Mustang Island

State Natural Area - Texas

Mustang Island State Park is located south of the city of Port Aransas, Texas, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. It has a 5-mile (8.0 km) beachfront and offers camping among 48 water and electric sites and 300 drive-up primitive sites, picnicking, kayaking with access to the Mustang Island Paddling Trail, fishing, swimming, hiking mountain biking, sunbathing, and birdwatching with over 400 bird species identified here.

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Official Texas State Parks Guide. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Texas State - Official Texas State Parks Guide

Official Texas State Parks Guide. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Official Texas State Parks Guide (español). Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Texas State - Guía de Parques

Official Texas State Parks Guide (español). Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Mustang Island SP https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/mustang-island https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustang_Island_State_Park Mustang Island State Park is located south of the city of Port Aransas, Texas, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. It has a 5-mile (8.0 km) beachfront and offers camping among 48 water and electric sites and 300 drive-up primitive sites, picnicking, kayaking with access to the Mustang Island Paddling Trail, fishing, swimming, hiking mountain biking, sunbathing, and birdwatching with over 400 bird species identified here.
Mustang Island #TxStateParks State Park #BetterOutside /texasparksandwildlife @texasparkswildlife @TPWDparks TexasStateParks.org/App LEGEND Headquarters Park closes and gates lock at 10 p.m. except to overnight guests. State Parks Store Restrooms Chemical Toilets gh Roa d Corpus Christi Bay Rou PLEASE NOTE • Park regulations apply on open beach area. • Glass containers prohibited on beach. • Vehicles are prohibited from operating on sand dunes or outside established roadways. Park staff assumes no responsibility toward freeing vehicles stuck in sand. • Permit required for all areas. Valid permit required on windshield of each vehicle in park. • Pets must be kept on leash and are not allowed in public buildings. Please pick up after them. • NO PICNICKING in numbered campsites. • Public consumption or display of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. Hot Showers • Regulations prohibit the possession or discharge of fireworks, firearms, crossbows and arrows, air or gas weapons, slingshots or any device capable of exploding, or causing injury or killing within the State Park. • Swim at your own risk; hazards such as stingrays and jellyfish, as well as dangerous undercurrents, exist in the Gulf. • NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY. If a swimmer is seen in distress, CALL 911 FIRST, then alert park staff for assistance. • Use of metal detectors prohibited. Rinse Showers Potable Water Primitive Beach Camping N Wheelchair Accessible Picnic Shelters Swimming Parking Fishing To Port Aransas To Corpus Christi Water and Electric Sites 361 TEXAS Dump Station Fee Booth Water Exch us Christi P ass Corp Texas State Parks Store ange Pass Drinks, T-shirts, caps and one-of-akind gift items are available at the Texas State Parks Store located in our park headquarters building. Gulf of Mexico Gulf of Mexico Jetty 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 (TDD) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. © 2019 TPWD PWD MP P4502-084E (2/19) Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Trash Container Park Host Residence Maintenance 9394 State Hwy 361 Corpus Christi, TX 78418 (361) 749-5246 Jetty PARK RESERVATIONS TexasStateParks.org ParquesDeTexas.org (512) 389-8900 Proud Sponsor of Texas State Parks
Mustang Island Paddling Trail This map is also available in a durable laminated version from select retailers. To get a list of these retailers contact Shoreline Publishing at 713-973-1627.
