McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge

McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge

US Fish & Wildlife Service

Free Camping on the Texas Shore

The only place where camping is allowed at McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge is along the beach. It's free to camp here up to 14 days. There are no reservations, first-come, first-serve, and the only amenities are trash dumpsters.

Authority

McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge

US Fish & Wildlife Service

Refuge Office

Tel: (409) 971-2909

Particulars

GPS: 29.6676, -94.0706

Reservations: First come, first served

Camping Fee: None

Permit: None

Max Stay: 14 days

Amenities: Trash dumpsters

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McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge

While camping is restricted to just the beach at McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, you are allowed to camp anywhere you want. The sand is hard-packed only at the entrance, which are marked by the two trash dumpsters (refer to the GPS coordinates above, or the map marker below). But if you were to drive along the beach in either direction away from the entrance, the sand gets soft.

The beach at McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge is a popular destination for locals in Port Arthur and Winnie/Stowell. The weekends get packed here. But it remains mostly empty from Monday to Thursday. You’ll find a fair amount of trash strewn about the beach, despite the trash dumpsters here.

We found the beach to be brimming with wildlife, not just sealife. Feral hogs, coyotes, and alligators can be seen along the shoreline. Sharks, stingrays, dolphins, are plentiful in the water. Fishing is also really good here and permitted.

The refuge has not posted any signs prohibiting campfires, and there is no mention of campfires on the refuge’s website or printed brochure.

In our experience, you’re fine to park your trailer here as long as you stay close to the beach entrance. Just a few miles to the east of the beach entrance is Sea Rim State Park which has cleaner facilities and a dump station. If beach camping is your thing, you might want to consider that one instead.

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