Wildlife Viewing Areas
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Martin Dies, Jr. State Park
One of the wildlife viewing treasures of the region, this beautiful park and surrounding area includes pine and bottomland hardwood forests, open waters of B.A. Steinhagen Lake, swamps, and rivers. A large colony of wading birds with up to 20,000 nests is in the middle of the lake just south of...
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Gus A. Engeling Wildlife Management Area
Description: Rich with viewing opportunities, this site is also one of the most scenic representations of deciduous forest in east Texas. Habitats associated with Catfish Creek (a national Natural Landmark), spring-fed streams, sloughs, ponds, and bogs accentuate the hilly forest of oak, hickory, sweetgum, and elm. Understory plants include flowering dogwood, American beautyberry, and huckleberry. Several beaver ponds, a magnet for wildlife, enrich the region; one has a boardwalk, providing exceptional viewing of beaver, mink, ducks, song and wading birds, alligators, turtles, and fish. White-tailed deer, bobcats, both species of fox, skunks, and rabbits can be viewed here. The beautiful corn snake and eastern coachwhip are found here along with over thirty other species of snakes, numerous salamanders, and frogs.

Wildlife to Watch: Most wildlife can be seen with moderate probability early in the morning or late in the evening from roads or trails. Mink, fox, and bobcats are seldom seen, while alligators are frequently viewed except during the colder months. Coachwhips and Texas rat snakes are common along roads during summer days. Ducks are abundant around water during the winter. Viewing is productive at the numerous dead trees, which provide cavities for wood ducks, woodpeckers, and the stunning prothonotary warbler. Most of the roads are unimproved and some require four-wheel drive when wet. Wildlife viewing may be discouraged during the hunting season. Registration at headquarters and a Texas Conservation Passport are required for entry.

Special Tips: 

Ownership: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department 
Size: 10,941 acres 
Closest Town: Palestine

ParkingTent CampingHiking

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

American Alligator - photo by USFWS
Use link below please

Driving Directions:
From Palestine where U.S. 287 and U.S. 79 intersect, go northwest twenty miles on U.S. 287 to entrance.

Map Link

Gus A. Engeling Wildlife Management Area : Wildlife Viewing Area