Houston’s vast and stunning landscape holds a good portion of Texas’ natural resources. Containing a few national and state parks, this area proves that there is more to this place than just desert. Rich in exotic vegetation and a rich population of free-roaming wildlife, it Houston National Park This is a great place for every nature lover and wildlife enthusiast visiting this city of Texas. While one may be filled with dense forests, the other may take you to rocky hills and cliffs to show you the most amazing views. Overall, the four national parks listed below will not disappoint the thrill seeker in you.
4 Unforgettable National Parks in and Around Houston
Located in and around the city of Houston, these national parks in the Houston area offer something unique to every visitor and are sure to leave you spellbound!
1. Big Thicket National Preserve
Often referred to as the American Arch and the biological crossroads of North America due to its complex biodiversity, this extraordinary nature reserve and protected forest area is one of the best national parks to visit in Houston. It is one of the very few places in Texas where completely different species and forms of life live in harmony. Although it also houses various rare species of flora and fauna, it is the coexistence factor that draws people here and leaves them in awe.
The Big Thicket National Preserve, located in Southeast Texas, is also known for offering over 40 miles of hiking trails, activities like canoeing, kayaking, camping, and endless opportunities for birdwatching. In terms of fauna, the park has a vast combination of pine, hardwood and cypress forests, along with lush green grasslands and various black water marshes inviting a variety of water birds.
Place: FM 420, Kountz, TX 77625, USA
entrance fees: Zero
Park Timings: open all days
Visitor Center Hours: 9 am to 5 pm
Places to stay nearby: Relax Inn Motel, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Super 8, The Stagecoach Inn
Distance from Houston: 157 km
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2. Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island National Seashore proudly wears the crown of being the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world! This is a unique national park near Houston that welcomes visitors with the most unusual and gorgeous sights. Separating the Gulf of Mexico from the highly saline lagoon Laguna Madre, this national reserve is known for its breathtaking white sand beaches stretching for 70 miles, as well as beautiful sand dunes, picture-perfect grasslands, wind-filled tidal flats teeming with life Amazes the minds of travelers with. Soothing warm sea water. These warm waters in turn offer visitors excellent opportunities for swimming, fishing, sailing and windsurfing.
Once in this park, travelers can also go for many other activities including beachcombing, bird watching, wildlife watching, camping and much more. In addition to 70 miles of shoreline, protected areas inside this park include protected nesting grounds for the rare Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles as well as providing shelter to more than 380 bird species, both resident and migratory. In addition to natural treasures, its rich history and Spanish shipwrecks dating back to 1554 also make it one of the best national parks in Houston. The park is just a 15-minute drive from downtown Corpus Christi.
Place: 20420 Park Road 22, Corpus Christi, TX 78418, USA
entrance fees: The charges mentioned below are on per vehicle basis.
1 day pass – INR 685/-
7 day pass – INR 1,370/-
1 Year Pass – INR 2,740/-
Cyclists and Pedestrians – INR 685/-
Motorcycle for a day – INR 480/-
Time: Open all days of the week
Places to stay nearby: Schlitterbahn Riverpark & Resort, Best Western Padre Island, Passport Inn Corpus Christi, Motel 6
Distance from Houston: 387 km
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3. Sheldon Lake State Park
Sheldon Lake State Park and Reservoir is no less than Houston’s other national parks because of its vast area it covers and supports a diverse range of ecologies. The main attraction of Sheldon Lake State Park in Houston is the man-made reservoir that was built during World War II to obtain fresh water for the shipbuilding and shipping industries. It was later sold to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department who converted it into a designated waterfowl sanctuary and public fishing spot called Lake Houston.
Currently, Sheldon Lake is one of the largest areas for bird watching in the US due to the huge population of bird species in this park. The latest SLSP Bird Checklist reported that more than 249 bird species currently reside in the park, a number which is increased by migratory birds that take temporary shelter here every spring. It is essentially the largest inland waterfowl colony in Texas and a true delight for bird watchers, who are thrilled by the constant sight and sounds of birds at this colony, especially around the western embankment. Currently, the colony is home to over 2,200 herons, egrets, roseate spoonbills, ash-throated and vermillion flycatchers, anhingas, Neotropic cormorants, fish crow, Le Conte’s sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, ibis, canvasbacks and Ross’s swan. During the migratory season, Purple Gallinule, American Bittern and Least Bittern can also be seen near the lake.
Apart from bird watching, the lake also serves as a great spot for fishing as the lake was stocked with different species of fish to improve the usefulness of the reservoir for recreational fishing. This is one of the many popular things to do inside this park. Of the many species of fish in the lake, the most common species include catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and sunfish.
Place: 14140 Garrett Road, Houston, TX 77044-6418
entrance fees: Zero
Time: 8 am to 5 pm
Places to stay nearby: Scottish Inns & Suites, Candlewood Suites Kingwood, Clarion Inn, Best Western Plus Houston Atascocita Inn
Distance from Houston: 26 km
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4. Big Bend National Park
True to its name, Big Bend National Park protects possibly the largest Chihuahuan desert ever seen! Nestled in a 90-degree arc of the Rio Grande River, this desert is larger than Rhode Island! Apart from the ‘big’ factor, this reserve is a place of contrasts. You’ll find extremes of everything here, from weather, terrain to species of flora and fauna. While the park is very hot during the summer months, it is extremely cold in the winter. When it comes to terrain and landscape, you will find everything from dry open deserts, rugged and rugged mountains to lush green river valleys, proving that this biosphere is home to many diverse landscapes and life forms simultaneously. Can support.
In addition to the extreme weather conditions and terrain, you can also find many of the Big Bend is home to large predators such as the Mexican black bear and a large number of mountain lions roaming free and wild in this rugged sanctuary. The park has over 200 miles of hiking trails making it a hiker’s paradise! The park offers everything from short one-day hikes to multi-week treks in varying difficulty levels. These pleasures, along with other popular activities including horseback riding, camping, and birdwatching, make this area one of the best national parks in Houston, Texas. The park is home to the rare Kolyma warbler species of birds that are not found anywhere else in the entire United States.
Place: Big Bend National Park, Texas, USA
entrance fees: Rs 1,700 per vehicle. Rs 1,370 per motorcycle
Time: 8:30 am to 5 pm
Places to stay nearby: Chisos Mountain Lodge, Eve’s Garden Bed & Breakfast, Terlingua Ranch Lodge, Posada Milagro
Distance from Houston: 906 km
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Do you know of any other amazing Houston National Parks? Let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, plan an exciting vacation to America with your mates so you can see these amazing natural reserves and have the adventure of a lifetime! And don’t forget to share your great experience with us when you come back!
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