Stephen F. Austin Loop

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SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center
PPWE 008

This site is open for day use only.

From Hwy. 59 Business in Nacogdoches, turn east onto Austin. Go 2 blocks and at the intersection of Austin and Raguet (a 4-way stop), turn south on Raguet. The SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center is located on the east side of the street, just north of the Raguet Elementary School. Follow signs to the visitor parking area.

The Lady Bird Johnson Demonstration Gardens are a unique collection of native East Texas plants that are especially useful for yards, gardens and public spaces. The plants are displayed in a tiered fashion, representing 3 plant communities: dry uplands, mesic slopes and streamside habitat. Checklists of plants and birds are available on the center's website.

Portions of the gardens consist of mature hardwoods and pines in a park-like setting, while other portions are maintained in brushy thickets. Two miles of accessible trails wind through the 43-acre property.

A main trail takes visitors through Tucker Woods to join the Lanana Creek Trail. Look for resident birds such as Carolina Chickadee, Red-bellied Woodpecker and Tufted Titmouse or listen for the calls of summer residents such as the Summer Tanager and Red-eyed Vireo. Over 105 species of birds have been spotted in Tucker Woods and around the center. Be sure to stop along the wooden boardwalk to admire the bald cypress, American elder, willow, buttonbush, smartweed and ash. Several snags and woody debris along the trail provide excellent places to look and listen for woodpeckers.

(936) 468-1832
Learn more about Native Plant Center

Latitude: 31.6295
Longitude: -94.6466

SFA Mast Arboretum
PPWE 009

This site is open for day use only.

From Hwy. 59 Business in Nacogdoches, the arboretum can be reached by taking Starr or College Ave. east off of Hwy. 59/North St. and turning onto Wilson Dr. The arboretum is next to the SFASU intramural fields.

Located on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University, the arboretum features a spectacular array of over 3,000 plant species and 20 theme gardens. Informational signs are located throughout the gardens and most plants are labeled with their common and scientific names. There are Herb and Fern Gardens, Conifer and Holly Gardens, a Butterfly Garden, an Asian Valley, a Bee Hive Exhibit and a Heritage Garden. There is also a Children's Garden and outdoor education pavilion. The grounds are decorated with various statues, artwork, benches, trellises, pagodas, greenhouses and fences. The arboretum attracts a variety of migratory and resident birds, including warblers, Carolina Wren, Mourning Dove, swallows, Carolina Chickadee, sparrows, woodpeckers, finches and orioles.

Visitors can also enjoy azaleas, camellias, maples, hydrangea and a number of rare ornamental trees and shrubs in the Ruby Mize Azalea Garden and Gayla Mize Garden.

(936) 468-1832
Learn more about Mast Arboretum

Latitude: 31.6202
Longitude: -94.6431

Lanana Creek Trail & Pecan Park
PPWE 010

This site is open for day use only.

The Lanana Creek Trail starts at 805 E. Main (TX 21 & Hwy. 7) behind Liberty Hall and just off the east side of Loop 224.

This 3.5-mile trail starts at the soccer complex across from Liberty Hall and continues north through a variety of habitats, ending at the Jimmy Hinds Park. Pecan Park, a vast spread of pecan trees located near the university campus, has restrooms, water fountains and a playground.

A pond bordering the trail provides habitat for frogs and other aquatic species. Bald cypress, sycamore, willow, arrowhead, ash and lilies are some of the plants that comprise the wetland vegetation. The rich, moist soils along Lanana Creek support a diversity of trees such as dogwood, black walnut, pecan and water oak. Look for the massive water oaks along the creek banks. Look and listen for the characteristic call and plumage of the Louisiana Waterthrush bobbing along the stream edge. The density of trees varies along the trail, as does the amount of understory vegetation, providing ample opportunities for viewing a whole host of wildlife species.

Spring migration brings colorful warblers and orioles, who adorn the trees with brightly colored plumage and musical songs. Some of these birds nest during the summer or live year-round along the creek.

(936) 559-2960

Latitude: 31.6013
Longitude: -94.6485

Stag Leap Retreat/Country Inn
PPWE 011

Call ahead, access to the site is restricted; visitation may be arranged by contacting the managing entity at the address and telephone number provided.
An entrance fee or donation may be required.

From Loop 224 heading west/south in Nacogdoches, travel west to the Hwy. 7/Crockett Exit. Go west on Hwy. 7 for 6.4 miles to FM 2782. Turn right onto FM 2782 and go 2 miles to Stag Leap Retreat.

