Red River Loop
- City of Paris, (903) 784-2501, www.paristexas.com
- Red River County COC, (903) 427-2645, www.red-river.net
Caddo National Grasslands - Bois d'Arc Unit
Bois D'arc Trailhead: From the intersection of US 82 and SH 78 in Bonham, go north on SH 78 for 0.8 mile to FM 273. Turn right (north) on FM 273 and follow it 5.9 miles to FM 1396. Go right (east) on FM 1396 for 7.2 miles to FM 2029. Turn left (northwest) for 3.8 miles to FM 409. Turn right (east) on FM 409 and travel 2.5 miles to the Bois D'arc Trailhead.
A walk or ride along the Bois D'arc Trail offers an introduction to the mosaic of habitats composing Caddo National Grasslands. Birds seen along the trail include Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting and Field Sparrow. Look for Eastern Bluebird in open areas. Remember to check the numerous Carolina Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse flocks for neotropical migrants and the occasional nuthatch. White-tailed deer are common and coyotes or bobcats are occasionally seen. A variety of butterflies, including Red-spotted Purple, can also be seen along the trail.
Coffeemill Lake: From the intersection of SR 82 and SR 78 in Bonham, go north on SR 78 for 0.8 mile to FM 898. Turn right (north) on FM 898 and follow it 5.9 miles to FM 1396. Go right (east) on FM 1396 for 7.2 miles to FM 2029. Turn left (northwest) for 3.8 miles to FM 409. Turn right (east) on FM 409 and travel 3.4 miles to Coffeemill Lake.
Scan the lake in late summer for wandering terns, including the endangered Interior Least Tern, which occasionally visit the lake from nesting habitats along the Red River. Check the campground at the north end of the lake for woodland species such as Summer Tanager and Eastern Wood-Pewee. The more open areas attract insect eaters such as Eastern Kingbird and Purple Martin. Several species of dragonflies, including Slaty and Widow Skimmers, can be seen along the lakeshore.
Lake Crockett: From the intersection of SR 82 and SR 78 in Bonham, go north on SR 78 for 0.8 mile to FM 898. Turn right (north) on FM 898 and follow it 5.9 miles to FM 1396. Go right (east) on FM 1396 for 7.2 miles to FM 2029. Turn left (northwest) for 3.8 miles to FM 409. Turn right (east) on FM 409 and travel 6.2 miles to Lake Crockett (west), continue 0.8 mile across the dam to Lake Crockett (east).
Green and Great Blue Herons frequent the undisturbed banks and terns can appear from time to time. Look for a variety of waterfowl during winter. The woodland surrounding the lake resounds in birdsong early in the day. Listen for Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Eastern Phoebe. The lake attracts numerous dragonflies such as Slaty Skimmers and Eastern Amberwings along the shore and Halloween Pennants in the fields.
Lake Fannin: From the intersection of FM 2029 and FM 273 in Telephone, go west on FM 273 for 6.8 miles to PR 34. Follow PR 34 for 1.8 miles to Lake Fannin.
The lake provides habitat for a variety of waterfowl in winter and during migration, although Wood Ducks can be found year-round. In summer Green Herons nest in the trees along the banks and numerous Eastern Tiger and Giant Swallowtails sip from the moist banks. Dragonflies are numerous along the shore and over the water, and the woodlands around the lake host Summer Tanager, Painted Bunting and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.
Gambill Goose Refuge
From the intersection of US 82 and US 271 in north Paris, go west on US 82 for 1.3 miles to FM 79. Bear right (west) on FM 79 and travel 3.3 miles to FM 2820. Turn left on FM 2820 and follow it west 2 miles to the refuge road on the right. Turn right and go 0.6 mile to the lakeshore access road on the right.
This 600-acre refuge is spectacular in winter, though the lake hosts a variety of wildlife year-round. Visitors driving along the western shore in summer could see Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, along with Lark Sparrow and Dickcissel. The lake also attracts a diversity of swallows, with Barn Swallow and Purple Martin being most numerous. The resident population of Canada Geese is occasionally joined by summering Snow, Blue or White-fronted Geese. The geese are commonly fed and the easy food source attracts dozens of sizable western chicken turtles and red-eared sliders. The fields around the lake are often filled with wildflowers, attracting numerous butterflies and dragonflies.
Pat Mayse Dam - Moist Soil Unit
From the intersection of US 82 and US 271 in north Paris, go north on US 271 for 10.8 miles to FM 906 in Midcity. Turn left (west) on FM 906 and follow west 3.3 miles across the Pat Mayse Dam. Turn right (northeast) at the gated access road and follow it 0.7 mile behind the dam. Parking is available west of the water release channel. Handicapped parking is available at the information kiosk parking lot.
Just below the dam at Pat Mayse Reservoir lay a series of wetlands stretching along the banks of Sanders Creek. These wetlands attract a variety of shorebirds and waterfowl. In late summer, look for Painted Bunting, Dickcissel and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in the brush and open grasslands. The year-round water source provides habitat for dragonflies such as Widow Skimmers and Halloween Pennants, along with the diminutive Powdered Dancer damselfly. Nesting Mississippi Kites can be seen snatching prey out of the air and consuming it on the wing. The wildlife blind, located a few hundred yards from the information kiosk, provides visitors close-up viewing of birds such as Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Least and Pectoral Sandpipers, Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs and Blue-winged Teal.
