There are an estimated 300 adult alligators in the park, and we saw a total of 120 adult and child gators on our 7-mile hike along Elm and 40-Acre Lakes.
This 5-foot gator reminded me of Arnold Schwarzenegger emerging from the swamp in the movie Predator. He looks every bit as dangerous!
It was a little unnerving to walk along the path lined by alligators on both sides, but the adult alligators were passive, and the babies would retreat into the water as we approached. Nonetheless, we kept our eyes open and the dogs on a tight leash.
We were surprised to find so much water at Brazos Bend State Park. When you think of Texas, you probably imagine wide-open desert full of cacti. This was certainly our experience when we visited Big Bend National Park in southern Texas along the Rio Grande River. But this park near the Gulf Coast 30 miles south of Houston is mostly a floodplain for the Brazos River, and thus has many freshwater marshes full of alligators and birds, such as the white egret shown above fishing in Pilant Lake.
We saw many turtles sunning themselves on logs in the lakes and rivers.
The cute American Coots flocked together like birds of a feather.
Spillway Trail is a 3/4-mile levee that crosses Pilant Lake, which is actually just a big marsh.
The water in the channel alongside Spillway Trail was black as ink.
A black Ibis and a pretty pink Spoonbill fished together in Elm Lake. There was an alligator resting on a small island about 20 feet away and watching the action.
Shadow struggled his way to the bank of the muddy Brazos River. The bank itself was a soft mud that swallowed the dogs’ paws. On their first attempt, our dogs Darby and Shadow sunk so deep in the mud they had to turn back and find more solid footing downriver.