Very Nice Refuge!
By Lone_Star on 2/27/2008
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: 1 hour
Of all of the wildlife refuges I’ve visited and reviewed thus far, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge takes the cake.
The refuge is seen primarily by a lengthy 17 mile auto tour, but there are numerous stop spots along the way to make it interesting. Some stops lead to short trails to see birds, while others are just nice scenic vistas of the area. The most interesting stop is a 40 foot observation tower that gives you a spectacular view of the marsh, Mustang Island and San Antonio Bay. There are also various free (!) powerful telescopes placed throughout the refuge that allows you to view wildlife close-up.
There are also various hiking/nature trails throughout the refuge, but they are very short. The longest is a little over a mile. Despite the short length, however, the trails take you to or through very interesting areas along San Antonio Bay. One trail takes you to an Alligator Viewing Area where I saw three alligators. Two large alligators were resting 10 feet off the trail, which is a bit close, especially if you have children, pets or elderly in your party.
One thing that really makes this refuge special in the winter months is the return of the Whooping Crane – North America’s tallest bird – which is an endangered species. You will also likely see armadillos, white-tailed deer, and numerous species of birds
I really enjoyed visiting this refuge and I highly recommend it.