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Texas
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Texas State Parks

USA Parks
Texas
Gulf Coast Region
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Long Billed Curlew © Dennis Eccleston
These birds are typically seen in the marchy areas on the way towards the bayside loop exit.
LAGUNA ATASCOSA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
LAGUNA ATASCOSA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
P.O. Box 450
Rio Hondo, Texas   78583
The south Texas landscape is a unique blending of temperate, subtropical, coastal, and desert habitats. Mexican plants and wildlife are at the northernmost edge of their range, while migrating waterfowl and sandhill cranes fly down for the mild winters. This combination makes Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge world famous for its birds, and home to a mix of wildlife found nowhere else.

Laguna Atascosa NWR is the largest protected area of natural habitat left in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, an oasis for wildlife with few alternatives. The refuge's 45,187 acres become more valuable with each acre lost to development--valuable to wildlife and valuable to those who enjoy wildlife in wildlands.
Nature of the Area
The south Texas landscape is a unique blending of temperate, subtropical, coastal, and desert habitats. Mexican plants and wildlife are at the northernmost edge of their range, while migrating waterfowl and sandhill cranes fly down for the mild winters. This combination makes Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge world famous for its birds, and home to a mix of wildlife found nowhere else.

Laguna Atascosa NWR is the largest protected area of natural habitat left in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, an oasis for wildlife with few alternatives. The refuge's 45,000 acres become more valuable with each acre lost to development--valuable to wildlife and valuable to those who enjoy wildlife in wildlands.

When the Spanish explorer Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda arrived in the Rio Grande Valley in 1519 he found a landscape very different from what we see today. The area was abundant with wildlife, and 3 million acres of coastal prairies and brushlands covered the landscape. Doves darkened the sky, deer grew fat on grasslands, and ducks filled the bays near the coast.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Day-UseFishingyes
 Huntingyes
 Hiking Trailyes


Nearby Parks

Trails
Kiskadee Trail (1/8 mile) starts between the Visitor Center and the refuge office building. This short, shaded loop surrounds a shallow pond that holds water in wet years. Featuring an observation deck and small bridge, Kiskadee Trail offers even the casual hiker an opportunity for a close-up view of several native shrubs and trees and possibly a variety of birds.

Mesquite Trail (1? mile) starts at the Visitor Center parking lot. Trees shade portions of the trail as it winds through grassy savannas. Two small ponds located along the trail hold water in wet years. Signs of deer and coyote are evident along the trail.

Paisano Trail (1 mile) is a remnant of the gunnery range located here during World War II. Verdin, roadrunner, long-billed thrasher, and plain chachalaca await the watchful birder. Our only paved trail, it is good in wet weather.

Lakeside Trail (1? miles) starts at Osprey Overlook on the Laguna Atascosa. Views of the lake and thorn forest provide the possibility of good birding. Wildflowers are plentiful, especially during March and April.

Moranco Blanco (3 1/10 miles) starts a short distance past Redhead Ridge on Bayside Drive. Moranco Blanco is a primitive route with good views of the bay and yucca in bloom (spring).

Alligator Pond: Alligator watching has become very popular at the refuge. During wet years they seem to inhabit every pond. Alligator Pond, .25 miles south of Osprey Overlook, usually has a gator or two. Alligators can also sometimes be seen on the resaca on Lakeside Drive. Alligators can be dangerous; stay on the road and do not feed or disturb them. Keep a close eye on small children and pets.

Biking:

Bicycles are permitted on tour roads and some service roads. Service roads are primitive routes where riders should be prepared for emergencies. Check with refuge staff for approved routes. Bring plenty of water, know how to repair a flat, and be able to walk several miles if your bike breaks down. Off-road riding is prohibited.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
July 29 A favorite when Lakeside Drive is open by Bird lover
When will Lakeside Drive be open again?
March 22 Beautiful birds
Visiting family, excellent picnic area surrounded with Green Jays, Grackels, turkey Pheasants, cardinals, Orioles and many others. It was very cool!!
April 20 Amazing
In a few hours I added over a dozen new birds to my life-list. A very special place.

Area Campgrounds
Hummingbird Cove RV & MH Park
32637 FM 2925
Rio Hondo, TX
956-748-2930
Seaway Village
35375 FM 2925
Arroyo City, TX
Booking.com

Directions
From Harlingen, go east on Highway 106 14 miles past Rio Hondo. Take a left at the T and drive 3 miles to the visitor center. From South Padre Island, take Highway 100 out of Port Isabel and exit right on Farm Road 510 at Laguna Vista. Continue 5.4 miles to the Cameron County Airport road. Take a right and continue approximately 7 miles to the visitor center. From Brownsville, go north on Paredes Line Road (1847) through Los Fresnos to Highway 106. Take a right and go approximately 10 miles to the T. Take a left and drive 3 miles to the visitor center.

Texas
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Texas State Parks

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