Half a Million Alligators Live in Texas
Did you know there are nearly half a million alligators living in the state of Texas? Alligators thrive in swamplands and marshes, which are prevalent throughout the southeastern part of the state. If you’re a photographer or wildlife lover, you might be wondering where to see alligators in Texas. Here’s a list of five of the best places to see these crocodilians in the state.
1. Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge is an hour and a half east of downtown Houston. The wildlife refuge is located in Anahuac, which is known as the Alligator Capital of Texas. If it isn’t obvious, this is the best place to see alligators in Texas. And the best part is, you don’t have to pay an entrance fee. Admission to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge is free for all visitors.
When you arrive at the refuge, you have the option to take the auto tour loop around Shoveler Pond. The auto tour loop gives you the best opportunity to photograph alligators swimming in the water or resting on a nearby bank. On any given day, you can see up to 20 alligators on a single trip around the pond.
2. Brazos Bend State Park
Another excellent place to see wild alligators is Brazos Bend State Park. Brazos Bend State Park is located in Needville, which is an hour south of Houston. Since the park is operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, visitors are required to pay a $7 entrance fee.
Unlike the previous location, you will have a better chance of seeing alligators if you get out and walk the trails. Elm Lake Loop Trail and 40 Acre Lake Trail are the best places to look for alligators.
3. Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
In addition to Brazos Bend State Park, Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge is another great place to see alligators. The refuge is famous for having more water than land, making it the perfect environment for alligators. Admission to Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge is free for all visitors.
There is a boardwalk located near the front office, which stretches across a medium-sized pond. Alligators commonly nest near the boardwalk, so visitors often see alligator hatchlings swimming about.
To see more alligators, you can drive around the auto tour loop. The auto tour loop winds through the refuge, taking visitors past several bodies of water. Be sure to drive slowly and scan the water for the best chance to see alligators.
4. Huntsville State Park
Believe it or not, dozens of American alligators reside at Huntsville State Park. Huntsville State Park is located an hour north of Houston. Again, since this park is part of Texas Parks and Wildlife, visitors must pay an entrance fee of $7.
Although the park has extensive trails through the forest, the best place to see these reptiles is near Raven Lake. If you’re interested in observing alligators at the park, head out to the boat dock. The boat dock is located next to the rental canoes on Raven Lake. Here, you can observe alligators swimming in the lake or resting near the shore.
5. San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge
Finally, San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge is another place to see alligators in Texas. San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge is located an hour and a half south of Houston. Luckily, this is another wildlife refuge that offers free admission.
The San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge is located down several county roads, so the entrance is a bit difficult to find at first. Once you arrive, however, you have the option to walk the trails or drive around in your vehicle. For the best chance to see alligators and enjoy wildlife photography, it’s better to stay in your car and do the auto tour loop.
See Alligators in Texas
In conclusion, nearly 500,000 American alligators live in the state of Texas. Five of the best places to see alligators include Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, Brazos Bend State Park, Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, Huntsville State Park, and San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge. For more information, check out the resources provided below.