Home to a diversity of ecosystems, Texas overflows with national, state and privately owned parks available for us to explore. With the Go Outside series from First Choice Power, we’ll take you all across this great state to visit both well-known public parks and lesser-known spots that are privately owned, but open to the public.
We head to the far eastern reach of our state in this installment of Go Outside, where we take a look at the parks and opportunities around the mid-sized city of Beaumont, where we also tip toe across the border for the day.
Where the pine trees stretch to the heavens, and the swampy landscape begins, follow along as we share our favorite spots to hike, camp, fish, and take in the sounds and sights of nature in the swampy east.
Running along the Texas and Louisiana border, approximately one hour east of the Texas border, is the Sabine Island Wildlife Management Area.
This is one of the best places for paddling in a small boat. If you’re looking for that quintessential Louisiana-East Texas scenery of huge oak trees with draping Spanish moss above your head, waterbirds and huge alligators, then this is it.
A massive swamp with tiny inlets to explore, there are also campgrounds available. Keep an eye open for kingfishers, woodpeckers, and maybe even a bald eagle sighting.
This Beaumont swamp is also a fisherman’s paradise, where the waters are teeming with big bass, alligator gar, and catfish.
Pack your fishing pole and cross the border for the day into this true, southern outdoor adventure!
At almost 8,000 acres and located 30 minutes east of Beaumont, the Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area is a place where low level coastal plains are surrounded by rivers, bayous and shorelines.
Migratory birds make a stop over here during their journeys to and from South America on what is known as the Central Flyway. You can hunt for birds and alligators during scheduled special hunts, so check before you plan your visit if it’s time for a hunt.
The area also offers observation decks for visitors, and the Old River Unit wildlife viewing platform is wheelchair accessible. However, this is a management area, as opposed to a state park, so there are no restrooms available, and you must bring your own water.
It’s humid out this way, so be sure and plan your trip either late fall, or early spring!
One hour due south of Beaumont, you’ll find the McFadden National Wildlife Refuge and Sea Rim State Park, an animal lover and bird watchers paradise, located on the most south eastern coastline of Texas.
The McFadden Wildlife Refuge supplies important feeding and resting habitats for migrating and wintering populations of waterfowl that are using the Central Flyway. Flocks of snow geese at the refuge have also exceeded 70,000 birds. They come here to feed, rest, nest, and raise their young.
You can also find one of the densest populations of alligators here. They are typically on display in the spring. You can also spot American minks, North American river otters, bobcats, grey foxes and armadillos.
Sea Rim State Park, located within the McFadden Refuge in the far southeast corner of the state, includes 5.2 miles of Gulf shoreline, and 4,000 acres of marshlands. You can camp, or stay in their single cabin. You can also primitive camp on the beach.
This is a fantastic place to bring your canoe, or your kayak. Paddle through the marsh and head out into the ocean for a day on the water. You can also fish here, and a license isn’t needed.
So pack your fishing gear, binoculars and canoe and head to one of these amazing parks near Beaumont, Texas!