Gator/Birding Hike at Brazos Bend (9 or 14 miles)

I want us to do a series of Brazos hikes throughout the summer so we can get a chance to see the changing scenery as well as the biodiversity.  Brazos is a great place to see the cycle of life in motion.  The last hike we did let us witness Turtles laying eggs.  Spoonbills and Bitterns were just starting to arrive.  Yellow Crowned Night Herons were waiting for the upcoming tadpole and crawdad feast.

Now we should be seeing more spoonbills, and the Night Herons should be gorging on crawdads.  The tadpoles will be coming soon.  We should see black bellied whistling duck heads poking out of nest boxes, and if we're lucky we may start seeing ducklings.  Egrets are hatching, and we'll keep our eyes peeled for nests.  Alligator females are still building nests and laying eggs.

Brazos is where alligators are put out to pasture, and it is full of big ones!  You have never experienced anything like this before.  All of the photos shown here were taken by me on my many frequent trips to this park.  It is my favorite wildlife park in Texas.

Lesser Bittern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brazos also has a spectacular bird population making it a birder's paradise

Juvenile Yellow Crowned Night Heron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After meeting at Gander Mountain at 8:00am, we will carpool into the park together, meet at the Parking lot by the Nature Center, and set out on our hike at 8:45.  We will explore Creekfield Lake, Hale Lake, 40 Acre Lake, and Elm Lake.  You will see alligators up close and personal on this hike, and the birding will also be terrific.  If it were up to me we would be there when the gates open so we get the first crack at the wildlife...but I won't torture you all with a 7am meet time.  :-)



The last time we hiked Brazos we saw a few dozen gators, and some of those were a pretty impressive size...12 feet or so.  I promise to get you up close and personal to a couple if you like.  :-)  See you there!

This guy hopped out of the water and trotted across the trail in front of me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Adult Yellow Crowned Night Heron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Join or login to comment.

  • Heather R.

    So much fun! Beautiful park.

    May 28, 2013

  • Amelia A.

    Awesome, a bit hot but lots of shaded areas. Definitely a good workout. I can not wait for the Austin trip. I think I want to ride on the upper levels on the megabus that would be fun.

    May 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great pics Jennifer!

    May 26, 2013

  • Jodi A.

    Any day at Brazos is a great day; the highlight was seeing the mother gator and her babies!

    May 26, 2013

    • Nicki

      Hi Jodi! it was great meeting you. the funny highlight for me was you finding your "romeo" :) hope to see you again soon! ---Nicki

      May 28, 2013

    • Jennifer B.

      Romeo? Did Jodi get too close to a gator again? :-)

      May 28, 2013

  • Andrea

    Judging Jennifer's photos, the hike had to be really amazing. I'll make sure I'll make it to the next one.

    May 27, 2013

    • Andrea

      Well, I didn't want them to drive back.

      May 27, 2013

    • Luke

      We did :-(

      May 27, 2013

  • Tony S.

    As always, it was fantastic.

    May 27, 2013

  • Ben H.

    My wife and I had a great time and appreciate Jennifer's guidance and now awesome photos. Thanks much!!

    May 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What a great hike! Birding was great and we saw so many alligators including a mother with her young.

    May 26, 2013

  • Jennifer B.

    Info I said I would post. Let me know if I forget anything:
    Flickr site for meetups: www.flickr.com/cooljennpics/sets
    I'm downloading more pics tonight.
    My camera: Sony DSC-HX100V / 10 shots per second burst, 30x optical/ 100x digital

    May 26, 2013

    • Jodi A.

      Thanks for posting! Love the pix!

      May 26, 2013

  • Alex

    This was a great hike and as always met with pretty cool people. Jennifer as always, nice job!

    May 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Haha how cool love the pics. Didn't make it out tho. Got home about 3 am and didn't want to get up at 6:30a.m. Next time I would party before a great looking event. I have been to this park many times and love it. So I'm sure I would've loved it even more with such a great group. Thumbs Up Guys and Gals!

    May 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Won't * party

      May 26, 2013

  • Jesus

    It was a great hike like always.

    May 26, 2013

  • Julie

    We got stuck in a long line of cars

    May 26, 2013

  • Julie

    Which trail are you on?

    May 26, 2013

  • Ken C.

    sorry roommate had a crisis so now I have to haul him around to find a rental car

    May 26, 2013

  • Julie

    We're almost there

    May 26, 2013

  • Indra

    Sorry, I backed out at the last minute but I am really disappointed that I am not there to hike with all of you this beautiful morning. Have a great time everyone!!!

    May 26, 2013

  • Jennifer B.

    My number: [masked]

    May 26, 2013

    • Ernesto

      Good morning to you all! Sorry I'm not going to make it this time, c u next hike

      May 26, 2013

    • Ernesto

      n

      May 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi jen, i am on my way. Will be there in 10-15 mins. Could you guys wait for us? We r in a red prius. Thanks. Heidy

    May 26, 2013

  • Fatima

    I am in Tampa, Florida. I will not make the hike. Have fun.

