Stephen F. Austin
Interpretive Guide to Stephen F. Austin State Park (SP) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.
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INTERPRETIVE GUIDE STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE PARK PARK INFORMATION STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE PARK INCLUDES 473 ACRES OF BOTTOMLAND HARDWOOD FOREST AND You are visiting a nature preserve as well as a recreation area. Help us protect the park’s wildlife diversity and ensure your safety by observing park rules. SWAMP JUST WEST OF THE FAST- • Stay on park trails GROWING HOUSTON METRO AREA. • Keep pets on a leash YOU WILL FIND GIANT COTTONWOOD • Take only pictures, leave only footprints TREES, THICK VINES, WHITE-TAILED DEER, ARMADILLO, BOBCAT, AND MANY SPECIES OF BIRDS IN THE PARK’S FOREST AND RIVER HABITATS. ALL OF THE PARK’S NATURAL BEAUTY CAN BE EXPERIENCED WHETHER YOU CAMP OR IF YOU BIKE, HIKE, STARGAZE, OR BIRDWATCH FROM Call the park to schedule your group for programs or to learn about other wildlife educational opportunities. Stephen F. Austin State Park Park Road 38 San Felipe, Texas 77473 (979) 885-3613 www.tpwd.texas.gov/stephenfaustin THE FIVE MILES OF TRAILS. JUST BEYOND THE BIG CITY LIES A QUIET PLACE OF NATURAL BEAUTY RARELY FOUND IN SOUTHEAST TEXAS TODAY. © 2022 TPWD. PWD BR P4505-051G (7/22) TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TTY) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. This publication can be found at tpwd.texas.gov/park-pubs S T E P H E N F . A U S T I N S T A T E P A R K RECREATION BOTTOMLAND FOREST The bottomland forest’s moist soil gives life to an array of plant and animal species different from those of the drier upland nearby. Towering cottonwood trees evoke the image of a waterfall as their leaves blow in a breeze. The sound of rushing water surrounds you as you stroll down the shady paths in this “lower level” of the park. The huge leaves of sycamores offer a much-needed respite from the sun on a hot summer day. Look closely and you can see evidence of flood succession, a process by which willows and cottonwoods take advantage of newly formed bare soil deposits created by high water. In these areas, a single species will have a short-lived dominance, quickly giving way to heartier species. Recreation activities offered at Stephen F. Austin surprise many a first-time visitors. Both RV and tent camping is available for campers at one of the 100 campsites that bring you to a place of peace and natural beauty. Over five miles of well-maintained trails provide a way for hikers and cyclists to experience the wonder of nature firsthand. Birdwatchers will delight at the numerous species seen throughout the park. Nature is easily observable from the park’s wildlife viewing area. Permanent geocaches exist within the park and are a fun way to bring technology and the outdoors together. After the sun sets, you can also look up at the stars, and marvel at the night sky. WILDLIFE WONDERS T he Brazos River quietly meanders along the northern edge of the park. The river’s frequent inundating provides moist soil for the array of plant and animal species that live within the park boundaries. Despite the Texas heat, giant cottonwoods, sycamores, and cedar elm trees provide plenty of shade. You can almost always spot a whitetailed deer galloping through the park and hear the music of birds. However, the park comes alive at night. That is when if you are quiet, you might spot an armadillo, a raccoon, or even some bats.