Brownsville & South Padre Island, TX

Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge

Flickr: Vince Smith

The Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is the most scenic spot in Brownsville for a run. Located 30 miles north of Brownsville, the 97,000-acre refuge has diverse terrain featuring wetlands, tidal flats, desert & prairie habitats for birds & wildlife. There are 70 miles of trails, and running is permitted — although we urge visitors to read the guidelines regarding wildlife. Note: Some trails are only open during certain seasons.  The best bets for running, detailed in this brochure and map are:

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Road Running. From the Visitor Center area, run the 1.5 mile Lakeside Drive, or choose a section of the paved, 14-mile Bayside Drive. These are less remote and used by bikers too.

Trail Running. We recommend the Lower West Lake Trail. It’s up to 6 miles (one-way) and features coastal prairie, shoreline, and wetlands (during wet years).  If you want to run through prairie land, enjoy the 4.1-mile Prairie Trail. Also good for running are the 3.3 mile Gator Trail and the 5.75 mile Country Trail which passes through thornscrub, savanna, prairie and former agricultural lands.




  • Parking at Visitor Center and at some other designated trailheads

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  • Parking at Visitor Center and at some other designated trailheads