    May 26, 2013

  • Atheendra S.

    will there be more of these hikes?i am not well/can't come tomorrow

    1 · May 25, 2013

    • Jennifer B.

      There will be more. This is my favorite park.

      May 25, 2013

  • Kim

    My first time! I live on the south side of town and would prefer to meet everyone at the state park. Is there a meeting spot so I can find everyone? Is $7.00 for entry all we need to bring?

    May 20, 2013

    • Julie

      we'll probably go right to the park also. Where will everyone be meeting up at the park?

      May 21, 2013

    • Kim

      I've heard a few people comment to meet at the Nature Center so that's where my friend and I are headed in the morning. Planning on getting there at 8:45am.

      May 25, 2013

  • Tom P.

    I have to drop out of the hike. Everyone have fun.

    May 25, 2013

    • Ken M.

      We will miss you, Mr. P. Take care of yourself.

      May 25, 2013

  • Paul P.

    This'll be my first meet up. Leaving from Washington Ave/Montrose area if anyone wants a lift share

    May 24, 2013

    • Paul P.

      No that's fine Cassia. I can pick you up at 720 just text me your address -[masked] 6135. See you tomorrow!

      1 · May 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll meet the group at the park at 8:45. This will be my first meetup and I'm looking forward to it!

    May 25, 2013

  • Elizabeth

    Hi what time we have to be at the park. Anyone from the 290 .

    May 24, 2013

    • Heather R.

      my kids and I visit this park ALL the time. We love it! But.... I saw a little toy sized dog get snapped at last summer at this park. I don't let my daughters bring their little dogs on the alligator trails for fear of one of the littles become gator food. very dog friendly park though and I bring my big dogs (huskies) all the time. I will be bringing them tomorrow. :)

      May 25, 2013

    • Jennifer B.

      Once again...most of the hikers will be coming to get up close and personal with gators and the birds. Please be respectful of this and be sure to keep dogs at a distance where they won't disturb the wildlife.

      May 25, 2013

  • Alicia

    I will meet the group at the park. Looking forward to the hike.

    May 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry I cannot make it tomorrow. I just busted my toe and it is to sore. Will make next time.... Have a great hike

    May 25, 2013

  • Linda M.

    I'll meet the group at the park

    May 25, 2013

  • Delton T.

    Nice gator crossing path picture at this park on NBC channel 2 this AM.

    May 24, 2013

  • Jodi A.

    Hi Jen. Looking forward to seeing you again; will meet you at the nature center. Would like to do a longer hike if anyone is willing to join me. Really enjoyed our last trip to Brazos!

    May 23, 2013

    • Jennifer B.

      The majority of the gators will be toward the end of the hike. I suspect many people who are intimidated by the extra miles, will end up continuing. :-)

      May 23, 2013

  • Donna

    I"ll meet you in the park by the nature center.

    May 23, 2013

  • Marian L.

    I'm looking forward to the hike (I'll be doing 9 miles - this is my second hike).

    May 22, 2013

  • Steven O

    Are any of you guys planning to do just a 9 mile hike? I want to come, but there's another activity I want to do later in the afternoon.

    May 21, 2013

  • Bryan and C.

    I want to try to make this one...

    May 21, 2013

  • Amelia A.

    What type/size camelback do you recommend? Do you recommend the 50oz pack or do you do the water bottles? Also, besides the $7.00, water, good boots and socks, snacks, backpack is there anything else? first timer.

    May 21, 2013

    • Jennifer B.

      This is a reasonably priced medium size pack. It will fit your first aid, sun block, snacks, water etc. It will also fit and extra water reservoir when you are doing a long hike. http://www.academy.co...­

      1 · May 21, 2013

  • Anthony G.

    So do we meet inside Gander Mountain? Anyone willing to let me carpool with them to the Nature Center? Thanks :) "after meeting at Gander Mountain at 8:00am, we will carpool into the park together, meet at the Parking lot by the Nature Center, and set out on our hike at 8:45."

    May 21, 2013

    • Jennifer B.

      Gander Mountain is not open that early. We just meet in the parking lot.

      May 21, 2013

  • Bob S.

    Looking forward to it - one of my favorite walks! We will meet you at the Nature Center in the park at 8:45.

    May 21, 2013

  • Ernesto

    Would you please send me the actual address.
    Thanks

    May 21, 2013

  • Jennifer B.

    Alrighty...let's talk foot gear. People ask about how to stop getting blisters all the time. If you are wearing the proper gear and treating your feet right, you should really never get bad blisters. First, I'll tell you what I wear. I have large feet for a girl, so I generally wear men's boots. I have found that I like Columbia hybrid boots the best. Hybrids are boots that are a cross between a full leather hiker and a tennis shoe. They still provide ankle support and a fairly stiff sole, but they are light weight, and they breathe better than full leather boots. They also need minimal breaking in time. They are extremely comfortable.
    My boots: http://www.basspro.com/Columbia-Granite-Pass-Mid-OutDry-Waterproof-Multi-Sport-Boots-for-Men-Tusk/Cayenne/product/12062704514226/?cmCat=CROSSSELL_PRODUCT

    1 · May 20, 2013

    • Jennifer B.

