Lake Somerville seeing bird migrations

For the bird enthusiasts out there now would be a great time to check out Lake Somerville.

picture below is from flag pond

pc: Lake Somerville State Park facebook page

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Here’s a video to serve as a preview to our trip to Dinosaur Valley State Park on 1/11/14. It was a fun day minus the cedar pollen (more on that later).

Visit to Barrington Farm

Barrington Farm is a living history farm similar to the the Sauer Beckmann Living History Farm at LBJ State Park.

If you haven’t been to one of these living history farms I highly recommend a visit. It is educational and entertaining. Ask lots of questions.

farm house at Barrington Farm

The farm still uses the smokehouse. They slaughter a hog in January and smoke meat for the rest of the year.

The farm has a beautiful Polish Crested Red that guards the hens.

There are also two slave houses that are present at the farm.

There is not quite as much to check out at the Barrington Farm as the Sauer Beckmann Farm, but I still recommend the stop.

Lake Somerville State Park and Trailway

On our way home from Houston (Battleship Texas and San Jacinto Monument) we stopped by Lake Somerville State Park.

The park has an office on both sides of the lake. The reason for this is that the lake is very long. It does take some time to drive from one office to the other so if you plan on visiting both offices (path tags at both) make sure you allow for about 45 minutes to get from one to the other. The other key piece of info is that the Birch Creek Unit Office closes at 4:45 pm. We arrived at 4:55 and were unable to get our path tag.

The park and lake are very beautiful. Some trails do need some maintenance. It doesn’t look like they cut some of them back much. Make sure to wear jeans/boots on the more hairy trails as there are some poisonous snakes out and about especially around the shore.

This was one of the trails that looked safer.

It turned out to be the one we saw a rather large water moccasin cross right in front of us.

Again, the lake was beautiful and there were lots of people out enjoying the water.

lake somerville

lake somerville

Plan to spend a weekend at this park to enjoy the lake. Be sure to check the TPWD site for good directions and updates on the water level.

Fanthorp Inn

After Washington on the Brazos, we went 17 miles to the east to Anderson, TX to see Fanthorp Inn SHS.


This old inn is worth the drive as are the stories told by its volunteer innkeeper. The inn is only open on Saturday. There is no funding for the inn itself. The volunteer gives tours and sees to the upkeep. The electricity is paid for by Washington on the Brazos. I think after you hear the stories from the volunteer you’ll want to visit the donation box at the entrance. Entry to the inn is free, but a suggested donation of a few dollars each is asked.




There were some great old firearms in the inn. All of which are original.


You’ll want to take a peek into the cellar at the end of the dining room. There’s a surprise at the bottom of the stairs.


Part of the tour is a visit to the old stagecoach out in the yard. Believe it or not that was a 17-seater. 9 on the inside. The stagecoach started as a mail carrier on the La Bahia. Mr. Fanthorp built his house on the La Bahia and then added on when he saw how much traffic there was on the road. As you’ll see from the size of the place he was quite successful.

Washington on the Brazos SHS

Today we visited Washington-on-the-Brazos SHS. The birthplace of Texas.


Be sure to visit the gift shop. It’s one of the largest I’ve seen at a state park.

Every hour on the hour there is a guided tour of Independence Hall.


The guide gives a great explanation of the history of Washington, TX and the story of Texas’ independence.

From there head outside and stop by the obelisk just outside independence hall.


The inscription on one side reads: “The necessity of self preservation therefore now decrees our eternal political separation.”

From there head down the La Bahia road to the Brazos River. The La Bahia was an old highway hundreds of years ago. It’s estimated that people have traveled that east-to-west road for over 300 years.


At the end of this path you’ll see the old fairy crossing at the Brazos.


Turn right at the fairy crossing and you’ll see the La Bahia Pecan Tree. This type of pecan is normally found in Mexico. It is believed to be 190 years old.

There was a great amount of history to this park, but not much in the way of trails. There are picnic areas, an amphitheater, and a pavilion.