Ok, I'll admit it. I visited this park for one reason only… to see alligators.
Brazos Bend State Park does have other attractions like miles of hiking trails, campsites, water fowl and migratory birds, but the real attraction for me was simply to see live alligators in their natural habitat. If you have the same motive, this park will not disappoint.
This park is located outside of Houston. During much of the year the temperature can be warm to hot and muggy. I think that the best time of the year to visit might be in the winter during November, December or January. At other times of the year you may need to fight off mosquitos as big as alligators.
There are a number of trails to hike, but I chose trails that would provide the greatest opportunity to see alligators. So we hiked along the 40 Acre Lake to Elm Lake Loop. We first saw a number of water fowl - ducks, cranes, egrets. Then right along the trail we saw a fairly large alligator. Now there are signs that warn to stay a safe distance away from the alligators and it is solid advice. But simply staying on the trail allowed me to pass about 30 feet in front of a resting alligator. I'm guessing that if the alligator wanted to get up and chase me it could have. I just calculated that I didn't need to be faster than the alligator, I just needed to be faster than my hiking buddies.
We all survived and it was a pleasant experience.
Best day park around. Easy parking, easy hiking & beautiful nature. Gators, gators, gators!!!
Went again, and we saw gators at the nature center. Cool
If you go in the summer you need to watch out for mosquitoes. The observatory is amazing on clear nights.🏕🚀
Great state park with ample campsites. Watch for alligators when you fish! They have a nice visitor information area where you can learn about the park and maybe hold a baby alligator. They also have a star gazing show at the Observatory. Book ahead because they fill fast.
Very nice park close to my home in Houston. Have not camped yet but it is on my radar. Enjoyed the center where they bring out the snakes and baby gators. Nice for bicycles and fishing. Will return soon
Brazos Bend is alligator headquarters! This is my son's favorite park, right up next to Dinosaur Valley State Park. So first i'll tell you that the facilities are nice and pretty new it looked like. There are tent, group, equestrian, and RV sites, plus cabins and screened shelters. They have a few hike and bike trails, but nothing very challenging or long, but everything else they have is what makes it the bomb!
There are six lakes, a creek, and the Brazos river in the park, so if you go during summer take bug spray, or bugs will eat you alive. Also tons of spiders…so yeah. You can fish at some of the lakes, and most of the lakes have a viewing pier where you can bird watch and look for big alligators.
OK, the Nature center is the coolest thing ever!!! They have snakes, spiders, and lots of fun stuff for kids. My son got to touch a king snake and a baby alligator, which was so cool. They also have lots of planned activities going on, so make sure you check the calendar or ask a park ranger if they have an event going on. We got so lucky that they had a group of alligator hatchlings that they brought out for all the kids to see and did a whole informative, interactive discussion. They brought out like 60 baby alligators in tubs and showed the kids how they feed them and how they would release them back into the wild. It was the most amazing thing! They made sure every kid got to touch one, and there were a lot of kids.
So yeah alligators are awesome, but on top of all of that, there is an observatory in the park. If you go on the weekends they have tours and shows at the observatory. There is an extra fee, but it is well worth it.
Bring a hat, sunscreen, good shoes, and bug spray is a must!
Quite, very patrolled by its staff driving by every hour, great hiking trails, well maintained and close to Houston
If alligators are what you want to see, you will find them here. We stayed in the primative campground in a tent and had no problems with alligators coming in the campsite. They are in the lake and swamp area and may be sunning on the hiking trails. They won't bother you if you walk around them. The picnic sites and pavilions are nice.
This is a simple state park with lots of information on wildlife, and, if you're lucky, you'll spot alligators. No need to strap on the hiking backpack or anything like that because all the trails are flat. I didn't spot any alligators, but I did come across a huge feral hog. After a few seconds of a standstill, he ran away and I continued on the trail.