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Even when the weather turns Texas hot, this 0.4 mile interpretive loop offers maximal views for minimal sweat. Hiking the gentle incline on a wide, shady, grassy path, expect to spend some extra time reading a series of informational panels identifying and indigenous plants, birds and animals. The hike culminates at a 16-foot observation tower that provides a 360-degree panorama of the entire 11,320-acre refuge and Lake Texoma. Look for several varieties of geese (snow, Canada, Ross’ and white fronted), or white pelicans which flock here by the thousands during their spring and fall migrations.
Attention birders: Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge is a busy from the spring to the fall. Birds use it as both a pit stop and wintering ground. Make sure you pack your binoculars and field guide.
-Mapped by Casey Lyons
- Distance: 0.7
Location: 33.7274248, -96.7676234
From the primitive trailhead, walk south on the grassy path. Stay straight at the first Y-junction and be sure to stop and read about the refuge’s inhabitants on the interpretive panels.
Location: 33.7265386, -96.7664329
About 300 yards from the trailhead, is a stable (though rickety-looking) observation tower. Climb the 20 steps for a 360-degree tree-top view of the entire refuge.
Location: 33.7260351, -96.7667627
The trail climbs about 60 feet from the trailhead to this point, but turns downhill here.
Location: 33.7269942, -96.7676002
You’ll pass more interpretive signs as you continue down the woodland trail toward the parking area.
Location: 33.7274293, -96.767617
This small wooden sign points the way to the trail. En route, you’ll pass several interpretive signs highlighting area ecology.
Location: 33.7265482, -96.7664208
Looking north at the Big Mineral Arm of Lake Texoma. The nearby shores are home to dozens of species of migratory birds. Nearby sights include Elm Pond to the East and the Mineral Creek Oil field to the northwest.