Birding · Wildlife
Need to Know
$5 Entrance Fee per adult for the park. This trail is just a few feet above sea level, so it's common for parts of it to be underwater and impassible.
The Clapper Rail Trail is very flat and you'll be surrounded by either tall marsh grasses or shallow water the entire way. The trail itself is packed dirt except for the boardwalks and paved park road.
From the main parking area on Park Road 66, take the main trailhead towards the bay side of the island. You'll be able to see an observation tower from the parking lot, and once you reach it you'll keep to the right to stay on Clapper Rail Trail. Follow the trail across a boardwalk and eventually you'll reach an intersection with a larger-than-life ibis statue beside it.
Continuing straight will take loop you back around to the observation tower near the parking lot, but to stay on Clapper Rail Trail you'll turn right to cross a bayou using the boardwalk. At high tide this boardwalk is often underwater, so it may be impassible and you'll have to turn back at this point.
During low tide, you'll take a right at the trail intersection shortly after you cross the boardwalk - watch out for standing water on either end of the boardwalk even if everything else is completely dry. After taking the right, you'll run for about a quarter mile until you reach the park road and the end of the trail. Turn right and run along the road to make your way back to the parking area.
Flora & Fauna
This is a great trail to see coastal birds on! Roseate spoonbills, great blue herons, white egrets, and pelicans are among the offerings on any given day. Small crab holes are visible along most of the trail, and if your eyes are peeled you can see the crabs scurrying back in to hide as you approach.
Shared By: Luke Skywalker