ElevationAscent: 10' 3 m
Descent: -10' -3 m
High: 14' 4 m
Low: 7' 2 m
GradeAvg Grade: 0% (0°)
Max Grade: 0% (0°)
“A nice loop leading through south Texas coastal plains and chaparral with excellent wildlife watching.”— David McCormick
From the trailhead, you can either complete the loop in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. To follow as mapped, take the right fork when the trail splits just south of the parking lot. The trail starts off through south Texas prairie along an old access road. After 0.75 miles, you'll enter the first stand of chaparral with dense undergrowth. Keep an eye out for animal tracks (javelina, nilgai, ocelot, and cougar) during the run.
For the next 1-1.5 miles, you'll wind through a mix of prairie and chaparral. Watch the trees and bushes for birds, and keep an eye out for falcons soaring overhead. The trail ends with a run between a wash to the east and two low-lying areas to the west, which fill with water during the wet season. During the dry season, they are covered with prairie grass and are excellent deer and nilgai habitat.
There is very limited shade on this trail, so bring plenty of water and avoid running during the hottest parts of the day in summer. Dawn and dusk are the best time to see wildlife. Keep all dogs leashed and away from water sources, as alligators are common. Cougars have been sighted recently in the area and their tracks and scat were frequent along the trail in 1/2018.
Wildlife is the highlight of this trail. Laguna Atascosa is one of few places in the United States with a resident ocelot population, and their tracks and scat are common along the road. Nilgai (an antelope imported from India in the 1920's) commonly range throughout the area. Cougars have been reported in the area, and alligators are often present when there is standing freshwater. Birding is exceptional, with many birds at the northernmost and southernmost limit of their range with falcons, wading birds, and songbirds abundant along the trail.
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Dec 31, 1969: "Dragonflying" is Taking Off
Dec 31, 1969: Youth in the Great Outdoors
Apr 8, 2013: Busy Time on Refuge Web Cams