• Wooded patch with a shaded water drip
  • Bench near water drip to sit and wait for birds

Trail Length: ~.35 mi. round trip

eBird Link

The Location

Here you’ll find evidence of a ranch that once existed, first built in 1918 by Sam Nail.

Like many other nearby ranchers at the time, the Great Depression drove Sam Nail to sell his ranch to the state of Texas, which later deeded the land to the federal government when Big Bend National Park was first created.

Now remnants of an adobe house can be seen. The windmill has been kept functional and actively draws up water today.

Parking is located along the Maxwell Scenic Drive and a gravel trail leads you in.

The scenery here isn’t as grand as other locations within the park, but easily accessible water and plenty of vegetation makes this a great spot for birders. The trail is flat, short, and easy to walk.

Birding Recommendations

Spend your time searching slowly through the shrubby vegetation along the trails.

Once you find the water drip near the windmill take a break on the bench and see what shows up.

Potential species include:

  • Crissal Thrasher
  • Scott’s Oriole
  • Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
  • Bell’s Vireo
  • Yellow-breasted Chat
  • Cactus Wren
  • Pyrrhuloxia
  • Black-throated Sparrow

Interesting Note

When Big Bend National Park first opened to the public the priority was showcasing a natural landscape and so most man-made structures, including nearly all of Sam Nail’s house was torn down and destroyed. Only a few small remnants remain.

See the Guide to Birding Big Bend to get the most out of your park visit.