Best Texas rivers: Bastrop Bayou

Even during the Reading Week, one may trace a Texas river (our ninth during the past year).


The modest watercourse followed by car and on foot from its source to its mouth yesterday was Bastrop Bayou, which rises from soft, slack, cafe au lait pools in Richwood, between Clute and Angleton. It inches through a Spanish-moss-draped neighborhood, clearly flood-prone, then pours out onto the Gulf coastal prairie, foregrounding pastoral scenes out of De Cuyp.

Furry, half-abandoned hamlets of vacation homes, decorated double-wides and a few permanent homesteads fringe the banks of the broadening Bastrop. As it eases into the Brazoria National Wildlife Preserve, the fishing, crabbing and boating amenities improve.

At last, from a vaulting bridge on County Road 227 near Mims, one can just spy Austin Bayou as it joins the Bastrop upstream, and, the other direction, the lacy delta of the main stream as it filters into a series of lagoons — Bastrop Bay, Christmas Bay, West Bay and, ultimately, Galveston Bay.

UPDATES: We’ll always update our trips and research on the blog. For a different display, go to¬†

Author: Michael Barnes

Michael Barnes writes about Austin's people, places, culture and history for the Austin American-Statesman and

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