Brazoria, Matagorda
Gulf Coast
San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge
San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge Information:
The Brazoria, San Bernard and Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuges are part of the Texas Mid-Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex , a vital coastal wetlands complex which is located at the end point of the Central Flyway for waterfowl in winter, and an entry point for neo-tropical migratory songbirds from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.Located on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, the salt and fresh water marshes, coastal prairies, and bottomland forests provide abundant habitat for fish, birds, alligators and other wildlife. Over 300 species of birds have been recorded in the Complex.The Intracoastal Waterway is located on the southeastern edge of the San Bernard Refuge, and the San Bernard River winds through the northeastern section of the refuge. Units include Hudson Woods, Betty Brown, Dow Woods, Halls Bayou and Buffalo Creek. Call for information regarding the Halls Bayou and Buffalo Creek Units. San Bernard activities include hiking, auto tours, wildlife observation, and fishing. Bicyclists are welcome on all roads open to public auto traffic. Wildlife species include alligators, bobcats, and other animals. Texas’ Champion Live Oak is located on the San Bernard Oak Trail. Geese, duck and coot hunting is available. Volunteer positions are available. The refuge is open daily, sunrise to sunset. The NWR units are located near Lake Jackson and Angleton, Texas.  
San Bernard NWR Location Map   
San Bernard NWR Facilities Map
San Bernard River:
Often called the Singing River, the river rises one mile south of New Ulm in southwestern Austin County and flows southeast for 120 miles, forming all or part of the county lines between Austin and Colorado, Austin and Wharton, And Wharton and Fort Bend Counties, before it cuts across southern Brazoria County and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway northeast of Cedar Lake to enter the Gulf of Mexico. Along its course the river passes Wallis and Kendleton and runs between the towns of Sweeny and Brazoria. The stream was dammed on the Wharton-Fort Bend County line in 1929 to form New Gulf Reservoir; the lake is owned by the Texas Gulf Sulphur company and is used for municipal supply and irrigation. The mouth of the river is closed by sand built up by currents from the mouth of the Brazos River located approximately 5 miles east. The entire flow of the San Bernard River now flows into the Intracoastal Waterway and Cedar Lakes. Common fish species found near its mouth include speckled trout, flounder, redfish, blue catfish, oysters and crab.
San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge Champion Live Oak Tree:
On April 7th, 2003 the Texas Forest Service presented the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge with the Champion Tree Certificate for the largest known Live Oak tree in the State of Texas. This tree took the title away from the previous champion tree at Goose Island State Park. The San Bernard tree has a circumference of more than 32.2 feet, a height of 67 feet, and an average crown spread of 100 feet. The tree is located in one of the bottomland units of the Austin Woods Conservation Partnership Project. Access is by a 0.75 mile walking trail (1.5 miles round trip); access is controlled in order to protect the tree; call the refuge for reservations. An observation platform is located in front of the tree.
Directions to San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge:
The refuge is located 10 miles west of Lake Jackson. From Lake Jackson, take FM 2004 southwest for 7 miles. Go south on FM 2611 for four miles. Turn south on FM 2918, then go west of CR 306.
Directions to Hudson Woods Unit of the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge:
From Angleton, Texas: from the intersection of SH 288 and SH 35, go west on SH 35 approximately 5 miles, then turn right (north on SH 521. Proceed for 1 mile to Sally Lake Road; turn right, then veer left of the gate entrance about 0.2 miles to the unit.