Trinity Loop

More Information:

Cedar Hill Park - Wallisville Lake Project
UTC 031

This site is open for day use only.

From I-10 east of Houston, take exit 810 and head north on FM 563 for 2.9 miles to Lake Charlotte Rd. Turn left/west on Lake Charlotte Rd. and travel 1.2 miles to park entrance on the left.

Located on a bluff, the trails, boardwalk, and observation points overlooking Lake Charlotte and the cypress swamp that encircles the lake are excellent for observing Bald Eagles, Osprey, and cormorants fishing during the winter months. Migratory songbirds are abundant throughout the heavily wooded areas. Picnic facilities and restrooms are available in the park. The adventuresome may also want to launch their canoe or kayak into the lake for a closer view of the wildlife of the cypress swamp.

Latitude: 29.8775
Longitude: -94.7148

UTC 032

This site is open for day use only.

Liberty is situated on the banks of the Trinity River on US 90/TX 146. 

The Liberty Municipal Park provides excellent birding.  There is a small pond that attracts herons and egrets, and the walking trail is paved and meanders through open fields and wooded habitat. Picnic and restroom facilities are available.  The park is located at the end of Cook Road, off Loop 227 in Liberty.

Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge showcases bald eagles, swallow-tailed kites, neotropical migrant songbirds and waterfowl. The Trinity River NWR can be visited through two day-use areas located in Liberty, TX:

Knobby Knees Trailhead (30.0861716, -94.783881):  a network of 9 miles of trails which showcase Palmer Bayou, two oxbow lakes, and the Trinity River. Directions: From Loop 227 (Main Street) in Liberty, take Cook Road west into the Liberty Municipal Park as it curves left past the entrance and take the right/north turn on R E Vinson Dr.  Follow the road past ball fields and play areas and park along the roadside.  The trailhead is found east of the park maintenance garage and the kiosk is visible from the paved walking path. 

Great Egret’s Ridge Trailhead (30.0603904, -94.8070868): a network of 7 miles of trails which showcase Big Bayou, two oxbow lakes, and the Trinity River. The trailhead is located at the northern end of Ohio Street, best accessed from US 90/TX 146.  Take Louisiana Street north from US 90/TX 146, turn left/west on Lamar, then right/north on Ohio St.  A small parking area is on the right and the trailhead is found at the end of the paved street.

City of Liberty 936-336-2910

Trinity River NWR 936-336-9786


Latitude: 30.0803
Longitude: -94.7814

Swallow-tailed Kite Viewing Area
UTC 032A

This site is open for day use only.

US 90/TX 146 between Liberty and Dayton. (Although Swallow-tailed Kites are often seen throughout the Liberty area.)

Swallow-tailed Kites are seen daily along this river bottom section of US 90 from April to August, with July and August being best. Carefully pull well off onto the highway shoulder when you see the kites: it is not uncommon to see groups of kites leisurely soaring over the trees (scan the skies—the kites are most often seen foraging over the treetops). Mid-morning or later is the best time to search as these kites wait for thermals which make soaring easier.

eBird Hotspot: Liberty-Dayton US-90 (Trinity R.)

Latitude: 30.0569
Longitude: -94.8339

Champion Lake - Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge
UTC 032B

This site is open for day use only.

From US 90/TX 146 in Dayton, take FM 1409 south for 10 miles. Turn left/east on CR 417 for two miles to the Champion Lake Public Use Area.

Enjoy wildlife viewing from the pier and two small boat ramps on Champion Lake and Pickett's Bayou. Bird the levee trail or butterfly garden trail. This 5,500-acre tract (part of the 30,000-acre refuge) is open daylight hours only. Champion Lake is home to thousands of nesting herons and egrets, wintering waterfowl, and numerous species of migrating warblers during spring and fall migration. In the spring/summer, find resident Black-bellied Whistling-ducks, Swallow-tailed Kites, Prothonotary Warbler, and Northern Parula.  Restrooms are available.

(936) 336-9786

Latitude: 29.9190
Longitude: -94.8006

Sheldon Lake State Park and Environmental Learning Center
UTC 033

This site is open for day use only.
An entrance fee or donation may be required.

Return to FM 1409 and head south. Turn left onto FM 565 to I-10. Take I-10 west into Houston, taking exit 781A for TX 8 Beltway. Head north on TX 8 Beltway, exit Garrett Rd., and turn right onto Garrett Rd. to reach this park.

This site is most productive in winter, with flocks of waterfowl blanketing the various lakes and ponds. The surrounding weedy fields may hold a variety of sparrows, including Le Conte's. Buckhorn Lake (located further east on Garrett Rd.) is an excellent spot for Anhingas and Ospreys.

Latitude: 29.88322
Longitude: -95.18531

Lake Houston Wilderness Park
UTC 034

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

Head north on TX 8 Beltway to the US 59 exit. Dive north on US 59 to FM 1485, then head east to the park entrance.

Situated in the San Jacinto River bottomlands along the upper reach of the lake, many of the typical eastern woodland birds may be seen along the nature trails that meander through the dense bottomland forests of this park.


Latitude: 30.14776
Longitude: -95.16885

Big Creek Scenic Area
UTC 035

This site is open for day use only.

Return west on FM 1485 to US 59. Go north on US 59 to Cleveland and FM 2025, and continue north on FM 2025 to FM 2666. The Sam Houston National Park has developed an interpretive site in a Red-cockaded Woodpecker group approximately 0.2 mile south of the intersection of FM 2025 and FM 2666. Travel east on FM 2666, north on FR 221, and then east on FR 217 to Big Creek Scenic Area.

Louisiana Waterthrush nest along Big Creek, and Worm-eating Warblers have been found along the nature trails in summer. If you enjoy dragonflies, look for Gray Petaltail near the parking area.

Latitude: 30.5057
Longitude: -95.08856

W.G.Jones State Forest
UTC 036

This site is open for day use only.

From Cleveland, go west on TX 105 to Loop 336 near Conroe. Go south on Loop 336 to I-45, then continue south on I-45 to FM 1488. Travel west on FM 1488 to W.G. Jones State Forest.

The office of the Texas Forest Service is open daily, and an information packet containing a bird checklist and a detailed map of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker clusters within the forest may be obtained there. NOTE: do not disturb these birds by playing tapes or knocking on the painted cavity trees.


Latitude: 30.23439
Longitude: -95.48389

Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
UTC 037

This site is open for day use only.

Return to I-45, and continue south to FM 1960/Cypress Creek Pkwy. Go east on FM 1960 to Aldine-Westfield Rd., then north on Aldine-Westfield to this site.

Although primarily an urban nature center and botanical garden, Mercer Arboretum offers an opportunity to see many of the eastern woodland birds fairly close to Houston.

Latitude: 30.03669
Longitude: -95.38167

Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center
UTC 038

This site is open for day use only.

Return to FM 1960, and continue east on FM 1960 to Kenswick. Go north on Kenswick Dr. which dead-ends into the nature center.

With over 300 acres of floodplain forest and approximately 9 miles of all-weather trails and boardwalks, visitors have a chance to experience seasonal and resident woodland and shorebird species, including Swainson's Warblers and Bald Eagles. Jones Park is located on the 33-mile-long Spring Creek Greenway Project. The nature center offers live and static displays of local wildlife and educational programs year-round, including naturalist guided walks. This park is located within a 20-minute drive from George Bush International Airport. If you wish to bird the south shore of Lake Houston return to FM 1960 and continue east. Then travel south on US 59 and east on Beltway 8 to reach Alexander Deussen Park.

Latitude: 30.02256
Longitude: -95.29428