Brazos Bend State Park To Allow Overnight Camping
Brazos Bend State Park and other Texas state parks will resume limited overnight camping beginning May 18.
This gradual reopening of overnight reservations will be limited at all Texas State Parks to varying degrees depending on individual park occupancy in order to align with safe business practices currently followed in Texas.
Some existing reservations will be honored, but to prevent overcrowding, manage continued social distancing and safeguard public health, no new reservations can be made for now.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will notify the public once new reservations can be booked.
After careful consideration, we are taking this additional step towards returning to normal operations in our parks by resuming some overnight camping at Texas State Parks, said Carter Smith, Executive Director of TPWD. As overnight campers are welcomed back to their favorite natural spaces, our team will continue maintaining the cleanliness of frequently used facilities such as campsites, cabins and restrooms to ensure that visitors, volunteers and staff can continue to enjoy Texas State Parks safely.
Our Visits To Brazos Bend State Park:
Video: Brazos Bend State Park
Brazos Bend State Park is Known For Its Alligators
One of our home parks! This park write-up has been way too long in coming! Sorry about that! 🙂
Brazos Bend State Park is a beautiful 5,000 acre park located just southwest of Houston. Brazos Bend has been a favorite meeting place for Stacie’s family since it opened! The park offers tent and RV camping, 35 miles of hiking/biking trails, fishing, a nature center and an observatory! Yes, Brazos Bend State Park is known as being home to alligators, deer and the George Observatory! A visit to Brazos Bend is a truly unique experience.
Hiking the Pilant Slough Trail
One of the things we love most about this park is is ecological diversity. While you hike you can see grasslands, prairies, forests, marshes/wetlands, rivers, lakes, creeks and streams. You’ll see alligators, deer, bunnies, turtles, frogs and any number of land and water birds. We’ve even seen a baby great horned owl here!
Since Brazos Bend State Park is only about 45 minutes from our sticks and bricks home, we’ve made many day trips here to enjoy a picnic and a little bit of outdoors time when we didn’t have time for a full camping trip. It’s just far enough away from Houston, Sugar Land and the other local cities to make it convenient and easy to reach, but feels miles and miles away from everything once you get here. Bring your binoculars, your hiking boots, your bike or your telescope and come ready to relax.
Great Horned Owl Family
Brazos Bend State Park Camping
For those of you that live in Houston and the surrounding area, one of the most visited parks in the state of Texas is only 45 minutes from downtown Houston. Brazos Bend State Park is a 5,000 acre park that has a variety of camping options from Equestrian primitive campsites to premium campsites. So whether you wish to camp with your horse, your tent, or your RV, they have you covered! Here is what you need to know to plan the perfect Brazos Bend State Park camping trip for your family.
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Brazos Bend State Park Camping With Texas Outdoor Family
Modified: Mar 25, 2021 by JillBJarvis.com Sponsored Post · This post may contain affiliate links · This blog generates income via ads · #sponsoredpost ·
Brazos Bend State Park Camping!
On Friday morning, I actually said to my husband, “I will meet you at the campground after work.”.
Those are words I would not have said 10 years ago. Not 5 years ago. Not even 3 years ago. But my kids begged to go camping… so, off we went to figure out how to survive in the wilderness.
This is still intimidating because Im a mom, with very little camping experience, taking four little kids out in the woods.
That’s why Texas Outdoor Family is so cool. They provide the equipment, show you how to camp… and then they help you hike, bike, paint and play in the woods.
We just got back from our Brazos Bend State Park camping trip and had the BEST time.
Visiting Brazos Bend State Park For A Day:
Day Use Areas
Picnic areas, playgrounds, fishing piers, restrooms and public parking areas are located throughout Brazos Bend State Park. Each area of the park offers different experiences and ecosystems than the others. Prairies, forests, grasslands, and wetlands/marshes are all located within this park. Day use parking areas are spread around so you can choose a parking area nearest the type of ecosystem or activity you are looking for. Although Brazos Bend can get very crowded on holiday weekends, spring break and during the summer, the park handles crowds well for the most part. If you are looking for a central parking location, consider parking at the Nature Center. For easy access to a playground, fishing pier and forested hiking trails nearest the park’s observation tower, park at 40 Acre Lake near the front of the park.
To begin in the largest day use picnic area, head over to the Elm Lake / Horseshoe Lakes parking areas where you will have access to several lake trails, fishing and a lot of picnic tables under shade trees. It’s just a short walk from here to the Nature Center. For a quieter day visit, we suggest parking in the Hale Lake area. This area has its own picnic area, playground, fishing pier and trails with views of Hale Lake and the Brazos River. This is probably the part of the park that most people never visit.
