Located in Needville less than an hour from downtown Houston, Brazos Bend State Park provides a Texas State Park oasis with all the activities, wildlife, and learning opportunities you could dream of. Whether you are just driving through the area or planning a weekend-long trip, Brazos Bend is a wonderful destination for people of all ages.
Brazos Bend is the ideal spot for alligator sightings, walking on the miles of trails, horseback riding, and learning about the area at the nature center and George Observatory. You can even camp overnight at this park, which is a part of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).
History of Brazos Bend State Park
Archeological evidence found in the region suggests that prehistoric humans were in the area as early as 300 B.C. Before colonization, the Capoque band of the Karankawa Indians traveled from Galveston Bay to the mouth of the Brazos River. This region of Texas was the site of the first colonial land grant that Stephen F. Austin received from Mexico in the early 19th century.
The state bought the parkland in the years 1976 and 1977, opening to the public in 1984. The park features approximately 5,000 acres with 3.2-miles of Brazos River access on the southeast edge of Fort Bend County.
What to Do at the Park
Brazos Bend is the prime spot to watch wildlife, partake in outdoor recreational activities (including biking, fishing, and horseback riding), learn about the park’s history and diverse ecosystems at the nature center, and check out the night sky at the observatory.
Brazos Bend offers incredible opportunities to witness wildlife in person. Look out for the American alligator, white-tailed deer, feral pigs, raccoons, bobcats, river otters, and foxes. Just be sure to read the alligator safety tips and strictly follow the rules regarding the gators. Bird watching is also a popular activity at the park as there are over 300 documented species of flying friends in the area.
With 37 miles of trails at Brazos Bend, there is sure to be a way to explore for everyone. Hiking and biking can be done around the 40-acre lake, in the hardwood forest, and on the equestrian and hiking trails. Walk through the wetland area on the half-mile, fully-paved Creekfield Lake Nature Trail.
You have multiple options to fish at the park, including at Hale Lake, 40-Acre Lake, and New Horseshoe Lake. There is also bank fishing at Big Creek in permitted areas. You do not need a fishing license to fish within the boundaries of a Texas State Park, but there is a limit of two fishing poles per person.
The Nature Center is a wonderful place to bring kids and visitors to learn about the inner workings of the park. The Nature Center and gift shop are open on weekends from 11 AM to 3 PM.
A part of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the George Observatory is recently reopened after two years of intensive remodeling. View the real-time camera feeds from the telescopes or visit for the Saturday night stargazing. Bring your own binoculars or telescopes or take a tour with an expert guide. A day pass is required and tickets for the observatory must be pre-purchased online from the museum.
To stay overnight, Brazos Bend State Park offers sixteen tent campsites with electricity hookups, eight walk-in tent sites, group youth camps, screened shelters, and a cabin. Most sites offer a picnic area as well as a nearby restroom for campers. Check availability and make reservations here.
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