texas parks and wildlife Interpretive Guide to: MUSTANG ISLAND STATE PARK IS ONE OF THE FEW UNDEVELOPED BARRIER ISLAND HABITATS ON THE ENTIRE TEXAS GULF COAST. SPANIARDS EXPLORING THE GULF OF MEXICO LANDED ON HER BEACHES. THE NOMADIC KARANKAWA INDIANS FISHED THE LAGOONS AND HUNTED Whatever your pleasure in visiting here – surf fun, fishing, boating, basking on the beach, birdwatching, camping or exploring – your respect for the web of island life is your honor to the future. Enjoy … responsibly! • Drive and hike only in designated areas to avoid disrupting or destroying the homes of wildlife. • Put trash in a designated bin. Trash is often deadly to wildlife. • Dispose used fishing line in trash bins, because it can become a deathtrap for birds and wildlife. • Glass containers are not allowed on the beach. If broken they are dangerous to both people and animals. THE PLAINS WHERE WILD MUSTANGS FURTHER READING ROAMED. THIS LONG THIN STRAND William Allen and Sue Hastings Taylor, Aransas: The Life of a Texas Coastal County. OF LAND WITH THE GULF OF MEXICO ON ONE SIDE AND CORPUS CHRISTI BAY ON THE OTHER PROTECTS THE MAINLAND FROM HURRICANES, AS WELL AS NURTURES PLANT AND ANIMAL LIFE. IT HAS SHAPED TEXAS HISTORY AND IT CONTINUES TO INFLUENCE HUMAN ACTIVITY. THE ISLAND’S BEAUTY AND THE MYSTERY Jay A. Raney and William A. White, Down to Earth at Mustang Island, Texas. NEARBY POINTS OF INTEREST Padre Island National Seashore (361) 949-8068 Port Aransas Birding Center Chamber of Commerce (361) 749-5919 Mustang Island State Park P.O. Box 326, Port Aransas, TX 78373 • (361) 749-5246 www.tpwd.texas.gov/mustangisland OF ITS NATURAL AND CULTURAL WORLDS ARE WOVEN TOGETHER FOR YOU TO EXPERIENCE. Proud Sponsor of Texas Parks and Wildlife Programs © 2016 TPWD. PWD BR P4502-084H (7/16) In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. 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 (TDD) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. MUSTANG ISLAND STATE PARK M U S T A N G I S L A N D S T A T E P A R K Barrier islands are living natural systems, constantly moving, re-forming, expanding and contracting, responding to the winds, waves and storms. Mustang and its sister barrier islands appeared only in the last five thousand years or so as the oceans reached their present sea level. They serve as buffers between the open gulf and the mainland. On the gulf side, rows of sand dunes often rise thirty feet or more. The lee side of the dunes provides protection from wind and salt spray, creating a more sheltered environment for vegetation and wildlife. This makes it possible for tenacious vines and deep rooted coastal grasses to maintain dune integrity. Without the protection of the dunes, island meadows, freshwater potholes, tidal inlets and coastal lagoons would vanish. Dunes rise in two tiers. Seaward primary dunes are often tallest and become more sparsely vegetated as sands constantly sculpt their faces. Grasses and shrubs begin to catch hold behind the crest of the dunes, extending as a carpet of vegetation over secondary dunes. Beaches are constantly exposed to the relentless pounding of the surf. The lee side of barrier islands including Mustang Island opens to placid lagoons and small shallow bays. Here the chain of sea life breeds and grows in nursery habitats provided by grassy wetlands, oyster reefs and brackish estuaries. Infant shrimp, crabs and fish of all kinds grow in these protective waters before migrating to the open gulf. Over this island background, hawks soar in search of pocket gophers, ground squirrels, mice, snakes, and cotton rats. Coyotes and bobcats stalk the brambles for cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits, opossums and skunks. Lagoons that catch and hold the rain provide a source of freshwater for these creatures. Surrounded by bulrushes, cattails and sedges, the ponds attract migratory waterfowl, songbirds and wading birds (over 400 bird species), seeking forage and refuge. Whitetail deer gather around to drink and browse. Raccoons feast on pond crustaceans. Between the dunes and tidal flats, patient wildlife watchers can get an eyeful, especially at dusk when island creatures begin to stir, or around dawn when animals return after their nocturnal rounds. However, if you miss the live show, it’s almost as fun to look for and identify the tracks and other signs that nighttime critters have left behind. THE
TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE BIRDS OF MUSTANG ISLAND S T A T E P A R K a n d V I C I N I T Y A FIELD CHECKLIST 2010 Cover: Illustration of Piping Plover by Clemente Guzman III. INTRODUCTION M ustang Island State Park covers 3,954 acres of Mustang Island, a subtropical barrier island separating Corpus Christi Bay from the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. The only state park south of Galveston located directly on the Gulf, this park provides an opportunity to view habitats typical of the Texas Costal Bend. These habitats include: open Gulf waters and 5.5 miles of beach, barrier island dunes and grasslands, and estuarine wetlands (bayside waters, marshes, and tidal flats). For more information about the ecology of Mustang Island, see Down to Earth at Mustang Island by Jay A. Raney and William A. White (2002, Bureau of Economic Geology). The geographic area covered in this checklist includes all of Mustang Island, which is some 18 miles in length. This includes the city of Port Aransas, which has certain micro-habitats which are prime birding spots. These include the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Facility, a boardwalk into a pristine marsh habitat, as well as the Scott and Joan Holt Paradise Pond, which features an observation boardwalk into a wooded freshwater pond. The latter is a valuable migrant trap, which produces a host of neotropical migrant songbirds. Also included in the checklist area is the extreme northern tip of Padre Island, which is seven miles south of the park. This area, known as Padre Isles, is the only portion of North Padre Island which is habitated by people. The Packery Channel County Park and adjacent neighborhoods provide an opportunity to view many Trans-Gulf migrants as they stop briefly in the oak mottes there, or in the vegetated lawns of the residential areas on the island. Located at the northern edge of the Tamaulipan biotic province, the park is most suitable for year-round observations of coastal waterbirds. Resident herons, egrets, ibises, gulls, and terns from nearby rookeries and nesting colonies are easily seen feeding or resting on the island’s wetlands. With its relatively mild winter climate, this area is prime wintering grounds for many waterfowl and shorebird species. Large populations of loons, grebes, pelicans, cormorants, and ducks (especially Northern Pintails, American Wigeons, Redheads and Lesser Scaup) spend the winter in adjacent Corpus Christi Bay, the Gulf or on freshwater island ponds. During winter months, bayside tidal flats teem with shorebirds, ranging from oystercatchers, plovers, and curlews to sandpipers and godwits. More pelagic species can sometimes be observed along the Gulf beach or from the Port Aransas or Packery Channel jetties. Northern Gannets or jaegers are the most often encountered in winter; and Magnificent Frigatebird or, on rare occasions, a Masked Booby in summer. 1 Birds of prey also find the island a good wintering spot. Short-eared Owls have been found hunting over open grasslands. The utility poles down the center of the island make good perches for the occasional Peregrine Falcon and frequently for Ospreys, White-tailed Hawks and Red-tailed Hawks. Situated on the Central Texas coast, Mustang Island is an excellent location for observing migrating birds that tend to concentrate along the coastline. On some days, the island acts as a “highway” for streams of migrating waterbirds and passerines. One then has only to sit and watch birds moving by! The beach and bayside trails show such dramatic increases in waterbirds that it is not uncommon to see large flocks of waterfowl, waders, shorebirds, or tern species traveling north during the spring and south during the fall. The same phenomenon is demonstrated by hummingbirds and passerines such as swallows. Migrants are especially numerous and identifiable during passage of cold fronts, when inclement weather forces birds of all species down. Those that land in dunes and grasslands generally survive, while large kills occur in the Gulf, as evidenced by dead birds occasionally washed up along the beaches. During such “fall-outs,” birding can be hectic but extremely rewarding. It is spectacular indeed to see a small bush containing Scarlet Tanagers, Baltimore Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and Indigo and Painted Buntings! And of course, there is always the chance for some unexpected rarity such as a Cape May Warbler, Western Tanager or Bobolink. One should remember that the status of a species depends on the presence of suitable habitat. Because of the limited habitat types found within the park (either wetlands or grasslands), some species are not normally expected here, although they may be abundant on the mainland or in wooded habitats elsewhere on the island only a few miles away. This checklist was compiled by Mel Cooksey of Corpus Christi. This edition of the checklist is based in part on the previous edition compiled by Tony Amos of Port Aransas. Checklist nomenclature and or