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How To Get Tobrazos Bend State Park
Brazos Bend State Park is about a one hour drive from downtown Houston. Take Highway 59 south to the Crabb River Road exit. You could also take State Highway 288 south to FM 1462 west. Follow FM 1462 to FM 762 north. If youre traveling from south of the park, follow State Highway 288 north to the FM 1462 exit or take State Highway 36 to FM 1462 east. The address for the park is 21901 FM 762, Needville, TX.
Activities In The Park
- Best for hiking: Burr Oak Camping Area offers easy access to nature trails.
- Best for groups: The parks primitive campsites feature a large central fire ring and proximity to the nature center.
- Best for peace and quiet: Red Buckeye Camping Area has sites with water and electricity set away from the busy areas.
Tips for Snagging a Campsite Reservation
When to Go
Brazos Bend State Park is open throughout the year. September through April is the best time to visit Brazos Bend for cool, comfortable weather. Summer temperatures can often reach triple digits. Come in fall or spring for the best opportunities to spot alligators, or any time throughout the year for excellent bird watching. The park generally closes for two winter weekends for hunting.
Know Before You Go
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Rv Resorts & Campsites In Brazos Bend State Park
Camping is available at Brazos Bend State Park, with premium sites in two areas that have water and electric hookups. If you choose to rent an RV, consider renting with RVshare. Each rental vehicle comes with nationwide insurance coverage, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a dedicated team that will work to make sure you have the perfect RV for your travel plans and unique needs.
There are also several nearby campgrounds where you can stay while you visit the park:
Inside Brazos Bend State Park
It doesnt seem possible that this wildlife and nature should exist so peacefully less than an hour from the big city of Houston. And yet…here it is, along with a number of outdoor things to do in the park.
Geocaching: Looking for a geocache is like a modern-day treasure hunt! Head to geocaching.com, or use an app to find caches near where you are in the park, and use GPS coordinates to find the cache.
Hiking: There are 37 miles of trails through the park, including some that are wheelchair-accessible. The Creekfield Nature Trail is a ½-mile trail that tours a wetland area and has exhibits, an accessible boardwalk, an observation deck, and rest areas with shaded benches. Theres even a scavenger hunt for kids.
Biking: Many of the hiking trails are also available to bikers, and trails circle lakes and head into the hardwood forest as well. Be sure to check the parks web page for information on alligator safety, as many of the reptiles make their home in the park.
Horseback riding: There are 13 miles of multi-use trails available to equestrians, as well as a primitive equestrian campground. Riders must bring their own horses.
Fishing: Fish from shore along one of the lakes, or at one of the several fishing piers.
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Brazos Bend State Park Overview
Brazos Bend State Park Campground has 96 single-family campsites located close to several small lakes and the Brazos River. There are 15 premium primitive sites, 19 primitive equestrian sites, and 73 sites with water and electric hookups.
The equestrian campsites have a table and vault toilets. The sites with hookups have a table, fire ring and grill. There are also flush toilets located at the hookup sites. There is also a cabin and group camping facilities available.
Campground amenities include drinking water, flush toilets, showers, laundry facilities and a dump station. The campground host also sells firewood. The park also has an amphitheater, gift shop, hiking/biking trails, picnic area, nature center and dining hall.
Brazos Bend State Park Area Recreation
The Park has a little bit of everything when it comes to outdoor activities and it is only an hour drive from downtown Houston. You can camp, bike, hike, horseback ride and fish in any one of the six lakes . The Park also has a nature center and the George Observatory.
The History Of Brazos Bend State Park:
Even though Brazos Bend is a fairly new state park, archeologists believe that people traveled here as early as 300 BC. Fast forward a few years, and this land was part of a land grant to Abner Harris and William Barrett in 1827 as part of Stephen F Austin’s first colonial settlement in Texas. Since the park borders the Brazos River, it was perhaps a stopping point for the Steamboat Yellowstone which carried supplies to support the Texians during the Texas Revolution.
The cotton brokers then moved into the area and likely built a riverboat landing for their trade as the Brazos River was key to cotton commerce in the 19th century. The years following found the land used to raise cattle and produce crops of pecans until it became a private hunting and fishing ranch.
The State of Texas purchased this land in 1976 and 1977. Brazos Bend State Park opened to the public in 1984.
Every Campsite Includes Campfire Rings
This is a Great Park for Birders
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The Best Hiking Trails In Brazos Bend State Park
With more than 37 miles of trails circling the area’s many lakes and guiding you through lush hardwood forests, Brazos Bend State Park offers vacationers plenty of ways to enjoy the beauty of nature. Set by sections of wheelchair-friendly pathways and more challenging and demanding trails, Brazos Bend State Park cabins make for a vacation suitable for all ages and abilities.
- Horse Shoe Lake Loop
This easy 4.6-mile loop takes you around Horse Shoe Lake and Elm Lake, with plenty of wildlife to see, including alligators. A 30-foot tower on the trail provides excellent views across the park.
