Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Trinity Loop

Trinity Loop map

Trinity Loop mapLake CharlotteLibertySheldon SP & WMALake Houston SPBig Creek Scenic AreaW.G. Jones SFMercer Arboretum and Botanical GardensJesse H. Jones Nature Center

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More information:

  • Greater Conroe/Lake Conroe Area Chamber of Commerce
    (800) 283-6645
    Email: info@chamber.montgomery.tx.us
    www.chamber.montgomery.tx.us
  • Humble Area Chamber of Commerce
    (281) 446-2128
    Email: chamber@humblearea.com
    www.humblearea.com
  • Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
    (409) 336-5736
    Email: chamber@misday.com
    www.libertytoday.com

031.gif UTC 031 Lake Charlotte

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead.

The next few loops use Winnie as an initial point of reference. From Winnie, continue west on I-10 to FM 563, then travel north on FM 563 to Lake Charlotte Road. Travel west on Lake Charlotte Road to Lake Charlotte (about 1.3 miles). The recreational facilities at Lake Charlotte have yet to be constructed; therefore, access to this site is presently restricted. However, permission to visit Lake Charlotte may be obtained by contacting the ACOE Wallisville office at 409-389-2285. The cypress swamp bordering Lake Charlotte is one of the most impressive remaining on the upper Texas coast. Bald Eagles have nested in this area for several years.

032.gif UTC 032 Liberty

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to FM 563, then continue north on FM 563 to US 90 and Liberty. Liberty is situated on the banks of the Trinity River, one of the great Texas rivers that bisects the state on its dash to the Gulf. Although not a major birding destination in its own right, Liberty does have several parks and sanctuaries that offer a chance to bird the surrounding bottomland forests. In addition, Liberty, with a number of engaging bed-and-breakfast and traditional hotels, is well-situated to serve as a base from which to bird this intriguing region of Texas (Audubon Lodge, located near the intersection of US 90 and FM 1008, offers bed-and-birding accommodations. Contact this lodge at 409-258-9141). To bird Liberty proper, continue west on US 90 (from its intersection with FM 563) to Loop 227 (Main Street). Travel north (veering east) on Main Street to Cook Road, then go north on Cook Road to the Liberty Municipal Park. Return to Main Street, and go south to Monta. Travel west on Monta to Bowie. From Bowie, you may continue west to the Liberty Flood Control Levee along the Trinity River, or veer south to the Liberty City Cemetery. Additional sites of interest include the Trinity River historic bridge (U.S. 90 at the Trinity River), and the Liberty ferry landing (Lamar Street at the Trinity River). The Trinity River NWR, presently being established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has its office in Liberty. Although not currently open to the public, it is anticipated that birding access will be provided in the future.

033.gif UTC 033 Sheldon SP and WMA

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Winter

Site open for day use only. Fee charged.

From Liberty, continue west on US 90 to Sheldon Road. Go north on Sheldon Road to Garrett Road, then west on Garrett Road to Sheldon SP and WMA. Buckhorn Lake (which you will pass as you near the SP) is an excellent spot for Anhingas and Ospreys. Sheldon SP and WMA is most productive in winter, with flocks of waterfowl blanketing the various lakes and ponds. The surrounding weedy fields may hold a variety of sparrows, including Le Conte’s.

034.gif UTC 034 Lake Houston SP

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open daily. Developed camping available. Fee charged.

Return to US 90, then continue east on US 90 to FM 2100. Go north on FM 2100 to FM 1960, then continue north (FM 2100 will eventually veer west and become FM 1485) to Baptist Encampment Road. Travel south on Baptist Encampment Road to Lake Houston SP (situated in the San Jacinto River bottomlands along the upper reach of the lake). Many of the typical eastern woodland birds may be seen along the nature trails that meander through the dense bottomland forests.

035.gif UTC 035 Big Creek Scenic Area

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons (particularly late Spring and Summer)

Site open for day use only.

Return to FM 1485, and continue west to US 59. Go north on US 59 to Cleveland and FM 2025, and continue north on FM 2025 to FM 2666. The Sam Houston NF has developed an interpretive site in a Red-cockaded Woodpecker group approximately 0.2 mile south of the intersection of FM 2025 and FM 2666. Travel east on FM 2666 to FR 221, north on FR 221 to FR 217, and then east on FR 217 to Big Creek Scenic Area. Louisiana Waterthrushes nest along Big Creek, and Worm- eating Warblers have been found along the nature trails in summer. If you enjoy dragonflies, look for Gray Petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi) near the parking area.

036.gif UTC 036 W.G. Jones SF

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

From Cleveland, go west on TX 105 to Loop 336 near Conroe. Go south on Loop 336 to I-45, then continue south on I-45 to FM 1488. Travel west on FM 1488 to W.G. Jones State Forest (SF). The Texas Forest Service (who maintains this location) reported 18 groups of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers in this forest in 1997. The office of the Texas Forest Service is open daily 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and an information packet containing a bird checklist and a detailed map of the woodpecker clusters may be obtained there. Please, do not disturb these birds by playing tapes or knocking on the painted cavity trees.

037.gif UTC 037 Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to I-45, and continue south to FM 1960. Go east on FM 1960 to Aldine-Westfield Road, then north on Aldine-Westfield to Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Although primarily an urban nature center and botanical garden, Mercer Arboretum offers an opportunity to see many of the eastern woodland birds fairly close to Houston.

038.gif UTC 038 Jesse H. Jones Nature Center

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to FM 1960, and continue east on FM 1960 to Kenswick. Go north on Kenswick to Jesse H. Jones Nature Center. Like Mercer Arboretum, Jesse H. Jones is an urban nature center that provides Houstonians with a chance to get away from the city. Visitors should note that Jones SF, Mercer Arboretum, and Jesse Jones Nature Center are all located within an easy drive of George Bush International Airport.

Return to FM 1960, and continue east. If you wish to bird the south shore of Lake Houston, travel south on US 59, then east on Beltway 8 to reach Alexander Deussen County Park. Otherwise, continue traveling east on FM 1960 to US 90 and TX 146 in Dayton. Go south on TX 146 to I-10.


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