-Official- FA C I L I T I E S MAPS Get the Mobile App: ACTIVITIES texasstateparks.org/app Toyota Tundra Let your sense of adventure be your guide with the Toyota Official Vehicle of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation Tundra — built to help you explore all that the great state of Texas has to offer. | toyota.com/trucks BUILT HERE. LIVES HERE. ASSEMBLED IN TEXAS WITH U.S. AND GLOBALLY SOURCED PARTS. Contents 4 6 8 10 Activities and Programs Parks Near You Places to Stay Recreational Vehicles 12 Tips for Time in Nature Ray Roberts Devils River 14 Visitor Fees and Passes Directory TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT 18 Big Bend Country 26 34 48 56 64 80 86 Gulf Coast TPW COMMISSION S. Reed Morian, Chairman Houston Arch “Beaver” Aplin, III, Vice-Chairman Lake Jackson James E. Abell Kilgore Oliver J. Bell Cleveland Anna B. Galo Laredo Jeffery D. Hildebrand Houston Jeanne W. Latimer San Antonio Robert L. “Bobby” Patton, Jr. Fort Worth Dick Scott Wimberley T. Dan Friedkin, Chairman-Emeritus Houston Lee Marshall Bass, Chairman-Emeritus Fort Worth Hill Country Panhandle Plains Pineywoods Prairies and Lakes South Texas Plains Carter P. Smith Executive Director Rodney Franklin State Parks Director Josh Havens Communications Director Facilities and Activities Index 44 State Parks Map Special thanks to Toyota and advertisers, whose generous support made this guide possible. Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Cover photo: Tyler State Park, Chase Fountain Texas State Parks Official Guide, Seventeenth Edition © TPWD PWD BK P4000-000A (5/20) 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 accessibility@tpwd.texas.gov. 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. In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. WELCOME from Rodney Franklin, State Parks Director   Texas contains some of the most diverse public lands in the country. There is a wealth of cultural heritage. Wildlife abounds, landscapes flourish with beauty and our history is abundant. Your state parks are a part of the legacy that makes Texas proud. The people of Texas recently helped secure that legacy for future generations by voting yes to Proposition 5. Thank you! These 630,000-plus acres showcase some of our state’s greatest treasures. Parks help people make memories with family and find respite in nature’s playground. They strengthen local economies and bind communities. Most of all, parks enable each of us to spend time outside to recharge, be healthy and relax in our own way. I invite you to enjoy your state parks, exploring the best of Texas with friends and family. The parks are here for you. They belong to you. Please visit, have fun, and help protect them forever! Thank you, Texas! Texans voted to approve passage of Proposition 5 in the November 5, 2019 election. Now 100% of the sporting goods sales tax will go to fund the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Historical Commission. This funding will help secure the future of local parks, state parks and historic sites for generations to come, all without increasing taxes. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude. See what’s in store for Texas State Parks: texasstateparks.org/better ACTIVITIES & PROGRAMS What is there to do in state parks? Enjoy a family picnic, tour a hallowed historic site or choose from some of these visitor favorites: Bike Pedal across parks at any speed, in any style, with any group. Choose the routes, surfaces and distances that fit your comfort zone. Walk Start with a shorter loop, tackle tougher terrain or join a guided tour. Fish Fish without a license in as many as 70 state parks. Many offer tackle loaner programs and special learnto-fish events. Boat or Paddle Rent canoes and kayaks, explore a Texas Paddling Trail or launch a boat. View Wildlife Discover the birds, mammals and plants that live in Texas. Many parks have signage and checklists to help you learn more about the wildlife around you. 4 Camp Swim Find a site that meets your needs. Test out new recipes, share your favorite stories and enjoy the stars. Beat the heat at creeks, rivers, lakes, springs, pools and ocean beaches. More information & reservations: texasstateparks.org (512) 389-8900 Many state parks offer special guided and self-guided progra
