Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Laredo Loop

Laredo Loop map

Laredo Loop mapTexas A&M Laredo CampusLake Casa Blanca International State ParkLa Laja RanchZacate Creek ParkLaredo Community College/St. Peter's Historical DistrictBravo Bend Nature PreservePaseo del Indio/Lamar Bruni Vergara Environmental Science CenterFather Charles McNaboe City ParkLa Bota Ranch

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More information:

  • Laredo COC
    956-722-9895, 800-292-2122
  • Laredo CVB
    956-795-2200, 800-361-3360,

116.gif HOTE 116 Texas A&M Laredo Campus

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer

Site open for day use only.

At the intersection of I-35 South and Loop 20 in Laredo, go east (left) on Loop 20 for 5.3 miles. Campus entrance is on the right.

The land bordering the back of the university contains an extensive tract of undeveloped brush that contains a variety of sparrows, Northern Bobwhite, Scaled Quail, as well as occasional occurrences such as Dark-eyed Junco and Scrub Jay. Long-billed Thrasher, Curve-billed Thrasher, Cactus Wren, Black-throated Sparrow, and Rufous-crowned Sparrow also occur here. A dirt road runs through the tract.

117.gif HOTE 117 Lake Casa Blanca International State Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer

Site open daily. Developed camping available.

Return to Loop 20 and head south 2.6 miles; entrance is on the left.

At this urban reservoir, the best habitat is on the far side of the lake. Bring a scope in order to view birds on the far edge. Look for pelicans, wading birds, waterfowl, terns, and gulls. Neotropic Cormorant is usually easy to see here. Dragonflies are abundant at the edge of the lake. Look for Green Jays around the park headquarters.

Phone: 956-725-3826. Lake Casa Blanca International State Park

118.gif HOTE 118 La Laja Ranch

Suggested Seasons to visit: Winter, Spring, Summer

Site access restricted. Call ahead. Fee charged.

This 220-acre tract of riverfront habitat possesses extensive canebrakes where White-collared Seedeaters can be heard and seen. The site’s old growth mesquite woodland provide habitat for butterflies and a variety of mammals, including Bobcat, Javelina, and White-tailed Deer. South Texas specialties seen here include Green Jay, Long-billed Thrasher, Pauraque, and Olive Sparrow.

Phone: 956-723-7791. Call for Directions.

119.gif HOTE 119 Zacate Creek Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer

Site open for day use only.

At the intersection of US 83 and San Enrique in Laredo, go south on San Enrique as it becomes San Leonard to Grant. Go to the parking lot at the end of the road.

This scenic creek has cut a channel into bedrock where you may find Black Phoebe and Marsh Wren among the reed beds that line portions of the creek. In summer, this creek provides excellent habitat for dragonflies and damselflies.

120.gif HOTE 120 Laredo Community College/St. Peter’s Historical District

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer

Site open for day use only.

Return to US 83 and go west to I-35. Get on the eastern access road and immediately turn left over I-35 on Washington St. Continue on Washington St., cross the bridge over the railroad tracks, and bear right at the first light, Prime Road. Follow Prime Road to Ainsworth Road around the back of the campus. Go left on Sheridan and park in the large lot; the historical chapel is on the left with the Laredo Children’s Museum.

A large colony of Green Parakeets roost in the trees surrounding the old chapel. The birds can generally be found here in the morning or evening. The campus is also planted with numerous flowering plants such as firecracker plant, cenizo, orchid tree, and lantana that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The cane beds are excellent habitat for White-collared Seedeater. Verdin and Green Jay occur in the thickets.

121.gif HOTE 121 Bravo Bend Nature Reserve

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer

Site open for day use only.

Return to the intersection of Ainsworth and Prime. Follow Ainsworth west 2 blocks and turn onto the dirt road, which is the northern end of the Border Patrol Walk. Turn left along the river. After 0.8 mile, turn left again on a dirt road that will lead to the old gravel quarry ponds.

The ponds at this site support a diversity of birds. Least Grebe, Cinnamon Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Wood Duck, Black-necked Stilt, Spotted Sandpiper and a variety of shorebirds can be seen during migrations. Dragonflies and damselflies that are likely to be seen include Familiar Bluet, Powdered Dancer, and Rambur’s Forktail.

122.gif HOTE 122 Paseo del Indio/Lamar Bruni Vergara Environmental Science Center

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer

Site open for day use only.

From the top of the dirt road, the trailhead is to the west, immediately under the wind generators. West end of Washington Street on the Laredo Community College campus.

This 1.5 mile mulched trail follows a bluff over the Rio Grande. The first section of the trail has been planted with species that attract a variety of butterflies. Descending to the river’s edge, White-collared Seedeaters are found among the canebrakes. Lincoln’s Sparrow and Common Yellowthroat also occur here. Visitors should stay on the main trail.

Phone: 956-764-5701.

123.gif HOTE 123 Father Charles McNaboe City Park

Suggested Seasons to visit: Spring, Summer

Site open for day use only.

Return to I-35 and go north 7.0 miles to Loop 20. Turn left and go 1.5 miles to Mines Road/FM 1472. Turn left on Mines Road. After 0.7 mile, turn right on Rancho Viejo Road. The park is at the end of the road after 1.2 miles.

The canebrakes along the river’s edge provide habitat for White-collared Seedeaters, Audubon’s Oriole, Ringed Kingfisher, and Green Kingfisher.

124.gif HOTE 124 La Bota Ranch

Suggested Seasons to visit: All Seasons

Site open for day use only.

Return north on Mines Road to Loop 20. Continue north on Mines Road for 1.6 miles through Loop 20 to the entrance on the left. Access to the area is controlled, so stop at the guardhouse and be prepared to show identification.

Six miles of trails along the Rio Grande floodplain remain undeveloped, prime habitat for wildlife watching. Winter can be excellent for sparrows here, and local birders have reported as many as fifteen species. Two ponds at the first trailhead provide ample opportunity to see Belted, Ringed, and Green Kingfishers, Anhinga, a variety of waterfowl and other wading birds. Olive Sparrow, Audubon’s Oriole, Cassin’s Sparrow, Great Kiskadee, and Long-billed Thrasher also occur here. The rocky bluffs that overlook the international boundary provide habitat for White-tipped Dove, and the high vantage point is an excellent place to watch raptors as they glide on warming air currents. Couch’s Kingbird can be seen at the public access boat ramp, and the canebrakes at the water’s edge provide excellent habitat for White-collared Seedeater.

Phone: 956-726-9891.

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