San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge
Brazoria and Matagorda Counties, Texas

  • About the Refuge
  • Trail Maps...
         • San Bernard Auto Tour
         • Bobcat Woods Hiking Trail
         • San Bernard Oak Trail
         • Cedar Lake Creek Paddling Trail
       Photos     Guide
  • Other Maps....
          • Refuge map (TMCNWRC)
          • Road map, annotated (FOBWR)
          • Road map (Google)
          • USGS topographic map (MyTopo)
          • USGS topographic map download info
  • USFWS website

  • San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1969, provides quality habitat for wintering migratory waterfowl and other bird life.   The 34,679-acre refuge is located in Brazoria and Matagorda counties, 12 miles west of Freeport, Texas.   The refuge includes coastal prairie, salt marsh with saltwater lakes, shallow freshwater lakes and marshes, intermittent streams and bottomland forest.   The refuge is a stop on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail.

    Auto Tours:

    • Cocklebur Slough Auto Tour is open every day from daylight till dark.   This 8-mile tour includes the 3-mile Moccasin Pond Loop.   The auto tour entrance is located 1-mile southwest of the headquarters office on CR 306.   The auto tour offers visitors an excellent opportunity for observing wildlife in a variety of habitats.   Watch for songbirds, night-herons and bobcats along the slough.

    • Pond Loop provides viewing opportunities for many waterfowl, water and wading birds, as well as crested caracaras, northern harriers and alligators.

    Hiking Trails:

    • Bobcat Woods Trail (1.5 miles) meanders through the woods along Cocklebur Slough and provides access to the Wolfweed Wetlands Complex. The boardwalk and trail are popular year-round to visitors looking for migrating songbirds or secretive woodland wildlife.

    • Cowtrap Marsh Trail (3.0 miles roundtrip) is an elevated levee extending into the marsh from Moccasin Pond. Witness first-hand the transition from fresh to saline wetlands and enjoy the wildlife that thrive in these dynamic habitats.

    • Scissor-tailed Trail (0.8 miles) encircles a small patch of forest where Cocklebur Slough drains into the marsh. A great place for catching those migrating songbirds as well as butterflies and wildflowers.

    • San Bernard Oak Trail (1.5 mile roundtrip) is home to the largest Live Oak in Texas. This trail and boardwalk take on a journey through the forested wetlands typical of the Columbia Bottomlands.

    • Fisherman's Trial (0.2 miles) follows Cedar Lake Creek providing bank access and wildlife viewing opportunities in this riparian habitat.

    Other Facilities:

    • Field Office: the field office is open during business hours, M-F. You can sign the visitors log, take a bathroom break, and visit with a staff member to answer any questions you may have. Stop by and say "Hi".

    • Viewing Platforms: Elevated decks for getting a better view in key viewing areas are located at Wolfweed Wetlands, Cedar Lake Creek and Moccasin Pond.

    • Restrooms: During office hours at the Field Office, or at Bobcat Woods anytime the refuge is open.

    • Boat Ramp: Located at Cedar Lake Creek for use by refuge visitors.

    San Bernard NWR lies in six USGS 7.5-minute quadrangles as indicated in the following key map.   Click the map to download the USGS map from

    Cedar Lane Cedar Lane NE Jones Creek Sargent Cedar Lakes West Cedar Lakes East

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