Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, Big Slough Trail

Freeport, Texas

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This wildlife refuge, along with the nearby San Bernard and Big Boggy refuges, provides vital coastal wetlands for migrating waterfowl in winter and is an entry point for songbirds migrating across the Gulf of Mexico. The salt and freshwater marshes, sloughs, ponds, coastal prairies, and bottomland forest create great opportunities for wildlife watching. Brazoria’s 5000-acre native bluestem prairie is one of the last in Texas. Watch for spiderwebs across the trail, listen for the sounds of birds, and observe the seasonal wildflowers and their attendant butterflies. There is an observation platform over the slough, surrounded by cattails, a good spot to linger and observe. Be careful of snakes, as cottonmouth and rattlesnakes do appear here, although more common are rat and water snakes, which eat small rodents. Snakes may be sunning on the trail on wet days but are most likely buried in the mud when it is hot. Bats, purple martins, chimney swifts, and dragonflies are here to take advantage of the abundant mosquito buffet.

Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, Big Slough Trail Professional Review and Guide

"This wildlife refuge, along with the nearby San Bernard and Big Boggy refuges, provides vital coastal wetlands for migrating waterfowl in winter and is an entry point for songbirds migrating across the Gulf of Mexico. The salt and freshwater marshes, sloughs, ponds, coastal prairies, and bottomland forest create great opportunities for wildlife watching. Brazoria’s 5000-acre native bluestem prairie is one of the last in Texas.

Watch for spiderwebs across the trail, listen for the sounds of birds, and observe the seasonal wildflowers and their attendant butterflies. There is an observation platform over the slough, surrounded by cattails, a good spot to linger and observe. Be careful of snakes, as cottonmouth and rattlesnakes do appear here, although more common are rat and water snakes, which eat small rodents. Snakes may be sunning on the trail on wet days but are most likely buried in the mud when it is hot. Bats, purple martins, chimney swifts, and dragonflies are here to take advantage of the abundant mosquito buffet."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Freeport
Distance: 1
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 45 minutes
Season: Fall-Spring
Trailhead Elevation: 5 feet
Top Elevation: 5 feet
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
Local Maps: Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge Big Slough Trail Guide
Driving Directions: Directions to Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, Big Slough Trail

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May 2018