Baytown Nature Center is a great place to enjoy many outdoor activities, such as fishing and crabbing, nature observation, walking or jogging for exercise, photography, picnicking and family gatherings.
Fishing and Crabbing
Fishing and crabbing are permitted at the San Jacinto Point Recreation Area and in the bays along the entrance road to the point.
There is a long fishing pier located at the end of San Jacinto Point, a pier with a covered area on Crystal Bay and two smaller fishing piers on Burnet Bay in the recreation area.
Fishing and crabbing are also popular in Burnet Bay and Crystal Bay along Bayshore Drive from the entrance to San Jacinto Point.
Fishing and crabbing are not permitted inside the designated natural areas. These areas are posted with no fishing signs at the entrance to these areas.
ALL PERSONS AGED 17 OR OLDER WHO FISH AT BAYTOWN NATURE CENTER MUST POSSESS A VALID FISHING LICENSE IN ACCORDANCE WITH TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS FOR FISHING IN PUBLIC WATERS.
Bird Watching & Nature Observation
Over five miles of marked nature trails of varying lengths are available in the natural areas of the nature center for the observation of nature.
The nature trails start at the Butterfly Garden parking lot. The trails are marked with trail sign markers.
The nature center is host to over 200 different species of birds that are regularly present, sometime during the year.
The mix of wetland marsh, woodlands, tall grasses and weedy areas and the surrounding bays provide habitats for a wide variety of birds. The mix of birds present varies with the season and is constantly changing.
Many migratory birds stop at the nature center each spring and fall, to rest and re-fuel as they make their way to their breeding grounds or winter homes. Many waterfowl, raptors, sparrows, woodpeckers and songbirds make their home at the nature center during the fall and winter months. Many of the large wading birds and some of the woodland birds are present all year long. The surrounding bays provide an important habitat for pelicans, gulls, terns and bay ducks. Baytown Nature Center is listed as a birding site on the Great Texas Birding Trail map.
The nature trails are also a great place to observe animal wildlife, plants and wildflowers, butterflies and dragonflies. Raccoons, rabbits, skunks, opossums, squirrels, nutrias, and river otters are regularly seen animals at Baytown Nature Center.
More than 30 species of butterflies have been identified at BNC. The Butterfly Garden is a good place to see butterflies, but butterflies are seen throughout the nature center in proper season.
Wildflowers are in bloom at the nature center much of the year. In the spring, there is a profusion of wildflowers blooming all along the nature trails.
Walking, Jogging, Bicycling for Exercise
Walking, jogging and bicycling are permitted on the trails in the natural area.
There is a nearly one-mile long loop paved walkway that begins at the Butterfly Garden and follows along the shoreline of Burnet and Crystal Bays.
The Cypress Loop Trail, another mile-long trail, originates near the Visitor Center parking lot and terminates at Scott Bay Overlook. Both of these trails provide scenic locations to walk or jog. The road from the entrance to San Jacinto Point is also a good place to ride bicycles.
Picnic and Family Outings
The San Jacinto Point Recreation Area has picnic tables and benches close to parking and restrooms that are great for a family picnic or outing. The Children’s Nature Discovery play area is also in this area to keep children entertained. Mowed lawns and shade trees provide a good play or rest area with excellent views of the bays, ship channel and San Jacinto Monument.
Nature and Landscape Photography
Baytown Nature Center provides plenty of opportunities for nature or landscape photography. Birds, butterflies and wildflowers along the nature trails provide great subjects for the nature photographer.
Observation blinds on Duck Pond, Scott Bay Slough and Turtle Pond are good locations for bird photographs.
The views of the marshes, bays, Fred Hartman Bridge and San Jacinto Monument are made for landscape photography.
Sunset views from San Jacinto Point with the right cloud conditions can be fantastic.