      Here are some videos to help: Fitting: https://www.youtube.co...­ Lacing: https://www.youtube.co...­ Another key to preventing blisters is recognizing when you have a "hot spot" and addressing it immediately. When you feel rubbing or discomfort coming on, but it hasn't turned into a blister yet, that is a hot spot. If you treat it early, you can head off the blister. First, make sure your feet don't get wet. Choose shoes that breathe, and be sure to waterproof them. Next, keep mole skin or duck tape handy to cover hot spots. That's right...I said duck tape. The surface of duck tape is very slick, so it will slide against your sock and prevent any further rubbing on the hot spot. DO NOT put duck tape directly on an actual blister, or you will tear your skin off. Also, if you are ok with having non-supermodel feet, embrace your calluses. They are your body's way of protecting you against blisters.

      2 · May 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks I have a Mother's Day gift card I need to use!

      May 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It seems many ppl don't bring enough water. Personally I like to fill my camelback 2/3 full and freeze overnight. I fill it with water before leaving for my hike. It stays cold as well as keeps my back and snacks cool. I also recommend a water bottle with Emergen-C. It was recommended to me by a friend who has cycled across America twice. If you are sensitive to heat I recommend some type of Kwik-Kold ice pack. That will cool you off quickly. I also recommend a hat and walking stick which many folks often don't bring along. These are the items that make a hike more enjoyable for me. I hope these suggestions are helpful.

    I also like to have comfy shoes, and an ice chest of cold drinks waiting at the end of the hike! :)

    May 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Enjoyed last time. Was tired at the end and felt the group was going too fast :-(

    May 20, 2013

    • Jennifer B.

      The group actually went at a slow pace last time at about 2.5 mph. You may try bringing an extra snack or drinks with electrolytes, and see if that helps this time. Looking forward to seeing you again, Simi! :-)

      May 20, 2013

  • Anna

    I am bringing my husband Eloy. This is our first hike with the group so we are really excited. We spotted two black-bellied whistle duck on our neighbor's roof two weeks ago! It will be nice seeing it in it's natural habitat.

    May 20, 2013

    • Jennifer B.

      You will see a ton of then this time. It is spectacular to hear then as a flock.

      May 20, 2013

  • Kim

    Count me in!

    May 20, 2013

  • Jennifer B.

    Reminder...at this time of year you need to drink the entire way through the hike. Bringing a couple of bottles of water is not going to cut it. The reason I hear most often for not bringing enough water is that people don't want to have to use the restroom during the hike. I drink a ton of water, and I rarely ever use the restroom during even a long hike. Your body uses every drop of water you put into it when you hike like this...especially in this heat. So bring water!!! There will be a refill stop in the middle of the hike where you can get more water/gatorade at the Nature Center. Hydration plays a big part in how you feel during and after a hike. I use a Camelbak. You can get the generic ones pretty inexpensively at Academy. I don't like the way water tastes, so I add just a little bit of Gatorade powder to it. I also fill it with ice. I have a cold, yummy drink all the way through my hike, and I also get some electrolytes!

    1 · May 19, 2013

    • Heather R.

      Love the gatorade idea, it's hard to get kids to drink PLAIN water. LOL. I'm going to try the gatorade thing for the kiddos! Lately we've been using infused water. Infused water is another option, especially for people like me who are trying to cut back on a sugar habit. :) I'll put frozen strawberries or peaches in the kids water bottles , and cut up lemons/limes/cucumbers/m­int in mine. Freeze them overnight. The cold drinks in a backpack feal good on a hot day. Yummy and healthy. my kids like eating the fruit after their water is gone, so hydration and snack?

      May 20, 2013

  • Lilian C.

    Apologies folks, just found out we'll have friends in from out of town, have fun and see you next time!

    May 20, 2013

  • Bill S.

    My wife and I are looking forward to this hike.

    May 19, 2013

  • Jodi A.

    I went on a long hike yesterday and froze the "bladder" in my Camelback the night before. In this heat is thawed pretty quickly and was nice and cold for quite some time. I also froze two bottles and that worked out well.

    1 · May 19, 2013

  • Jennifer B.

    This hike can be 9 miles, but there are always some who push it to 14. With this many people and so much wildlife and scenery it's easy to get lost in the hike and suddenly you discover mile 14 rolling around. This is a great hike for those of you who want to test your mileage capabilities.

    May 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will most definitely make it this time

    May 19, 2013

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create a Meetup Group and meet new people

Get started Learn more
Bill

I started the group because there wasn't any other type of group like this. I've met some great folks in the group who have become close friends and have also met some amazing business owners.

Bill, started New York City Gay Craft Beer Lovers

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy