Estero Llano Grande State Park
Come here for the 200 species of butterflies—or to spy a blue-throated hummingbird, or any of the other astonishing 326 species of birds in the area. And, if not for them, how about to see the 60 types of dragonflies or the alligators who glide across the limpid waters of Alligator Lake? Walk the five miles of trails though Estero Llano Grande State Park under the tutelage of a ranger or explore them yourself, binoculars ready for action. Opened in 2006, when conservationist and state agencies joined together to restore a dried up lakebed, an abandoned farm, and nearby land, this shallow wetland has become a birder’s haven. Dotted with mesquite trees and prickly pear cacti, it also holds a wildlife viewing deck, and a Camp Thicket, where groups can be accommodated for overnight stays.
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