Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas.

The 30,000-acre Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1994 to protect what was once a much larger, frequently flooded, bottomland hardwood forest ecosystem along the Trinity River. It is one of only 14 priority bottomland sites identified for protection in the Texas Bottomland Hardwood Preservation Program. Although not fully surveyed, the refuge contains more than 635 plant species and another 350 vertebrate species, including more than 200 birds, 60 fish, 40 mammals, and 50 reptiles and amphibians. Over 980 moth species have been documented within one acre of the refuge administrative office. The refuge primarily consists of a broad, flat floodplain, but also features numerous sloughs, oxbows, artesian wells, and tributaries. 

The bottomland hardwood forest in Liberty County is rich in biodiversity as well as history. The Spanish established Nuestra Señora de la Luz Mission and San Agustín de Ahumada Presidio in 1756; the mission was for the Akokisa and Bidai Indians. Spanish maps in 1757 showed the Atascosito settlement and a Spanish military road known as the Atascosito Road, which crossed the Trinity River near the present site of Liberty. Ten years later the Marqués de Rubí included the area in his tour of inspection, but parts of the mission were destroyed by a storm in 1766 and the presidio was abandoned in 1772. According to some sources, a trading-post settlement named Arkokisa or Arkosisa (variants of Akokisa) existed from roughly 1770 to 1790 near what later became the town of Liberty. 

Nearby Activities


Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge is located in Liberty County, TX, approximately 45 miles northeast of Houston and 45 miles west of Beaumont. The physical address is 601 FM 1011, Liberty, TX, 77575.

Refuge Headquarters

From Houston: Take I-10 east to TX-146 (Mont Belvieu exit). Go north on TX-HWY 146 for 16 miles to US 90. Turn right on US 90 and go six miles to Liberty. At Main St. (traffic light at McDonald's), turn left and go 3.3 miles to FM 1011. Turn left and continue 0.6 miles. The office is on the left.

From Beaumont: Take I-10 west to FM 563/Anahuac/Liberty exit. Turn right and go 17.4 miles. Turn left on US 90 and go 0.8 miles to Main Street (traffic light at McDonalds). Turn right and go 3.3 miles to FM 1011. Turn left and continue 0.6 miles. The office is located on the left.

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