Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

Gulf Coast & South Texas

Of the three national wildlife refuges along the Gulf Coast from Galveston to Louisiana, the 34,000-acre Anahuac has the best access – 50 miles northwest of Galveston and 80 miles southeast of Houston – and is therefore the most popular. The main entrance is the gateway to the majority of the facility's trails and an excellent hiking/driving loop around Shoveler Pond.

Gravel and dirt roads traverse deep marsh, ponds, prairie and bayous. During the winter, up to 80,000 Canadian snow geese can gather at one time – a truly spectacular sight. Year-round you will see a variety of water fowl and some shore birds. Other wildlife includes alligators and what just may be the largest mosquitoes you ever encounter. In spring, Friends of Anahuac ( organize walks in search of the illusive yellow rail ground bird.

A second, smaller section of the park, the Skillern Tract, lies 7 miles east of the main park entrance on FM 1985. The pond boardwalk is nice and you can follow a 2-mile round-trip trail through the grasses, which is popular with locals for fishing and birdwatching. As intimated above, always bring mosquito spray to either.

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