Numerous trails throughout the 200-acre property provide plenty of opportunities to hike and bike. Forested habitats include hickories, eastern red-cedar, pine, water oak, sweetgum, post oak, American holly, winged elm, sassafras, dogwood, American beautyberry, Virginia creeper, red buckeye, coral bean, American elder and black walnut. Listen as Carolina Wrens and White-eyed Vireos call from the trees, while vultures and Chimney Swifts soar overhead.

Bonaldo Creek runs through the property providing a peaceful atmosphere and great habitat for birds, mammals, reptiles, butterflies and amphibians. Look for the Pileated Woodpecker's red flare or listen for its calls and loud drumming in the woody vegetation. Red-eyed Vireo and Tufted Titmouse are just a few of the common birds that may be observed. Listen for the call of the Red-tailed Hawk or the Wood Thrush ringing through the trees. Evening hikers may be greeted by owls, flying squirrels and other nocturnal land mammals.

Stag Leap offers 5 private bed and breakfast cabins, each one uniquely furnished and surrounded by wildlife habitat.

(936) 560-0766

Latitude: 31.5526
Longitude: -94.781

Fair Breeze Cottage
PPWE 012

Call ahead, access to the site is restricted; visitation may be arranged by contacting the managing entity at the address and telephone number provided.

From the intersection of Loop 224 and Hwy. 7 West in Nacogdoches, travel 6.4 miles on Hwy. 7 West. Turn right (north) on FM 2782 and go 0.7 mile. Turn left (west) on CR 724 and travel 1 mile. Turn left (south) into the Fair Breeze entrance.

The 46-acre property offers a series of trails and scenic vistas which lead visitors through upland pastures and into bottomland hardwoods along Bonaldo Creek. Pasture plants include Paspalum, broomsedge, bluestem and wildflowers such as bee balm, black-eyed Susans, yellow and white asters and mist flower. Follow the small wooden bridge over the creek and into the forest. Carolina Wren, White-eyed Vireo, Indigo Bunting and Eastern Phoebe vocalize from nearby territories. River birch, buttonbush, sweetgum, oaks, hickories, American hornbeam, lizard's tail and a variety of rushes and sedges can be found along the creek bottoms. As you move to the interior of the forest, the trail meanders along the creek; watch for edge species among the blackberry, box elder and persimmon saplings, goldenrod and Japanese honeysuckle.

Fair Breeze offers a private bed and breakfast cottage located on a bluff bordering Bonaldo Creek, with 2 ponds, a quaint pier for fishing, an expansive meadow and bottomland hardwoods.

(936) 615-1150

Latitude: 31.5304
Longitude: -94.7925

Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest and Interpretive Trail
PPWE 013

This site is open for day use only.

From the intersection of Hwy. 7 and FM 2782 just southwest of Nacogdoches, turn south on FM 2782 and proceed 2.3 miles to entrance of SFA Experimental Forest. Proceed past entrance gate approximately 0.25 mile and then follow the signs to the trail parking lot.

This 2,560-acre experimental forest consists primarily of mature bottomland hardwood habitat (1,600 acres, seasonally flooded) and mature upland hardwood-pine and pine habitats. Forest diversity includes 30 species of mammals, more than 150 species of resident and migratory birds and over 80 species of butterflies.

Two loops comprise 3 miles of nature trails with a viewing blind and bat houses at the entrance to the trail head. The Jack Creek Loop is a 0.8-mile, paved interpretive trail with a variable grade along Jack Creek. Notice the ferns, basket grass and mayapples growing on the forest floor. The Management Loop, which serves as a demonstration site for forest and wildlife management practices, winds through 5 different management units of the forest.

Interpretative signs give both the casual observer and the well-studied nature enthusiast insights into the forest vegetation. Notable plants include fringe tree, Carolina buckthorn, Carolina basswood, cherrybark oak, spice bush, swamp chestnut oak as well as short-leaf pine, loblolly pine, sweetgum, mockernut hickory, sassafras and flowering dogwood. Birds such as Carolina Wren, Downy Woodpecker and Tufted Titmouse are sure to make their presence known. Summer Tanager, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-eyed and White-eyed Vireos, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Barred and Screech Owls, Prothonotary Warbler and Northern Parula are also often heard and seen.

Numerous benches, conveniently located along the trails, provide visitors a place to rest, watch wildlife or just enjoy the surrounding beauty.