From the intersection of US 82 and SR 37 in Clarksville, go east on US 82 for 2.2 miles to FM 1159. Turn left (north) and follow FM 1159 for 16.2 miles. The Greenwood gate entrance is on right.
This beautiful 1,800-acre private ranch is managed for wildlife abundance and diversity. Habitats include mixed riparian forest, wetlands, oxbow lakes, beaver impoundments, spring fed creek, hardwood-pine woodlands and open meadows. Visitors can enjoy over 20 miles of trails through various habitats. Comfortable lodging for up to 6 occupants is also available.
Birds include a diversity of songbirds during spring migration along with summer residents such as Indigo and Painted Buntings. Numerous waterbirds visit during the late summer to feed in the beaver impoundments. Wood Storks regularly occur among the more numerous Little Blue Herons and Snowy Egrets. Winter brings a diversity of sparrows, waterfowl and occasionally Bald Eagles. Large numbers of waterfowl fill the open water in winter and early spring, providing a remarkable viewing experience. The endangered Interior Least Tern nests on the sandy islands in the river.
Mammals include white-tailed deer, bobcat, coyote, river otter, beaver, muskrat, mink and nutria, along with a variety of aquatic and terrestrial reptiles and amphibians. Many of the woody plants are identified along the trails, and bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian, insect and plant lists are being compiled.
Lennox Woods Preserve
From the intersection of US 82 and SR 37 in Clarksville, drive north on SR 37 for 10.1 miles to FM 2118. Turn left (west) on FM 2118 and go 1.5 miles. Turn left onto CR 2227 a gravel road at the Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church sign. The entrance to the preserve is 1.4 miles from FM 2118.
The Martha Lennox Memorial Nature Trail takes visitors through a variety of habitats, from upland short leaf pine oak forest to bottomland hardwoods. A walk along the trails beneath the magnificence of old growth timber is a rare privilege provided at this preserve. Red-headed Woodpeckers are often seen in more open areas, while Pileated Woodpeckers are more common within the forest. In spring, the woods host numerous wood warblers, with Northern Parulas and Pine Warblers buzzing from the treetops and Hooded and Kentucky Warblers chipping from dense brush along the streams. In late summer check the noisy flocks of Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmice for birds such as Black-and-white Warblers. These mixed flocks often host Brown-headed and White-breasted Nuthatches year-round and the occasional Red-breasted Nuthatch in winter. An interpretive brochure and bird list can be obtained at www.nature.org/texas.
From the intersection of US 82 and SR 37 in Clarksville, drive north on SR 37 for 1.1 miles to CR 3150. Turn east on CR 3150 and follow approximately 0.5 mile to the lake.
Located just north of the city of Clarksville, this small lake is home to a variety of wildlife. In summer, scan the perches around the lake for Dickcissel, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbird. Look for red-eared sliders and skulking Green Herons in the shallow water along the shore. The lake supports an excellent diversity of dragonflies, with Eastern Amberwings and Blue Dashers flying over the water, Rambur's Forktail glimmering in the reeds and Black Saddlebags cruising high overhead. Migratory waterfowl and shorebirds are common during fall and winter.
From the intersection of BU 82J at BU 37B in Clarksville, drive north on BU 37B for 0.2 mile to W. Pierce St., turn right (east) and follow it to the inn on the right. The inn is located 1 block north of the historic Red River County Courthouse.
Part of the history of Red River County and located just north of the courthouse, the inn has been a fixture in Clarksville for over 100 years. This beautifully restored inn offers a perfect base from which to explore this corner of northeastern Texas. Numerous large trees support Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers all year and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in the winter. The bird feeders in the garden attract a variety of birds, including House Finch and White-breasted Nuthatch. A growing garden attracts numerous butterflies, with Eastern Tiger and Spicebush Swallowtails being especially common.
From the intersection of US 82 and SR 37 in Clarksville, go east on US 82 for 9 miles to FM 44. Turn right (south) on FM 44 and follow it 5.6 miles to CR 4230. Go right on CR 4230 and drive 1.4 miles to CR 4220. Turn left on CR 4220 and drive up hill to Terrapin Hill on the right after approximately 100 yards.
The numerous birdhouses and feeders throughout the gardens of this beautiful property attract Painted and Indigo Buntings, Ruby-throated Hummingbird and several species of woodpecker. The pines behind the house buzz with Pine Warblers, and a pair of Prothonotary Warblers regularly nest on the porch. Behind the house, a series of trails allow visitors to explore mixed hardwood woodland. Additional trails across from the main house lead downhill to a quiet lake, where Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue and Green Herons can be seen stalking prey in the shallows. Look for a variety of waterfowl during the winter. River otters are also occasionally seen in the area. In winter, more than 100 goldfinches have been known to visit the property. Summer visitors should search the woods for Yellow-billed Cuckoo during the day and listen for the songs of Whip-poor-wills in the evenings.