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“Just stop at the observation deck” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Austwell, TX
361-286-3559
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Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Austwell
Activities: Birdwatching, Hiking, Viewing wildlife
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 70,000-acre nature and wildlife preserve is home to almost 400 species of birds.
Missouri City, Texas
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Just stop at the observation deck”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

Trail was closed halfway through with no warning prior. Best wildlife was observed at the deck at the beginning of the trail. Trail would be nice if maintained better and not in drought.

Visited May 2013
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66 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    33
    22
    9
    2
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Missouri City, Texas
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Should be named: Area beyond this Point Closed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

We must have come at a really bad time of year (May). We only saw a handful of bird species - saw more at Goose Island and Mustang Island this same trip. Also, almost every single trail had a closure sign. It was especially annoying when it would be halfway through the trail and you had to turn all the way around. Half the time you could see the other portion of the trail where it was blocked from the other side and the part blocked off looked fine. The trails that were available are also not well maintained. The woman at the desk didn't tell us anything about the closures when we asked for recommendations. We took the drive around the long auto loop and saw a few deer but nothing else and I was coasting the whole time so we wouldn't miss anything. We did see some turkey, lots of deer, a raccoon, and a ton of cardinals. Note that we did have our dogs with us but we take them to every park we go to and always see lots of wildlife. The observation deck was really nice to get a great view of the bay. There were not a lot of visitors which was very nice and the fee was very low $5 for my husband and I. The restrooms at the main office were very clean :) All in all, I would not go out of my way to go here but would stop back to see Whopping cranes if I was in the area (although Goose Island may be just as good for that).

Visited May 2013
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Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Interesting Opportunity for Kids and Adults”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

The story of how they are working to bring the Whooping Cranes out of the Endangered category will be interesting to adults and children. This is a lesson in the fragility of our ecosystem and the creatures living in it. The drought has had it's say in things. I visited 15 years ago and there has been an impact. Hiking and biking trails are in abundance here. There is a picnic area for those interested in having lunch. The time of year and the time of day that you visit will affect what you see. Everyone is very helpful in the visitor's center. This is one of the Aransas area's best kept secrets in my view. The fee is $5.00 per car to visit and you can drive through, hike, or bike.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Green Valley, Arizona
Top Contributor
281 reviews 281 reviews
133 attraction reviews
Reviews in 165 cities Reviews in 165 cities
285 helpful votes 285 helpful votes
“Great Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

I was there the first week in April and was still able to see cranes if only from a long ways away. I saw my first live armadillo along with some deer and an alligator. White poppies were abundant around the visitor center. I took the nine mile oneway wildlife loop but it was so dry and so hot (and probably the wrong time of day too) I saw nothing. I was sad to see so many areas either in need of repair or closed for repair. The visitor center had a good filmstrip and some interesting exhibits, but even at the visitor center exhibits were closed. I have been to Aransas before when things were greener and there was much more to see, but I still enjoyed getting out, going on a couple of trails, stopping at observation points and seeing what was out there. You never know what might be around the next corner. The excellent staff was most helpful in suggesting areas most likely to be of interest.

Visited April 2013
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Corpus Christi, Texas
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
37 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“BRING YOUR BIKES”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

This is a very nice place to ride your bikes for a few hours. Makes for a nice day and the traffic is light so the ride is safe. Plenty of wildlife like deer, racoons and a few alligators. The drought has made an impact, and what was once a big pond next to a nice walkway is now dried up. Still a nice place to visit.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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