Guía de Parques INSTALACIONES Descarga la Aplicacíon Móvil MAPAS ACTIVIDADES texasstateparks.org/app ¡Los niños entran gratis! La entrada es gratis para los niños de 12 años y menores. Encuentra un parque: parquesdetexas.org Contenido Estero Llano Grande SP 2 4 6 8 9 10 18 Actividades y Programas Parques Cercanos Lugares para Quedarse Tarifas y Pases Directorio Mapa de Parques Instalaciones y Actividades BIENVENIDO Rodney Franklin, Director de Parques Texas tiene algunas de las tierras públicas más diversas del país, con una gran riqueza natural y cultural. La vida silvestre está por todas partes, los paisajes florecen con belleza, y la historia es abundante. Sus parques estatales son parte del legado que nos enorgullece. La gente de Texas ayuda a asegurar ese legado para las generaciones futuras al visitar y ser voluntarios. ¡Gracias! Estos más de 630,000 acres exhiben algunos de los grandes tesoros del estado. Los parques nos ayudan a crear recuerdos con la familia y a encontrar consuelo en la naturaleza. Los parques fortalecen las economías locales y unen a las comunidades. Sobre todo, los parques nos permiten pasar tiempo al aire libre para recargar energías, estar saludables y relajarnos a nuestra manera. Les invito a disfrutar de sus parques estatales, explorando lo mejor de Texas con amigos y familia. Los parques están aquí para todos. Nos pertenecen a todos. ¡Visítelos, diviértase y ayude a protegerlos para siempre! Foto de portada: Estero Llano State Park, Chase Fountain © 2021 TPWD PWD BK P4000-000A (5/21) TPWD recibe fondos del Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre de EE.UU. (USFWS por sus siglas en ingles). TPWD prohíbe la discriminación por raza, color, religión, nacionalidad de origen, discapacidad, edad y género, conforme la ley estatal y federal. Para solicitar un acomodo especial u obtener información en un formato alternativo, por favor contacte a TPWD en un Teléfono de Texto (TTY) al (512) 3898915 ó por medio de “Relay Texas” al 7-1-1 ó (800) 735-2989 ó por email a accessibility@tpwd.texas.gov. Si usted cree que TPWD ha discriminado en su contra, favor de comunicarse con TPWD, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, o con el Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre de EE.UU., Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. De acuerdo con la Ley de Depósito del Estado de Texas, esta publicación está disponible en el centro de Distribución de Publicaciones del Estado de Texas y/o las Bibliotecas de Depósito de Texas. ACTIVIDADES Y PROGRAMAS ¿Qué puedo hacer en los parques estatales? ¡Disfruta de un día de campo, visita un sitio histórico o elige entre muchas otras opciones! Bicicletas Pedalea a lo largo de los parques a cualquier velocidad, en cualquier estilo, con cualquier grupo. Elige las rutas, el tipo de terreno y las distancias que cumplan con tu zona de confort. Caminatas Empieza con un circuito más corto, avanza a terrenos más difíciles o únete a una caminata guiada. Pescar Puedes pescar sin licencia en tantos como 70 parques estatales. Muchos parques ofrecen equipo para pescar a manera de préstamo y eventos especiales para aprender a pescar. Barcos Renta canoas y kayacs y explora uno de los senderos acuáticos en Texas. Nadar Animales Silvestres Acampar Descubre aves, mamíferos y plantas que tienen su hogar en Texas. Muchos parques tienen señalamientos y listados que te ayudan a aprender más. Encuentra un lugar que cumpla con lo que quieres. Prueba nuevas recetas, comparte historias favoritas y disfruta de las estrellas. 2 Más información y reservaciones: parquesdetexas.org Escape del calor en arroyos, ríos, lagos, manantiales, piletas y playas del mar. Tu seguridad en el agua es muy importante. Lleva el chaleco salvavidas. Aprende a nadar. Guarda a los niños. (512) 389-8900 ¡Pregunta en tu parque cuáles están disponibles! Los niños de 12 años y menores entran GRATIS Cielos Estrellados Escapa de las luces de la ciudad y goza de maravillosas vistas del cielo que no encontrarás en ninguna otra parte. Ven a una fiesta de estrellas o toma una excursión de constelaciones auto-guiada. Familias en la Naturaleza Elige un taller o diseña tu propia aventura. ¡Monta una tienda de campaña, cocina al exterior, prende una fogata y juega al exterior! Nosotros te Toma una publicación gratuita de actividades o pregunta por los paquetes gratuitos con los parques proporcionamos todo el equipo. No es necesario tener experiencia. participantes. Usa los binoculares, lupas, libros de bosquejos y libros de guías para explorar el parque. Mochilas para Exploradores Soldados Búfalo de Texas Descubre la historia con cuentos, vestuarios y herramientas. Sigue la pista de un animal, pesca con caña, cocina sobre una fogata, visita los fuertes y más. Adéntrate en las historias de vida de aquellos que sirvieron valientemente en los primeros regimientos Áfrico-Americanos de las Fuerzas Armadas. ! Seguridad en el Parque Ten cuidado con el agua Pr

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