Brazos Bend State Park

Park Alert... 

Trails Information

Explore the ecological crossroads of Brazos Bend.

illustration of American alligator
American alligator
We invite you to enjoy, appreciate and learn from the trail system at Brazos Bend State Park. Watch the many kinds of birds that feed in the park’s lush wetlands. Observe the interrelations of nature and listen to sounds of the marsh, prairie and woodlands as they reveal many species of wildlife.


All trails are hiking and biking unless otherwise indicated. We may close trails due to wet weather conditions. Please contact the park for the latest closings as they change frequently.

This list may not include all trails in the park.

Trail Distance Time Difficulty Description
Big Creek Loop 1.7 mi. 1 hr. Moderate This primitive trail takes visitors on a hike along the creek and to the park’s Loop Trail north boundary.
Elm Lake Loop 1.7 mi. 1 hr. Moderate This very popular route gives you some of the best wildlife viewing anywhere.
Red Buckeye Trail 1.4 mi. 90 min. Moderate For visitors looking to get away from the crowds and take a walk in the woods, this trail offers miles of tranquility and wild discovery.
Pilant Slough Trail 1.2 mi. 1 hr. Moderate This trail starts near the amphitheater at the nature center and follows Pilant Slough as it meanders through the bottomland forest.
40 Acre Lake Trail 1.2 mi. 1 hr. Moderate An excellent way to view the American alligator, this hike allows you to experience several different aquatic habitats.
Prairie Trail 1.3 mi. 1 hr. Moderate This short trail takes visitors to an elevated observation platform overlooking a coastal tall grass prairie and boardwalk over a small temporary pond.
Live Oak Trail 1.7 mi. 90 min. Moderate Hike this route along the park's southern boundary to experience the wetlands ecosystem, a major part of our park.
Creekfield Lake ADA Trail 0.5 mi. 90 min. Easy This short trail with ADA accessible attributes makes it easy for you to see many different kinds of wildlife and features interpretative signs along the way.
Creekwood Lake Trails 6.0 mi. 2.5 hrs. Challenging Hike these two backcountry trails for a rigorous trek through the wilderness of Brazos Bend.
List of trails

Points of Interest

GPS coordinates shown in decimal degrees.

Point Latitude Longitude Description
Elm Lake Wildlife Viewing Platform 29.3770° -95.6057° This well-equipped deck provides spectacular panoramic views of the many wildlife species that live in Elm Lake.
Observation Tower at 40 Acre Lake 29.3738° -95.6229° Ascend this tower for memorable views of the sunsets, sunrises, marshes, lakes and hardwood wetlands that set Brazos Bend apart.
Yellowstone Landing 29.3956° -95.5471° The steamer "Yellowstone" passed this point many times during the Texas Revolution and Republic era. Today, it's a great fishing location.
Creekfield Lake ADA Interpretive Trail 29.3754° -95.5962° A microcosm of the entire park, this paved route includes interpretive sign panels and makes wildlife accessible for all. 
Observatory 29.3750° -95.5935° Journey to the stars at this astronomical observatory operated by the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
The Cistern at the Nature Center 29.3764° -95.5968° A clue that a house once stood here, this underground water storage and collection tank provided water during the 1800s, before modern utilities existed.
Prairie Platform on Prairie Trail 29.3678° -95.6292° This platform provides excellent views of restored coastal prairie, a remnant of an ecosystem that once covered millions of acres of prehistoric Texas.
List of points of interest

Staying Safe

  • Know your limits. Prepare for sun and heat. Wear sunscreen, insect repellent and appropriate clothing/hiking shoes.
  • Drink plenty of water. Your body quickly loses fluids when you’re on the trail. Bring a quart of water per hour of activity.
  • Tell others where you’ll be. If possible, avoid exploring alone. Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Wear a helmet when biking. Check with park HQ to match the trail to your skill level. Wear a helmet to protect yourself in case of a crash.
  • Alligators live in this park. Stay at least 30 feet away from them. Stay out of the water! Never annoy or try to feed an alligator!
  • Potentially harmful plants and animals live here. You’ll see them more easily if you stay on trails.

Trail Etiquette

  • Trash your trash. Keep your park looking natural. Pack up all of your trash and Leave No Trace.
  • Leave feeding to nature. Feeding wild animals will make them sick and more likely to harm people.
  • Take only memories and pictures. Please don’t disturb or remove any of the park’s plants, animals or artifacts.
  • Keep pets on leashes no more than six feet in length for their safety, and to protect wildlife.
  • We need to know about your caches. Please check with park HQ before placing geocaches within the park.