(936) 569-7981

Latitude: 31.4981
Longitude: -94.7619

Alazan Bayou Wildlife Management Area
PPWE 014

This site is open daily, and developed camping is available at the site.
An entrance fee or donation may be required.

From Nacogdoches, travel 7 miles south on Hwy. 59 to FM 2782. Go west 2 miles on FM 2782 to the entrance.

This 2,063-acre WMA located in southern Nacogdoches County was purchased in 1991 to preserve mature bottomland hardwood forests adjacent to the Angelina River. The bottomland forest typically begins to flood during mid-winter as the river and bayous overbank, with inundation continuing through early spring. For great wildlife viewing, visit the viewing deck at the end of the road on the west side overlooking the wetland cells. Interpretive panels discussing bottomland hardwood forests, wetland habitat management and birding opportunities are also found on the viewing deck.

Look for Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, sparrows, Loggerhead Shrike, Dickcissel and Blue Grosbeak in open grassland along the road. In wetland areas, look for herons and egrets, White Ibis and American Bittern. Indigo Buntings sing from arboreal perches while turtles bask on logs. Wood Duck boxes are mounted throughout the wetlands.

The middle road winds through additional upland and wetland habitats before ending at the parking area. From here, 3 wood roads provide additional access to various habitats. Plants along the trails include red oak, red maple, water oak, sweetgum, sugarberry, American hornbeam and eastern gamma grass. Look for birds such as Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Green Heron, Yellow-breasted Chat, Common Yellowthroat, White-tailed Kite, Painted Bunting, Wood Stork and LeConte's Sparrow. White-tailed deer, Wild Turkey, feral hogs, squirrels and rabbits can also be seen along the trails.

(936) 569-8547

Latitude: 31.4969
Longitude: -94.7476

Saint's Rest Road
PPWE 015

This site is open for day use only.

From Nacogdoches, take FM 1275 South from Loop 224 for 6.3 miles to CR 538. Turn right on CR 538 for 0.4 mile then left on CR 539. CR 539 is Saint's Rest Rd., continue 3 miles until its dead end at Angelina River. The site is restricted to viewing from the county road right-of-way.

Follow Doors Creek and drive down to the banks of the Angelina River to view the various habitat types and unique wildlife species along Saint's Rest Rd. Parking is limited to the county road right-of-way. As you drive down the road, the habitat changes from pine forest to riparian bottomland hardwoods, then to the floodplain of the Angelina River. Look for Louisiana Waterthrush, Solitary Vireo, Rusty Blackbird, Purple Finch and various warblers. Watch the beaver pond area for Belted Kingfisher and various wading birds.

Look for Question Mark, Viceroy and Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies along the moist edges of the roadway and the riverbank. Dragonflies frequenting the area include Little Blue Dragonlet, Eastern Amberwing, Blue Dasher and Wandering Glider.

(936) 564-7351

Latitude: 31.4933
Longitude: -94.6036

Texas Forestry Museum, Urban Wildscape Trail
PPWE 016

This site is open for day use only.

Take Loop 287 in Lufkin to the east side of town. Exit onto Atkinson Dr./Hwy. 103 East. Turn west (into town) to the museum which is approximately 2 blocks down on the right (less than 1 mile). Trail is located directly behind the museum.

Located within the city limits, this urban trail takes visitors on a refreshing journey through forest habitat. A viewing blind provides visitors a place to rest and unobtrusively view the wildlife. Feeders, bluebird and chickadee houses and a bat box offer added viewing opportunities.

Visitors may use the 0.12-mile paved portion of the trail or branch off onto the 0.25 mile of wood chip-lined forest trails. A new 0.33-mile Bridge Trail has also been added to the Urban Landscape, offering 3 bridge crossings over low-lying areas. Interpretive signs are placed along the trails to provide visitors with information about the forest. A trail brochure with descriptive information about native species is available inside the museum.

Primarily a mixed pine-hardwood forest, trees include loblolly pine, water oak, winged elm, southern red oak, white ash, cherrybark oak, Carolina laurelcherry, black hickory and sweetgum.

Birds known to utilize the area include Chimney Swift, Pine Warbler, Carolina Wren, Mourning Dove, Downy, Pileated and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Summer Tanager, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, Chipping Sparrow and Red-tailed Hawk. Also look for armadillos, squirrels, Virginia opossums, various snakes and skinks and box turtles.

(936) 632-9535

Latitude: 31.3506
Longitude: -94.7049