Located just 45 miles from downtown Houston, Brazos Bend State Park holds 5,000 acres of various natural environments including prairie, woodlands, and wetlands. You’ll get to see wild grasses up to six feet tall, walk under shady oak tree canopies, and see plenty of swamps, marshes, lakes, and ponds. In fact, the park was even named after the Brazos River, which serves as an eastern border for the park. There is so much diversity here, and it attracts lots of wildlife too such as deer, foxes, bobcats, raccoons, feral pigs, and of course, the American alligator. It’s good practice to always give plenty of space to the wildlife, but this is especially true for the alligators. These guys are very common in the park, so be careful when you go.
Hiking, biking, and horseriding along the numerous trails and fishing and picnicking along the banks of the lakes are some of the activities you can enjoy when you stay at the park. The park has many different exhibits for visitors to visit and learn more about the park. For accommodation, you can choose between RV sites with electrical and water hookups, primitive camping, a cabin, and other screened shelters.
If you visit with your RV during the summertime, expect really hot temperatures reaching almost into the 100s. You may find that the wintertime is the best time to come, as temperatures rarely drop lower than the 40s. It gets just cool enough at night to relax from the heat of the day. Whenever you choose to bring your RV, you’ll still find plenty of ecological diversity and fun things to get into here at Brazos Bend State Park.
Brazos Bend State Park is a short journey off the CA-228, and visitors won't have a hard time trying to locate it. RVers traveling along the CA-228 from Houston will not encounter any height restrictions or obstacles along the way. If you don't want to go all the way back into Houston for groceries or a bite to eat, Richmond and Rosenberg are both roughly 21 miles from the park. You'll most likely find what you are looking for there.
Make sure to be on the lookout for pedestrians, cyclists, and wildlife as your drive through the park. You can go ahead and check into your site once you get there before setting off to enjoy the activities available. The maximum vehicle length for the campgrounds is 66 feet. The activities and different facilities are quite spread out, so you'll probably want to drive to them.
Inside the park, you’ll find plenty of parking throughout. Even during the busiest of months, you should have no problem finding a parking spot, even if you choose to take your RV instead of a car. In the unlikely chance that you do run into parking problems, there is a larger parking lot at the nature center you can go to.
When you camp at Brazos Bend State Park, there are plenty of places to pick from for setting up your RV. The camping area in Burr Oak Campground has 40 RV and tent camping sites to choose from, and all of them have 50-amp electrical hookups and water hookups. You won’t find a sewer hookup here, but there is a dump station nearby that can be useful during your stay. There are also hot showers and bathrooms nearby, so you can stay clean and comfortable while you’re camping. The maximum site length available at this campground is 66 feet. Sites 100, 102, 103, 138, and 140 are ADA-accessible sites.
At each site, you’ll find a picnic table and grill, which is perfect for family dinners. You can gather around a fire at night with the fire ring that’s also located at your campsite. The sites that you’ll find in Burr Oak are considered premium sites, making them more desirable for RV campers. So while you may be able to snag a site when you arrive, it is highly recommended that you reserve your site in advance of your arrival. You may want to leave the park to explore the local towns or visit other nearby state parks for the day, but make sure to be back by 10 PM, as the park gates are locked then.
If you can go without the 50-amp hookups and settle for 30-amp instead, a campsite in Red Buckeye may be just what you need if you’re going RV camping at this state park. There are 33 RV sites to choose from here, and while the size of each site may vary slightly, you should have no problem finding a site that can accommodate your RV, no matter how large it is. Along with the 30-amp hookups, there are also water hookups available. Sites vary in length from 35 feet up to 57 feet, so be sure to choose a site that works for the size of your rig. ADA-accessible sites are also available, and visitors should try and book sites 201, 231, and 233 if they require ADA accessibility.
Just like the Burr Oak Camping Area though, there is no sewer hookup here either. You can find hot showers and bathrooms nearby as well as a dump station for you to empty your sewage tank if it's full. You’ll also have access to a picnic table, a grill, and a fire ring at any campsite that you choose. Campsites at Red Buckeye Campground are pet-friendly and campers are welcome to bring along their furry friends on their RV road trip.
While there isn’t much difference besides the type of electricity hookups between the campsites here in Red Buckeye and the ones in Burr Oak, these campsites have been labeled as “Standard Campsite,” making them a little less popular. Because of this, walk-ups are easier to get away with without making reservations. But it's best to make a reservation in advance so that you definitely have a site during your stay.
If you would prefer to take a break from your RV and experience a more rugged form of camping, then you can try one of 15 primitive campsites the park has to offer. These sites are situated in the Red Buckeye Campground and can be found a short distance from the RV sites. Primitive campers can enjoy the same campsite amenities as RV campers, with the exception of water and electrical hookups. Campers will have access to water spigots a short distance from their sites.
