Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Rio Bravo Loop

Rio Bravo Loop map

Rio Bravo Loop mapUSFWS La Puerta TractFort Ringgold/ The Chachalaca Nature TrailRancho LomitasRoma Bluffs/ The Roma Historic DistrictFronton

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More information:

  • Rio Grande City Chamber of Commerce
    Phone: (956) 487-3024
  • Roma Economic Development Corp.
    Phone: (956) 849-1411
  • Los Caminos Del Rio
    Phone: (956) 849-0099
    For information on tours on both sides of the river from Laredo to the Gulf of Mexico

074.gif LTC 074 USFWS La Puerta Tract

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Season

Site open for day use only.

Return to the intersection of FM 886 and US 83. Continue northwest on US 83 to FM 1430. Continue NW on US 83 for 2.5 miles to the entrance to the USFWS La Puerta Tract. The tract extends to the north of US 83, look for the GTCBT sign that marks the entrance and the USFWS public information map. La Puerta was purchased to conserve several endangered plant species, so it is critical to remain on the trails to protect the plants. Birds you will see in this habitat are the Black-throated Sparrow and those seen at the Yturria Tract (LTC 072).

075.gif LTC 075 Fort Ringgold/The Chacalaca Nature Trail

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Winter

Site open for day use only.

Continue northwest on US 83 to Rio Grande City and Fort Ringgold. The Chachalaca Nature Trail is located at the western edge of Fort Ringgold, adjacent to the fire station. Although there are few improvements to this site at this time, future plans include a developed trail and water feature to attract birds. Watch for Chihuahuan Ravens flying over Rio Grande City in the early morning and late afternoon.

076.gif LTC 076 Rancho Lomitas

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

Bird, butterfly and plant enthusiasts will enjoy visiting Rancho Lomitas, and, if one has a camper, one can stay at any of the five full-service trailer spaces. Bed-and-breakfast accommodations are also available. A variety of tours with an emphasis on birding, native plant study, history, and culture are offered. Depending on the temperature, the property may be traversed by foot or in a hayride-style wagon with a sunshade. Rates vary with tour activities and number of participants. There are reduced fees for students and bird or butterfly watchers not requiring an organized tour.

To reach Rancho Lomitas, enter Rio Grande City from the east. US 83 forks and becomes E. 2nd Street, a one-way road. After several blocks, turn north (right) on FM 755 (also called North Flores St.). Proceed north 8.0 miles to La Sagundada Rd. Turn west (left) on La Sagundada, which quickly becomes a graded caliche and gravel road. Continue through open country 5.4 mi. to the ‘T.’ At the ‘T,’ turn south (left) and go barely more than 0.1 mile. Turn west (right) and continue 0.7 mile to a gate marked “Welcome to Rancho Lomitas Nature Preserve.” Enter, and quickly turn left to the main house. Groups must call ahead to arrange activities. Drop-in birders or butterfly watchers (March to May and September to November are best) should call ahead so that the gate will be unlocked. Water and bathrooms are available.

Benito and Toni Treviño
Rancho Lomitas
(956) 486-2576

077.gif LTC 077 Roma Bluffs/The Roma Historic District

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only. World Birding Center site.

Return to US 83 in Rio Grande City, and continue west on US 83 to Roma. Go south (left) on Lincoln Ave., then turn east (left) on Estrella and continue one block to the Historic Plaza. The Roma Bluffs and the wildlife viewing area are at the south end of the Plaza.

Roma is among the most historic cities in Texas, and is being restored to reflect its glory days as a port on the Rio Grande. From Roma Bluffs (the sandstone bluffs that jut out toward the Rio Grande), there are few grander views of the Rio Grande. Watch for Muscovy Duck, Red-billed Pigeon (early morning and late evening), and all three kingfishers. In recent years Clay-colored Robin and Audubon’s Oriole have been seen here along the river, Lesser Goldfinches are fairly common in the grassy fields.

Roma is the westernmost unit in the WBC complex. It will expand to offer birders access to a number of sites along the Rio Grande in Starr County.

078.gif LTC 078 Fronton

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Winter

Site open for day use only.

From Roma, continue west on US 83 to FM 650. Go south on FM 650 to Fronton. The Rio Grande may be accessed by going west on Plaza for 0.1 mile to River Road, then south on River Road 0.5 mile to the River. The stretch of the Rio Grande between Falcon Dam and Rio Grande City contains some of the best remaining riparian woodlands along this River. At Fronton, look for all three kingfishers, Audubon’s Oriole, wintering waterfowl, and Red-billed Pigeon (returning to roost). Osprey commonly feed over the River from here to Falcon Dam. Clay-colored Robins nested at this location in 1998. Return on FM 650 to US 83.

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