The Gulf Prairie Run of the Stephen F. Austin Trail on the Brazos River is a 9.8 mile segment from FM 2004 in Lake Jackson to Highway 288 in Freeport, across the street from the Freeport Municipal Park and Police Station. The trail unfolds over one of the most incredible ecological systems in our region, where the historic Brazos River winds through the dense, wet Columbia Bottomlands. This lush world of towering trees, palmetto thickets and flowering plants supports a multitude of wildlife species and provides a critically important stopover habitat for migrating birds.
Launch options: the FM 2004 boat ramp in Lake Jackson or the Brazos River Boat Ramp in Freeport. The Brazos River Boat Ramp in Freeport is directly across the street from the Mystery Shrimp Boat Monument near the police station and across the levee. Follow shell road to boat ramp.
Trail Length: ~9.8 miles. Float Time: ~4-5 hours (depending on water level, flow rate and wind speed).
This section of the Brazos River supports numerous freshwater species of catfish, sunfish, and alligator gar; as the river moves toward high tide, the influx of saltwater brings with it redfish, sand trout, flounder, and other saltwater fish. Small lures such as jigs, plastic worms, spinner baits and light-line are generally recommended.
The riparian corridor of the Brazos River supports a great diversity of plant and animal life along the river and beyond the banks. Birds spotted here include many species of migratory birds which vary according to the season. Several varieties of native trees grow along the river, including live oak, ash, pecan, cottonwood, cypress, and elm. Common wildlife encountered include alligators, deer, and small mammals. It is not unusual to see livestock watering in the river.