy Abshier WMA

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations (especially Fall), Winter

Site open for day use only.

Return on Hawkins Camp Road to Smith Point Road, then return west to the Candy Abshier WMA (look for the GTCBT sign marking the entrance road). Candy Abshier WMA is famous for the daily hawk watches that are conducted here from early August to November. These watches are sponsored by the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory (GCBO), the Houston Ornithology Group, and Hawk Watch International (contact the GCBO at 713-789-GCBO for information). No autumn trip to the Texas coast is complete without joining one of these coastal hawk watches for a day. In addition to the tens of thousands of Mississippi Kites, Broad-winged Hawks, Swainson’s Hawks, falcons, and accipiters that are seen annually, unusual species such as Swallow-tailed Kite are often reported from these watches. The oaks in Candy Abshier WMA attract migrant landbirds, and Henslow’s Sparrows have wintered in the grassy fields near the observation platform.

049.gif UTC 049 Anahuac NWR (Main Entrance)

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return east on Smith Point Road / FM 562 to the intersection of FM 562 and FM 1985. Continue east on FM 1985 to Anahuac NWR (Main Entrance). Anahuac NWR is one of the premier waterfowl refuges on the Texas coast. Greater White-fronted and Snow goose flocks (with a few Ross’ mixed in) crowd the marshes and wet fields throughout the winter. After entering the refuge, travel the first levee to the west toward Shoveler Pond. The willows to the north of the levee are excellent for migrants in spring and fall (check these trees in late August for Empidonax Flycatchers). Continue around Shoveler Pond. Least Bitterns (in summer), American Bitterns (in winter and migration), and Marsh Wrens (in summer) are common in these cattail marshes. Check the open waters of Shoveler Pond for Canvasbacks and Redheads (Masked Ducks have bred here in the past). Common Moorhens and Purple Gallinules are abundant breeders in the marshes that border the tour loop, and American Alligators and Nutria abound. After returning to the main entrance road, continue south toward Trinity Bay. Short-eared Owls patrol these coastal prairies in the winter and spring (look around sunset). Sprague’s Pipits winter along the road east of Crossover Road. Finally, the seemingly endless marshes in Anahuac are home to all of the regular rails in the U.S.—Clappers, Kings, Virginias, and Soras are all regularly seen from the tour loop. Yellow Rails demand a bit of effort, and hikes into the Yellow Rail Prairie (dragging a rope to flush the rails) are periodically scheduled (contact the refuge at 409-267-3337 for information).

050.gif UTC 050 Anahuac NWR (East Bay Bayou Tract)

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Winter

Site open for day use only.

Continue east on FM 1985 to the Anahuac NWR (East Bay Bayou Tract). Refuge personnel, assisted by the Friends of Anahuac Refuge, have developed a 1.5-mile nature trail along the east side of East Bay Bayou. The woods along the bayou offer another excellent opportunity to look for landbirds in migration. In addition, the refuge maintains a series of wet fields for shorebirds near the entrance to this tract (along FM 1985). Hudsonian Godwits, Buff-breasted Sandpipers, and White-rumped Sandpipers are regularly seen here in spring.

Continue east on FM 1985 to TX 124. The rice fields along FM 1985 often teem with shorebirds during spring migration. A late spring morning spent in this area (to see the freshwater shorebirds), combined with an afternoon at Bolivar Flats (to see the saltwater species), should yield between 30 and 35 different shorebird species.

From the intersection of FM 1985 and TX 124, go south on TX 124 to High Island and the Bolivar Loop.


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