Pack 55 - Winter Campout
Brazos Bend State Park
January 24-26, 2014

Directions:   There are two routes to the campsite.  The distance from St John the Divine Church is approximately 40 miles via either route.
    Route #1:
      1.  Take U.S. Hwy 59 southwest past Sugarland, and exit at FM 2759 (Crabb River Rd).
           This exit is approx 6 miles after passing Hwy 6.
      2.  Go south on FM 2759 (2.5 miles), and continue through the intersection where the name
           of the road changes to FM 762.
      3.  Continue south on FM 762 for 16.5 miles.  Park entrance will be on your left.
    Route #2:
      1.  Take Hwy 288 south to Rosharon (approx 28 miles if starting from Hwy 59).
      2.  Turn right (west) onto FM 1462, and go 10 miles to FM 762.
      3.  Turn right (north) onto FM 762 and go 1.5 miles.  Park entrance will be on your right.

Maps of the park (in PDF):
click to download campsite map
click to download trail map

Check-in:
Please check-in at the ranger station upon arrival.  You are required to pay a small fee and get a windshield sticker for your vehicle.  Sites have been pre-assigned by den.  Ask for your assigned site at the ranger station by giving your den number.

Campsites:
All dens will camp in either the Red Buckeye or Burr Oak camping areas.  All sites have water and electricity.  Pack 55 is providing firewood, but you will need to transport it from a central drop area.  Gathering of firewood is prohibited within the park.  Please observe the rules on where you can park you car.

Activities:
  • George Observatory is located in the park and it has a giant 10-ton 36" telescope in a large domed building.  The Observatory also has two smaller telescopes in domed buildings.  If the skies are clear, you can view the heavens on Saturday night.  Numerous individuals bring portable telescopes (some of which are quite large), and you can look through these telescopes and talk the the amateur astronomers.  Other exhibits and informative programs will also be available there.
  • Challenger Learning Center has a very exciting program called the "Mini-Comet Mission".  This program may be best for older Cubs (Bears & Webelos), but it is open to all P-55 Cubs.
  • The park is famous for the large population of alligators, birds and other wildlife.  Bring binoculars.
  • There are great hiking trails throughout the park.
  • Bring your bikes.  The park has good roads and trails for riding.
  • There are several lakes and piers for fishing.
Schedule of Activities:  (to come)

History of the park:
      Brazos Bend State Park covers roughly 5000 acres, with an eastern boundary of 3.2 miles fronting on the Brazos River on the southeast border of Fort Bend County.  This was the area of Texas' first Anglo colonization.  The land for the park was purchased by the state in 1976-77 and was opened to the public in 1984.
      Archeological materials show that prehistoric people visited this area, possibly as early as 300 BC.  In early historical times, the Capoque band of the Karankawa Indians roamed between the mouth of the Brazos River and Galveston Bay and may have traveled inland as far as Brazos Bend.  In the early 19th century, this area of Texas was the site of Stephen F. Austin's first colonial land grant from Mexico.  Most of riverfront was sold shortly after the Texas Revolution, and records show that in 1845, part of the park and 2400 feet of river frontage were in the hands of cotton brokers who lived in Brazoria.  At the time, the Brazos River was one of the principal routes of commerce, and it may be that the brokerage firm used the area for one of its riverboat landings.  In recent times, the land on which the park is located was used for cattle grazing, pecan harvesting, and as a private hunting preserve.

Links:
Info on Brazos Bend State Park:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/brazos-bend

Info on the George Observatory:
www.hmns.org/see_do/george_observatory.asp

Brazos Bend Volunteer Organization:
www.brazosbend.org/