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Texas State Parks

USA Parks
Gulf Coast Region
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge Aligator © Pat Butaud
Odd colored aligator. January 2010
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge Plant © Tom R. Chambers
Taken at the Anahuac National Refuge Headquarters March, 2016.
509 Washington Street
Anahuac, Texas   77514
The chorus of thousands of waterfowl, the splash of an alligator going for a swim, the rustle of wind moving through coastal prairie, the high-pitched call of a fulvous whistling duck are just some of the sound you may hear when visiting Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. This 34,000-acre haven for wildlife is located on the upper Texas gulf coast.

The meandering bayous of Anahuac NWR cut through ancient floodplains creating expanses of coastal marsh and prairie bordering Galveston Bay. Prevailing breezes bring in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in high humidity and an average annual rainfall of over 51 inches. Coastal marshes act as a huge sponge, holding and siphoning water from tropical storm tides and upstream flooding. These marshes, combined with the coastal prairie, provide a home for an abundance of wildlife, from migratory birds to alligators.
Nature of the Area
Anahuac NWR is an important link in the chain of national wildlife refuges extending along the gulf coast of Texas and Louisiana. The goal of refuge management is to provide habitat for native fish and wildlife. Roseate spoonbill, great egrets, snowy egrets, white-faced ibis, and white ibis are just some of the long-legged waterbirds that can be seen on ponds, rice fields, and moist soil units throughout the refuge. Listen and look closely on Yellow Rail Prairie for the secretive yellow rails that winter in the salty prairies.

During spring and fall migrations, warblers, and other songbirds can be seen or heard on walks in small wooded areas throughout Anahuac NWR. The willows near Shoveler Pond, the salt cedar hedgerow north of Teal Slough, and the narrow hackberry woodland along East Bay Bayou offer some of the best birding opportunities in the area.
History of the Area
Anahuac NWR shores its name with the town of Anahuac. The name is an Aztec wor (watery plain) but the area had no connection with te Aztecs, or any other distant peoples. Anahuac was part of the territory of the Atakapa and Akokisa Indians, a small and scattered population of nomadic people who resided here for century, and fished, hunted, and gathered every available plant and animal resource that hte region could offer. Their middens of discarded shell fish and their campsites dot the landscap4e, but ther were no permanent settlements here.
 Hiking Trailyes

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
October 21
The main road leading to the Willows area and Shoveler Pond was under construction and not usable. The Skillern Tract area was okay, lots of Black-bellied whistling-ducks, Fulvous Whistling-ducks and a small flock of Greater White-fronted geese. Will try the park on another day when the road construction is done.
October 3 A birding paradise..
A great place to see migratory birds, usually during fall. If you go in the summer, you will be sure to see some gators. Great place to go to relax for hectic Houston
November 8 Anahuac sans mosquitos! by T. Keefe
We went on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010. What a peaceful juxtaposition to its big, dirty, neighbor, Houston. We saw several gators, a huge flock of geese and signs of bobcat. Worth the day trip. A full review here on our personal blog: http://innocentbystander.us/index.php?p=2_9


Refuge headquarters are located in the town of Anahuac, Texas, on the corner of Trinity Street and Washington Avenue near the County Courthouse.


Texas State Parks