Great Texas Wildlife Trails

San Bernard Loop

San Bernard Loop map

San Bernard Loop mapQuintana Neotropical Bird SanctuaryQuintana Beach County ParkBryan BeachJustin Hurst WMASan Bernard NWR

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121.gif UTC 121 Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations

Site open for day use only.

From Surfside, go west on TX 332 to FM 523. Continue west on FM 523 to FM 1495, then south on FM 1495 to TX 36 (see the previous loop). Continue south on FM 1495 across the GIWW to CR 723 (Lamar Street). Turn left on CR 723 to proceed 2.1 miles to the Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary. This small grove of salt cedars has become a birding hotspot in a very short period of time. Yellow-green Vireos brought this area notoriety in the spring of 1998, not to be eclipsed by the King Eider (discovered during the 1998 Great Texas Birding Classic) that beached nearby.

122.gif UTC 122 Quintana Beach County Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open daily. Developed camping available. Fee charged.

Continue on CR 723 (Lamar Street) to Fifth Street, then go south on Fifth Street to Quintana Beach County Park. The Quintana Jetty may be accessed from this park, and the species listed for the Surfside Jetty (UTC 106) occur here as well. Walk the jetty and scope the offshore waters for gulls, terns, and an occasional jaeger or gannet.

123.gif UTC 123 Bryan Beach

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return to FM 1495, and turn south on CR 750. Proceed south to the beach, and drive southwest along the beach until reaching the mouth of the Brazos River and the Bryan Beach Unit of the Justin Hurst WMA. The unit is undeveloped, yet, in some ways, this unspoiled condition adds to the appeal of this location. Flocks of waterbirds crowd the sand flats at the mouth of the river, and gangs of American Avocets often swirl through the shallow waters here. Piping and Snowy plovers chase the water’s edge, and Merlins eye them while perched on the driftwood that litters the dunes.

124.gif UTC 124 Justin Hurst WMA

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Winter

Site open for day use only.

Return to the intersection of FM 1495 and TX 36, and continue northwest on TX 36 to the TPWD Justin Hurst WMA. Most of this 10,311-acre management area consists of either coastal prairie or coastal marshes that are inaccessible to the public. However, nature trails have been developed that provide visitors with the opportunity to explore an oak/hackberry motte and adjacent grasslands. The Live Oak Loop and the Jones Creek Trail may be accessed 0.2 mile from TX 36 (the trailhead is situated in a small picnic area).

In addition, the WMA owns a tract (about 40 acres) of live oak woods behind the Jones Creek municipal building on Stephen F. Austin Drive that is open to the public year-round. This tract is situated near the Little Ridge entrance to the WMA, and is under lease to Jones Creek to be developed into a city park. Many of the lingering neotropical migrants that have been recorded on the Freeport CBC were found in the live oak woodlands in Jones Creek.

Justin Hurst WMA
County Courthouse Room 101
Bay City, TX 77414
(409) 244-7697


125.gif UTC 125 San Bernard NWR

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Continue northwest on TX 36 to FM 2611, then west on FM 2611 to FM 2918. Proceed south on FM 2918 to CR 306, then west on CR 306 to San Bernard NWR. The 27,414-acre refuge is located in Brazoria and Matagorda counties, 12 miles west of Freeport. The refuge includes coastal prairie, both salt and freshwater marshes, freshwater lakes, and scattered woodlands. Although all of the refuge is worth exploring (at least the parts that are accessible), try the 3-mile Moccasin Pond auto loop and Scissor-tail Trail if pressed for time. Also try walking the Bobcat Woods Trail, an elevated boardwalk that offers an excellent view of Cocklebur Slough.

Return to TX 36, and continue west to FM 521 and the beginning of the central coastal portion of the GTCBT.

San Bernard NWR

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