Pilant Lake to Bluestem Trail and Riverview Trail

MODERATE 72 reviews
#1 of 12 trails in

Pilant Lake to Bluestem Trail and Riverview Trail is a 15.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Richmond, Texas that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
15.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
209 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

road biking

scenic driving

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wildlife

washed out

Great park with lots of trails to pick from. If you Park and start you hike by Elm lake you're bound to see a gator on the banks sunning themselves. They are pretty amazing to see in the wild.

walking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail. Gators galore!

2 months ago

I only walked part of Bluestem Trail and part of Riverview Trail. Bluestem was pretty and I would like to hike all of it. However Riverview Trail was disappointing. It's wide like a single lane graveled road, but there is no clear view of the Brazos River. I could tell where the river but so much brush and trees separate you from it. Maybe at the very end you get to see the river, but I didn't find out. I turned around about halfway through the trail. Also very little shade on Riverview Trail.

8 months ago

Park closed til November

hiking
Monday, June 05, 2017

Went a about a 4 mile hike - a loop we chose within this bigger loop - with our dog. Very pretty! Enjoyed the beaten path over the manicured. We would definitely go again! Just FYI, there is a $7 per person park entrance fee.

hiking
Saturday, May 06, 2017

A very beautiful and clean park. Will definitely be going back!

hiking
Thursday, January 26, 2017

Great park with lots of trails to pick from. If you Park and start you hike by Elm lake you're bound to see a gator. We saw 3 gators and it was 60 degrees out on a January day. They were on the banks and Sunning themselves. They are pretty amazing to see in the wild. We also saw deer and a snake.

hiking
Saturday, January 07, 2017

loved this park! took all 3 of my boys and we had the best time. they saw deer, all kinds of birds.. squirrels. we also visited the nature center where they were able to pet gators, snakes and see other animals. there was plenty of terrain and miles of trail. couldn't have picked a better spot for our afternoon!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Very thankful that I live in a millennium where nature still exists

hiking
Sunday, November 20, 2016

We parked near the Hale Lake Loop Trail and hiked part of that to get to the Bayou and Sawmill Trails before reaching the Riverview Trail on the way back. So we made a 7.5 mile loop today. Beautiful, clear, wide trails. I don't know how likely you are to see alligators on this side of the park, away from the larger waters. We did not see one nor expect to. We did see so many deer tracks, raccoon prints and wild hog ruts. And walked up on an armadillo! It let us watch it a long while as it ate - pretty neat!
Yes, great trails at Brazos Bend State Park!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Too many gators for small children and pets, but beautiful landscape with lots of exploring to be done.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Park says they have never had a human fatality from a gator. I'm skeptical. They are big and everywhere. Awesome hike. Was able to walk by most but had to backtrack twice due to big gators on trail. Highly recommend, but stay alert.

mountain biking
Friday, November 04, 2016

I enjoy riding the trails at BBSP. The trails are easy. The Red Buckeye Trail is especially enjoyable on a bike. Love seeing wildlife and taking pics of the beautiful oaks at the park. Nice to have these trails as an option for a fun and quick ride.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Do not bring dog. Alligators will try to eat.

road biking
Sunday, August 07, 2016

Beautiful, relaxing bike ride. Tons of wildlife.

hiking
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

We had planned to take some of the trails near Hale Lake on the eastern end of the park, but those were off-limits due to hunting season. We opted to start at 40 Acre Lake, hike around The Elm Lake Loop, then take the long route back via the Pilant Slough Trail (about 6 miles total). The first part of our hike was very picturesque and alligator-filled, but it was a little more developed and populated than I prefer. There are restrooms and developed campsites galore, and tons of folks were running, biking, and fishing near the trails. The Pilant Slough Trail is quite beautiful. The weather couldn't have been better—only drank about 2L the entire outing and debated on whether to bring a light jacket at the outset (we didn't need it). I will definitely be back to explore a little more.

mountain biking
Monday, October 19, 2015

First time to ride a mountain bike and this was the first place. Easy and enjoyable. Trails in great shape and nice scenery.

cross country skiing
Thursday, September 10, 2015

I love Brazos Bend. It's far enough from civilization to enjoy peace and quiet (unless you happen to go on a Boy Scout weekend). There are nice paved trails as well as wooded ones. Not only are there plentiful alligator that the park is famous for, t's also a great place for birding. Be aware of venomous snakes, as well as deer, wild hogs, raccoons, opossum, etc. There is a nature center, places for camping....and there is an observatory that fills up quickly weekend evenings. I don't recommend fishing here as the alligators go after bait. If you are in to geocaching there are plenty of caches there too.

hiking
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

(September 4, 2015) We parked at the 40 Acre Lake parking lot and set out on the 40 Acre Lake Trail around the NW side of the lake. On the other side, we followed the Spillway Trail to Elm Lake. At Elm Lake, we headed north to Horseshoe Lake, where we took the west side of the Horseshoe Lake Loop. We hiked the entire Big Creek Loop, and then followed the same route back to the car. According to the park map, we hiked a total of 6.9 miles, but taking into account a detour at Elm Lake to escape the rain, Endomondo said we hiked 7.6 miles total. With breaks and a rain detour, we were out for about 4 1/2 hours. We each consumed 2L of water and had one snack while out.

The main trails around the lakes are very well maintained, especially around 40 Acre Lake and Elm Lake -- wide, flat paths, except for a small hill near the 40 Acre Lake trailhead.

Big Creek Loop is less so. There is A LOT of damage to the trail created by wild hogs, and since it had recently rained in the area, the trail was muddy. Not a lot of standing water, but plenty of loose, black mud that stuck to our boots, got in our boots, and made a general mess. LOL. We didn't mind too much, but it's something to be aware of if you plan to head back that way.

The loops around the lakes are understandably popular with visitors. Lots of waterfowl. Lots of alligators (look for their eyes in the water). Lots of beautiful swamp scenery.

Big Creek Loop is more woodsy rather than swampy. Certainly more remote and less travelled. Great for finding some solitude. There are WILD HOGS back there, so have an escape plan in case you encounter them. Oh, and there are lots of spiders up in the trees. Shivers. :-)

We got caught by a big rainstorm on the return trip around Horseshoe Lake. While we were soaked to the bone -- nope, no raingear, lol -- nothing dampened our spirits. We'll be back!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hiked several of the trails. Saw about 5 alligators. The park is very pretty. Seemed to walk forever for a very short distance.

mountain biking
Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I really enjoyed the trails. I didn't ride all of them and I definitely will be going back regularly.

mountain biking
Sunday, August 16, 2015

My first trip to this park and I will definitely be going back. The trails are nice, I didn't ride all but am planning on a trip back soon to do the tougher trails and hopefully get to see a few alligators.

mountain biking
Saturday, May 16, 2015

Flat land easy ride. Packed dirt and gravel roads.

hiking
Monday, December 22, 2014

This is one of the very best parks in Texas... for people watching and grading bad decision making. Yesterday, we went to hike the linked serious of trails that start with 40 Acre Lake, then to the Spillway, Elm Lake Loop, Old Horseshoe Trail Loops, and park of Big Creek Loop (the mud won on that one, it was DEEP).

What always boggles my mind when hiking here are the number of people with their dogs. I love dogs, but so do alligators. And most dogs are perfectly sized gator snacks. Why people would put their beloved pooch at risk has always been beyond me... The winner of our people watching contest was the woman allowing her three little yappy dogs to play by the water's edge when there was a gator only about twenty feet away...

All that aside, it was an awesome day for bird spotting and gator watching. We saw at least twenty gators and several dozen species of birds. Up on Big Creek Loop everything was torn up by the wild pigs roaming the park, but we did see tracks for coyotes, deer, possum, raccoon, and what we think was a bobcat.

A park volunteer told us that there are currently 200-300 wild pigs in the park, and while they have an active trapping program, they don't seem to be able to make much of a dent in the population. They capture about 20 a month... so either more are moving in or they breed REALLY fast.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

LOVE LOVE LOVE this place!!

hiking
Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Hiked here yesterday. Saw lots of gators. Very pretty park. Plenty of birds and flowers too. Loved the observation areas. Want to go back soon.

hiking
Friday, April 25, 2014

Live Oak trail made us a little nervous that goes along the road as the trail is narrow with many gator paths adjacent. The wooded portion was very nice with deer and nice undergrowth. Lots of gators!

walking
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I wrote a review for this park several months ago, but not sure why its no longer posted here. I was just there yesterday and would like to reiterate what I said in my first review. This is a lousy park for mountain biking. VERY FLAT AND BORING! If you seek a nature walk, then this may be your cup if tea then. Take a map along and water to drink as the trails are very long and winding. The highlight for the evening was definitely the hogs we saw after dark on the roadsides. Lots of them! This would also not be the place to just let your children roam free as the place is very "closed in" feeling and sprawling. Always know their whereabouts. The alligators can often be VERY close to the trails and it seems like a bit too close to have small children wandering unsupervised.

hiking
Sunday, March 31, 2013

Brilliant for an un-taxing strole. Alligators, snakes (if you really look for them) turtles & myriads of ducks/birds it has them all. Not a challenging walk at all but rather an Eco adventure.Take your camera & enjoy!

birding
Wednesday, December 26, 2012

This is an awesome park to get some great photographs of wildlife. The trails are flat and wide so that even though a lot of people visit this park, you are not crowded. The huge oak trees with spanish moss are so pretty. Saw lots of different birds & a whole lot of alligators. I visited two days in a row & still did not hike every trail due to taking so many photos.

mountain biking
Saturday, July 28, 2012

I love this park. I have been going there since I was a little kid. There are nice trails for both hikers and bikers. Although they are not challenging they are still fun to do. The trail around alligator lake is also fun. It is a wide trail for easy passage and you get to see numerous alligators. nice place for family fun.

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