The Port Aransas Nature Preserve encompasses 1,217 acres of undeveloped land in an area formerly known as Charlie’s Pasture, where early island residents once grazed their cattle. Located between the ship channel, the community park, State Highway 361 and Piper Channel, features at the Nature Preserve include over three miles of hike and bike trails, a pavilion, boardwalks over algal flats, crushed granite trails on the uplands, covered seating sites and two towers overlooking wetland areas around Salt Island.
The natural area’s extensive tidal flats provide feeding areas and important habitat for shorebirds and endangered and threatened species such as the piping plover. There are two entrances to the Preserve: the end of Port Street and off State Highway 361 near Mustang Beach Airport. To keep the preserve unspoiled, certain environmental rules apply.