- Live Oak Trail
This easy 4.3-mile trail through the forest is ideal for children and skirts the southern boundary of the park. You’ll have the chance to spot a variety of wildflowers as you journey to 40-Acre Lake.
- Elm Lake Loop Trail
This wheelchair-accessible trail circles Elm Lake and covers 1.7 miles in total. This trail is also popular with mountain bikers and trail runners, giving everyone loads of space with its wide pathways.
Things To Do At Brazos Bend State Park:
Nature Center: Located near the camping loops and shelter loops, Brazos Bend State Park’s Nature Center is a great place to learn about the variety of ecosystems that exist within the park and the equally diverse wildlife that call the park home. You’ll find a lot of information on reptiles, mammals and birds native to the area, see baby alligators up close and compare your size to that of the largest gator known to have lived here. Brazos Bend’s Nature Center is full of interactive displays that are interesting for all ages. It is staffed by friendly volunteers who are happy to share their knowledge of the park. You’ll also find a small store inside which stocks cold drinks and souvenirs.
George Observatory: Perhaps the most unique feature we’ve seen at any state park we’ve visited so far, Brazos Bend State Park is home to the George Observatory. Operated by the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the observatory is open every Saturday evening year round for stargazing . Bring your own telescope or check out the view from one of the observatory telescopes for an additional fee. Visit the George Observatory website for more information.
We also enjoy the Pilant Slough Trail , the Creekfield Lake Nature Trail , and the 1.9 mile Hale Lake Loop. Actually, over the years we have hiked a lot of the 35 miles of trails here at Brazos Bend, and we’ve never been disappointed!
Bitterns are Members of the Heron Family
Bunnies are Common Here
Observation Tower View
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Our Experience With Brazos Bend State Park Camping:
On both Brazos Bend State Park camping trips, the park rangers gave us lessons on setting up our tents and using our stoves and taught the kids about playing in nature and leaving no trace.
The rangers also went campsite to campsite to make sure everything was safe and the food was packed up tight each night.
With this Texas Outdoor Family, you can participate in as much or as little as you want. We did a lot of group activities but even if we just did our own thing, it is nice to know the rangers are close by to help.
The Best Family Activities In Brazos Bend State Park
Families visiting Brazos Bend State Park will discover a variety of engaging activities designed to keep everyone happy. With easy access to educational afternoons learning about the park’s natural history to organized horseback tours and ranger programs, Brazos Bend State Park hotels ensure you don’t miss out on all the area has to offer.
- George Observatory
As part of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the George Observatory offers access to large telescopes for watching the night sky. Additionally, the Expedition Center and Discovery Dome host a range of educational activities throughout the year.
- Horseback Riding
With 13 miles of trail alongside primitive equestrian campsites, Brazos Bend has plenty to keep horse-lovers occupied. Explore the park on horseback and experience the great outdoors at a slower pace.
- Nature Center
The Nature Center at Brazos Bend State Park offers vacationers the chance to learn about the park’s three ecosystems. Take a closer look at the resident alligators, snakes, and tarantulas or pick up a few souvenirs to take home at the gift shop, which is open during the week.
- Wildlife Sightings
Brazos is home to a diverse mix of wildlife including alligators, over 300 species of birds, white-tailed deer, and a variety of fish, reptiles, and insects. Other mammals here include feral pigs, raccoons, squirrels, river otters, bobcats, foxes, and more.
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Camping At Texas State Parks
Texas State Parks have it all. Located throughout the stateâs diverse and vast landscape, you can find beautiful lakes, rushing rivers, sprawling deserts, limestone hills, cypress swamps, sandy shorelines and piney woods. With year-long camping weather throughout much of the state, thereâs always a place to get your Tentrr on with family and friends.
The Lone State State offers endless opportunities for swimming, fishing, picnicking, bird watching, mountain biking, canoeing, rock climbing, horse riding and backpacking. With convenient locations within an hourâs drive of major cities like Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Ft. Worth and Dallas, you donât have to go far to get out into nature and cook a bowl of chili over the campfire.
Tentrr is now open at Brazos Bend State Park, but will be coming to eight other Texas State Parks soon.
- All set up and ready-to-camp
- Access to on-site State Park facilities
- Sites have parking nearby
- Most locations are pet friendly
A beautiful site for a first Tentrr experience! It is on the state park’s campsite but set away far enough that it’s private. Will definitely go again!
Entering Brazos Bend State Park
There is an entrance fee of $7 per person for those 13 years and up to visit the park. There is no fee for children 12 and under.
Brazos Bend State Park Per Person: $7.0
What better way to create memories with those you love than by heading out on a road trip? Renting an RV with RVshare makes the trip easy and stress-free. Whether you choose to rent an RV near your home and make the trek, or fly into Texas and rent an RV for camping, youre sure to have an adventure you wont soon forget! We would love to see pictures of your travels – be sure to send us photos of your trip to and tag us on social media. Your memories could be featured on our blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page!
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