If you’ve gotten a bit claustrophobic in that RV and are looking for something a bit different for a change, there are other options when you stay in the park. There is one cabin available that you can reserve, but keep in mind that it’s a very basic setup. Restrooms with showers are not inside the cabin but are nearby. You’ll also need to bring your own bedding, as the beds do not have mattresses or anything else on them. The good news is you’ll have air conditioning, so if you plan to visit in the summer, this is a huge plus. There is also heating if you happen to need it.
Since there is only one cabin, you can also choose a screened-in shelter. These are much like the cabin, but three of the sides of the building is half made of screening. Amenities include a picnic table, water, electricity, a fire ring, and grill. You won’t find electric heating and air conditioning here, but the inside will get plenty of fresh air from the ceiling fan and from air flowing in from the screens. These are great if you’re wanting to get that wild camping experience but still want a roof over your head. Similarly to the RV sites, the cabin and each screened shelter can sleep eight people a night.
Unfortunately, neither of these two accommodation options are pet-friendly. The cabins and screened shelter 13 are ADA-accessible.
If you’ve brought just your family or a few friends, there are picnic tables and grills located throughout the park and at each campsite -- perfect for adults to relax together and chat while the children run off and enjoy being outdoors. If you'd prefer, you can also find a shady area and, using a picnic blanket or chairs, make your own picnic area. For bigger get-togethers like family reunions or birthday parties, you can reserve the dining hall in the park. The dining hall can hold up to 100 people and seat 85.
Along with hiking trails, there are also many trails that allow bikes. This can be a great way to get some exercise and change things up a bit from the usual hiking. You’ll have to bring your own bike though and be sure to watch for alligators, as this is their home. Wear a helmet when you cycle along the trails and cycle with friends or let someone know where you are going. This a great way to leisurely enjoy exploring nature at a slightly quicker pace than walking.
There are lots of hiking opportunities at Brazos Bend State Park. Some trails loop around the lakes and others take you deep into the oak forests. The Creekfield Lake Nature Trail is a popular choice even though it is only half a mile long. When you hike during the off-season, you can enjoy cooler temperatures and not feel like you’re going to die from the heat. Make sure to take along some water as you're sure to work up a thirst.
Bring along your dog with you on your hike and let them enjoy being out in nature as well. Just be sure to keep them on a leash at all times and don't allow them to swim in the lakes or drink from them.
If you’re having trouble getting the teens and kids off of their phones or out of the RV, introduce them to the modern-day version of treasure hunting. They can download the GPS coordinates on their phone and use it to find geocaches that are located all around the park.
Geocaching is a fun, family-friendly activity that will have you knowing about the park like the back of your hand once you're done. Be sure to leave the caches in the same condition as you found them in so that others can enjoy the adventure when you're done.
If you’ve brought horses with you on your camping trip, you can also take them horseback riding on many of the same trails you can go hiking or biking on. You must bring your own horse and show proof of a negative Coggins test. There are 37 total miles of trails in this Texas state park, and horseback riding is one of the more interesting ways of exploring all of these miles of trails. If you'd like to orientate yourself beforehand, you can take a look at a map of the park's trails.
When you visit a state park in Texas, you don’t need a fishing license to go fishing. There are plenty of places to put your fishing pole in the water, as there are lakes, the river, swamps, and more here. Fishermen can enjoy fishing from the banks or the pier but are not allowed to fish from a boat or wade into the water and fish. Here you can expect to snag sunfish, bass, and catfish when you throw your line in. But make sure to reel your catch in quickly - before an alligator beats you to it!
If you forget to bring along your poles, you can purchase your equipment from the park store. In the summer, fishing can be a good excuse to find a shady spot and preserve your energy levels.
There are plenty of Ranger Programs to choose from when you visit Brazos Bend State Park. The types of programs available will depend on when you go, but there is always something fun and exciting going on. These ranger programs range from guided hikes to education programs centered around teaching you all about the park. The Ranger Programs are suitable for the whole family and are an exciting way to learn more about the outdoors.
There are two fantastic places that offer great views and serve as perfect spots to watch observe the surrounding wildlife. One spot is the deck on Elm Lake and offers sweeping views, and the other is the tower at 40 Acre Lake. This tower is four stories high, giving you an excellent viewing advantage. This is also a popular spot to go birdwatching, so be sure to pack your binoculars and a camera in your motorhome. If you'd like to keep track of the different species of birds that you have seen, then you can use the checklist available.
While the George Observatory is owned and run by the Houston Museum of Natural Science, it is located inside this park. One of the coolest things you’ll get to see here is the largest telescope that is actually open to the public. The observatory is usually open later in the day and then into the night. When you visit, you can enjoy gazing at different cosmos and even try to name them. You’ll definitely want to check it all out while you’re in the area.
The Nature Center is a great place to visit for families and people of all ages. There are lots of interactive activities that are focused on educating visitors about the wildlife and the three different ecosystems found right here in the park. You can also get to see the American alligator hatchlings - the animal that Brazos Bend State Park is best known for. If you'd like to organize a group visit, be sure to contact the park.