The Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge lets you step into a rare tropical world, where moss drips from trees and butterflies flitter all around you! Kids you can get lost in the magic of the Rio Grande, which the refuge sits along the southern stretch of.
Try and spot those noisy chachalacas, or the fast green jay - the refuge is one of the top birding destinations in the world so bird lovers you will be in for a treat!
The refuge is also a great way to kids to learn about the ecosystem and the importance of a natural balance in the world. The refuge is a living example of that for them - in spring and fall hundreds of thousands of migrating raptors fly over head, with over 35 species of warblers visiting in spring.
In the summertime, lizards, snakes and tortoise enjoy the hot summer heat, and as the sun goes down you can try and spot the Mexican free-tailed bats making their way across the sky!
If you are lucky you might even see a coyote or bobcat! Can you see any track marks left by them?
Butterfly lovers you will love the hundreds of species of butterfly found there, and mainly tropical ones too.
If you want to really get out an immerse yourself in nature, you can hike more than 12 miles of trails! There is even a fun open-air tram ride, as well as guided nature walks for you to join.
And specially for kids, make sure you pick up the "Let's Go Outside" book which has everything you will need for a fun visit, including animal tracks to match up with ones you see, and scavenger hunts!
How many animal tracks do you think you can spot?
Annual passes available
During fall and winter, the staff and volunteers give free tours and talks! The Visitors Center also loan out free books and binoculars so don't forget to ask about those.
If you take Highway 83 to Alamo, turn south onto FM 907 for 7.5 miles. At Highway 281, turn left and continue for about one quarter of a mile. The Refuge is on the south side of the highway.
Parking is $3
For free, refuge staff and volunteers are available to schedule educational programs developed according to the State of Texas Academic Achievement Records. Bring your class to the refuge for a short video followed by an exciting nature walk that introduces your students to the amazing wildlife and habitat in their community.
Wheelchairs and and electric scooter are available for you from the visitor center staff. Restrooms are wheelchair accessible, and the Chachalaca Trail and tour loop are ADA comliant.
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Visitor centre 8am to 4pm daily.
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Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge