Nature in Palacios
Miles of Public Waterfront
The heart of Palacios is the seawall, a favorite spot for walkers, runners and cyclists that stretches one and a half miles along the bay shore.
On one side of the seawall is the panorama of the water, with its diving pelicans and jumping fish. On the other side is a string of parks with picnic tables, playgrounds and wide open green spaces. The seawall is also home to small beaches, free boat ramps and numerous lighted jetties and piers for fishing.
The waters are never crowded, but on a sunny day, you may see a sailboat or two, a couple of jet skis, someone windsurfing or kitesailing, or perhaps a family on kayaks. The Palacios bayfront is the perfect place for water activities of all kinds.
Most Bird Species in USA
The Palacios area is world famous among bird lovers for its extreme diversity of bird life. As part of the Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count, Palacios regularly reports more bird species than anywhere else in the United States, including a record 250 species in 2005.
The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail lists several excellent places to discover and view birds in the Palacios region.
The December 2018 issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine states:
“For that Matagorda County Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 19, 2011, other volunteers fanned out across marshes, woods and beaches, and the 244 species they spotted placed Matagorda County No. 1 in the U.S. that year.
More recently, in the 2017 count, Matagorda County reported 220 species, ranking it No. 1 for total species for the 11th year in a row and 25th time overall.”
A Wealth of Scenic Wilderness
The record-breaking bird populations in the Palacios area are only possible thanks to the vast amount of wilderness land nearby.
Most of the Matagorda Bay coastline is undeveloped, and a string of protected wetlands stretches along the Gulf Coast, from the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge south of Houston to the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, the Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuge, and the Nature Conservancy of Texas’ Mad Island Marsh Preserve, closest to Palacios. Wilderness lands continue to the south, with Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area and the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, winter home of the endangered whooping cranes.
Not only do these pristine areas host huge numbers of birds, but they are also home to a vast array of other wildlife. Fish and dolphins swim in the bays, while alligators, armadillo and more live farther upstream. For lovers of wilderness and wild animals, Palacios is truly a paradise, located at the heart of a region teeming with a beautiful diversity of life.