Los Loros Loop
- Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce, (956) 423-5440, www.harlingen.com
Harlingen City Lake Park
From the intersection of Loop 499 (Ed Carey Blvd.) and FM 106, continue west on FM 106 (Harrison Blvd.) to 6th Street. Go north on 6th Street to the Harlingen Public Library. You may park across from the library for a view of the east side of the lake and to access the walking trail. Scope the lake for a variety of waterfowl, gulls, and terns. Liberty Garden adjoins the library, and may be quite productive during migrations. Return on 6th Street to Jefferson, and then go west. Go north on 3rd Street to Washington. This spot allows a view of the west side of City Lake.
Go south on 3rd to Tyler turning east to return to FM 106 and Loop 499.
Hugh Ramsey Nature Park
From the intersection of Loop 499 and FM 106, go south on Loop 499 to Hugh Ramsey Nature Park (approximately 0.3 mile), the GTCBT site closest to the Valley International Airport as well as Harlingen's World Birding Center site. The opportunity to see Valley specialties such as Green Jay, Great Kiskadee, Brown-crested Flycatcher (summer), and Olive Sparrow makes this park a welcome center to birders who fly into Harlingen. At Hugh Ramsey Nature Park, park in the parking lot and walk the nature trail through the brush, or walk down to the Arroyo Colorado to look for Ringed and Green Kingfishers. The ponds on the north end of the park also are host to kingfishers, least grebes and herons. Harlingen is in the initial stages of connecting several parks along the Arroyo Colorado via a hike-and-bike trail. Volunteers from the South Texas Master Naturalists and Arroyo Colorado Audubon Society work many hours keeping this park attractive to native and migrating birds and other wildlife.
Arroyo Park / C.B. Wood Park
Continue south on Loop 499 to Hale Ave. (about 1.5 miles). Go west on Hale Ave. to New Hampshire, then north on New Hampshire to Arroyo Park. Although a multi-use park, this site contains a nature trail that accesses the Arroyo Colorado. Look for Great Kiskadee and various kingfishers here.
Take New Hampshire south to the frontage road of US 77 (about 0.5 mile). Go north on the frontage road to Taft, then east on Taft to 1st Street. Go south on 1st Street to Wilson, then west on Wilson to C.B. Wood Park. This multi-use park that borders the Arroyo Colorado retains native Tamaulipan brush. Look for Curve-billed and Long-billed Thrashers, Olive Sparrow, a variety of wintering sparrows such as Lincoln's, and nesting flycatchers such as Couch's Kingbird and Brown-crested Flycatcher (summer).
and 26.1747,-97.6962 (C.B. Wood)
Return to Taft and continue east on Taft toward Commerce Street. Turn right into the Harlingen Thicket parking lot before the railroad tracks. The thicket is a remarkable site; a remnant of Tamaulipan brush with an impressive plant variety in the center of urban Harlingen. Scrub birds such as Bewick's Wren, Olive Sparrow, and Harris's Hawk are common in the thicket. Future enhancements should allow this park to develop into one of the urban wildlife jewels of the Valley.
Lon C. Hill (Fair) Park
Return on Taft to US 77; remain on the frontage road traveling north. Continue past the intersection of US 77 and US 83 to Fairpark Blvd., turn right, and continue to the Lon C. Hill Park on your right. The park contains a variety of native trees and shrubs, and productive butterfly and hummingbird gardens have been planted across from the Municipal Auditorium. This is where the annual Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival is held each November.