Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Clear Lake Loop

Clear Lake Loop map

Clear Lake Loop mapMcHale ParkHester Garden ParkPine Gully ParkRobinson ParkArmand Bayou Nature CenterBay Area ParkNassau Bay ParkChallenger 7 Memorial ParkWalter Hall County ParkPaul Hopkins Community ParkAlvin Mustang Bayou Trail

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More information:

  • Alvin-Manvel Area Chamber of Commerce
    (281) 331-3944
    www.ci.alvin.tx.us/
  • Bay Area Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
    (800) 844-LAKE (5253) and (281) 338-0333
    Email: info@bahcvb.org
    www.visitbayareahouston.com
  • Friendswood Chamber of Commerce
    (281) 482-3329
    Email: fwdchamber@iwl.net

077.gif UTC 077 McHale Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Proceed north on TX 146 to the Kemah/Seabrook Bridge, and then immediately exit after crossing. Circle back south on Waterfront Drive, across Todville, into McHale Park. McHale Park is a lovely spot from which to view the western shore of Galveston Bay. Flotillas of American White Pelicans fish the nearshore waters in winter, and the adjacent marshes pull in scads of herons and egrets.

078.gif UTC 078 Hester Garden Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Winter

Site open for day use only.

Exit McHale Park, and go north on Todville to Hester Garden Park. The park, a former nursery, is an undiscovered gem. Until after World War II, most Houston birders traveled to this region of Galveston Bay to look for migrant landbirds. Hester Garden Park consists of an impressive variety of trees and shrubs. Check these woods in late fall and winter, since many of these plants are evergreen and are therefore attractive to lingering insectivores.

079.gif UTC 079 Pine Gully Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Winter

Site open for day use only.

Continue north on Todville to Pine Gully Drive, then go east on Pine Gully Drive to Pine Gully Park. This multi-use facility offers another view of Galveston Bay, and the trees within the park are worth inspecting for migrant landbirds. The wetland has been restored within this park, and should be checked for waterbirds.

080.gif UTC 080 Robinson Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations

Site open for day use only.

As you leave Pine Gully Park, return south on Todville to Red Bluff. Robinson Park is located near the intersection of Todville and Red Bluff. Robinson Park contains approximately 20 acres of old oaks, and a trail connects these woodlands with Pine Gully Park. Robinson Park is another woodlot to check as you are scouring this edge of Galveston Bay for migrants.

081.gif UTC 081 Armand Bayou Nature Center

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only. Fee charged.

From the intersection of Todville and Red Bluff Road, go west on Red Bluff Road to Old 146, then north on Old 146 a short distance back to Red Bluff Road. Continue northwest on Red Bluff Road to Bay Area Blvd., then west on Bay Area Blvd. to Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC). Sandwiched between NASA and the Bayport Industrial District, ABNC is a 2,500-acre wildlife preserve encompassing three distinct ecosystems: wetlands (estuarine bayou), woodlands (hardwood riparian forest), and tall-grass prairie. According to ABNC staff, “the center is the country’s largest urban nature preserve.”

A system of nature trails honeycombs the property, and the center operates a pontoon boat that plies the waters of Armand Bayou. ABNC staff and volunteers have spent countless hours restoring several hundred acres of coastal prairie, and grassland species such as Sedge Wren and Le Conte’s Sparrow are not difficult to find here. ABNC staff is available to answer questions about when and where to bird in the Clear Lake area.

Armand Bayou Nature Center
8500 Bay Area Boulevard
Houston, Texas 77258
Email: abnc@ghgcorp.com, www.ghgcorp.com/abnc/
(281) 474-2551

082.gif UTC 082 Bay Area Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Continue west on Bay Area Blvd. to Bay Area Park. This Harris County park is situated on Armand Bayou, and the parking area near the water offers an unobstructed view. Look for Osprey in migration and winter.

083.gif UTC 083 Nassau Bay Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Continue west on Bay Area Blvd. to Middlebrook Drive, then east on Middlebrook Drive to Space Center Blvd. Go south on Space Center Blvd. to NASA Road One, then west on NASA Road One to Upper Bay Road. The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston are both located along NASA Road One. Go south on Upper Bay Road to Nassau Bay Park. Although not a major birding destination, this city park offers a respite if you are in the area on business (not every trip to the Texas coast will be for pleasure!).

084.gif UTC 084 Challenger 7 Memorial Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to NASA Road One, and continue west to I-45 (you will cross TX 3 before you reach I-45). At I-45 NASA Road One becomes Wilson Road; continue west on Wilson Road to West NASA Blvd. Go south on West NASA Blvd. to Challenger 7 Memorial Park. An extensive nature trail and boardwalk has been developed in this park along Clear Creek. Many of the eastern woodland birds can be found here, and White-tailed Hawks nest in the general area.

085.gif UTC 085 Walter Hall County Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Winter

Site open for day use only.

Return to the intersection of TX 3 and NASA Road One, and go south on TX 3 to Walter Hall County Park. This multi-use facility has been developed for a variety of outdoor activities, but birding opportunities do exist along Clear Creek.

086.gif UTC 086 Paul Hopkins Community Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Winter

Site open for day use only.

Continue south on TX 3 to FM 517, then west on FM 517 to Paul Hopkins Community Park. This pocket park has a nature trail along the bayou, and migrant landbirds often pass along this waterway in spring. A number of eastern woodland birds, including Red-shouldered Hawk, nest in this woodland.

087.gif UTC 087 Alvin Mustang Bayou Trail

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Winter

Site open for day use only.

Proceed west on FM 517 to I-45, then continue west across I-45 to TX 35 in Alvin. Go south on TX 35 to TX 6, then west on TX 6 to BUS 35. Go south on BUS 35 to the Mustang Bayou Trail in Alvin (a trail head is located at the historic railroad depot that is being restored). Alvin is an ideal base from which to explore Brazos Bend SP (UTC 117). While in the area, check the woodlands along the Mustang Bayou Trail.

Brazos Bend SP may be reached by continuing south on BUS 35 to FM 1462, then west on FM 1462 to FM 762. Proceed north on FM 762 to Brazos Bend SP.


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