One of the best hidden treasures in North Texas, the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge on the South side of Lake Texoma offers excellent places to explore the natural world with hiking trails and a 4-mile driving trail.
The Refuge is a wonderful place to spot a variety of birds, including nesting bald eagles during the Winter months, from November through March.
Each year the Refuge is also the Winter home of migrating Snow Geese, usually from November to the end of February, who come down from the Artic for the warmer weather. The massive waters of Lake Texoma attract the birds, and the refuge annually plants agricultural crops, such as wheat, as a food source for the birds. As we arrived, we immediately saw a small flock flying low above us! I frantically took pictures as quickly as I could, fearing that this would be our only opportunity. We drove on to the visitor center, and just this side of the iron gate sat about seven wild geese, posing for pictures! We then looked in front of us, and saw thousands of white geese filling the skies and pastures down toward the shores of the lake! We were able to pull along side the road, amidst other cars and watch the birds from a very short distance. They are simply amazing!
Know Before You Go
Admission to the Refuge is FREE, although
Visit the Friends of Hagerman NWR website for upcoming events, including the FREE Second Saturday events, tram tours and events!
Take a pair of binoculars with you for help spotting birds.
Pack a lunch for a nice picnic at the Refuge. Our favorite spots are Sandy Day Use Area and Goode Day Use Area, both with lovely views of the the lake.
Visit the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge website for more information on this fascinating place, and to see all that they offer, including interactive children’s classes each month.
Haller’s Haven Trail at the Goode Day Use Area, at 2.7 miles, is a favorite for me. A quick and easy hike, the 3/4 mile Crow Hill Trail rewards you with a nice view of the lake at the top.
Fishing is allowed on Lake Texoma and the creeks that feed the lake. There are 2 boat ramps, and canoes and kayaks can be launched from the Goode Day Use Area.
It was so thrilling for me when my children and I read books together that I loved as a child. It was even more exciting when I see that the story has captured them in the same magic weave that I felt at their age. One such story is The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico, written in 1940. It is the story of a deformed artist living alone in England, a young girl and a lost and injured snow goose that brings them together. The sad ending of the story impacted me so that I can still remember my mother reading it to me, late one night on a family camping trip in Freeport, while my father was out fishing for flounder.
Paul Gallico is the author of The Snow Goose, and other books, including The Poseidon Adventure. For more information on his books; http://www.paulgallico.info/notitle.html
A Texas Connection – The Snow Goose won the O. Henry award in 1941. This short story award is named for the American writer, William Sydney Porter, who wrote under the pen name, O. Henry. Early in his career, Porter worked in Austin for the Texas General Land Office, and maps he drew, bearing his signature, are on display at the state capital. Hmmm…. an idea for another road trip?
Things To Do in Sherman
Herman Baker Park, at 2500 W Center St., is a pretty park with a 1.8 mile mountain bike and hiking natural trail that goes around the small lake.
Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge
6465 Refuge Road, Sherman
Click HERE to visit their website.
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