Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Texas City Loop

Texas City Loop map

Texas City Loop mapJohn M. Quinn I-45 Esturial CooridorAmoco Settling Ponds & Swan LakeTexas City DikeBay Street ParkTNCT Galveston Bay Preserve

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More information:

  • Texas City-LaMarque Chamber of Commerce
    (888) 860-1408 and (409) 935-1408

072.gif UTC 072 John M. O’Quinn I-45 Estuarial Corridor

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

To continue to the Bluewater Loop, travel southwest on FM 3005 across San Luis Pass. To continue to Houston and the loops of that region, travel north from Galveston Island on I-45 to TX 146. Exit on TX 146 for Texas City and the John M. O’Quinn I-45 Estuarial Corridor. The marshes that extend from Galveston Bay (Virginia Point) north to TX 146 are part of an estuarial corridor being developed by Scenic Galveston. Funds from the 1997 Great Texas Birding Classic were used to assist with this acquisition. In the near future, most of the structures will be removed, and this entire area will be returned to its original wetland state. An observation station is planned near the intersection of I-45 and TX 146, and the marshes themselves can be birded from the service road that borders both sides of I-45. Herons, egrets, spoonbills, and rails may be seen feeding within a few feet of the highway.

073.gif UTC 073 Amoco Settling Ponds and Swan Lake

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Travel north on TX 146 to Loop 197, then continue north on Loop 197 to the Amoco Settling Ponds and Swan Lake (approximately 1.3 miles from the inter-section of TX 146 and Loop 197). The settling ponds to the west may be viewed from the shoulder of Loop 197. The ponds attract waterfowl in the winter, and several species of diving ducks such as Bufflehead, Canvasback, and Redhead are regularly seen here.

074.gif UTC 074 Texas City Dike

Suggested Seasons to visit: Winter

Site open for day use only.

Continue north on Loop 197 to 2nd Avenue in Texas City, then go east on 2nd Avenue to Bay Street. Travel north on Bay Street to 8th Avenue and the Texas City Dike. The 5-mile drive to the end of the Texas City Dike is always worthwhile in winter. Loons (Common regularly, Pacific and Red-throated rarely), grebes, diving ducks (Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser), and gulls (Bonaparte’s Gull regularly, Black-legged Kittiwake rarely) may be seen during a leisurely drive out the dike.

075.gif UTC 075 Bay Street Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Migrations, Winter

Site open for day use only.

Enhancements: Hummingbird garden

Return to the base of the Texas City Dike, and go north on Skyline Drive. Sprague’s Pipits winter in the closely cropped grass on the shoulders of this hurricane levee. Notice the observation tower approximately 0.5 mile north of the base of the dike on Skyline Drive. The lake that may be viewed from this platform often attracts several species of ducks in the winter, including large flocks of Ruddy Ducks. Reaching the northern end of Skyline Drive, turn west and continue to Bay Street and Bay Street Park (Bay Street will eventually circle back to the south, and the park will be located to the east). An extensive hummingbird garden has been developed at this location with funds from the GTCBT. As the plants mature, this site should be very attractive to migrant hummingbirds. In addition, several species of hummingbirds regularly winter along the coast, and this garden should be checked throughout the winter months. A series of nature trails wind through the park.

076.gif UTC 076 TNCT Galveston Bay Preserve

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site access restricted. Call ahead.

Return south on Bay Street to 9th Avenue, then turn west on 9th Avenue (FM 1764) and continue to TX 146. Go north on TX 146 to TNCT Galveston Bay Preserve. This 2,263-acre preserve features rare coastal prairie habitat and one of the last three remaining sites that support wild Attwater Prairie-Chickens. Access is restricted.

TNCT – Coastal Texas Stewardship Office
P.O. Box 163
Collegeport, Texas 77428-0163
(512) 972-2559

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