As we visit various state parks across Texas, I will post reviews (from a mom's view) of the activities, amenities, and general overall impression of the park. This will always be a work in progress as it will be updated with the latest information and images.
Brazos Bend State Park, Needville Texas
date last visited: March 2012 (day use)
This park is known for being a hot spot for the American Alligator, and because of the number of resident alligators there is no swimming or boating - generally no stepping into the water. They allow fishing, but personally I would not fish at the 40 acre lake, Elm Lake, or Creekfield Lake (too much vegetation, alligators, etc.) Actually not sure if many fish survived the drought in some areas. The campsites have water and electricity (no full hookups) and are nice, level, large pads (easy to back into) and spread out. The bathrooms (some have been remodeled) have showers and soap at the sinks. Bicycles are a great way to get around this park (although a few man-made hills) & there is a playground near the shelter area. The nature center is small but good (you can touch baby alligators) and there is always an organized activity or several going on during the weekend (there are plans to build a larger nature center). This park fills up fast, so reservations are a must. It gets hot in the summer (in Texas where isn't it hot), but can be really nice in the early spring, winter, and late fall. It is close enough to civilization that you can run to a nearby town if you need to hit up a grocery store (but more than 10 minutes away), and the George Observatory resides in this park. Other critters in this park: deer, small mammals, song & water birds (in migration zone), butterflies, snakes - pretty much whatever you'd find in the woods. Several old-growth trees are in the park; a few right by the nature center. The park volunteers are very helpful and love to share their knowledge about the park and its critters. I've blogged about my walks around this park several times (I go for the day more often than camp here - just because I am close). The park website can be found here.