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Davy Crockett National Forest Camping

Four C National Recreational Trail

Mission Tejas State Park – Davy Crockett National Forest – Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area

The Four C National Recreational Trail takes pedestrians through upland forests, boggy sloughs, and towering pines. It begins at Ratcliff Lake and takes people past the Walnut Creek campsite, and traverses the Big Slough Wilderness Area.

Length: 20 miles

Intensity: Easy for the central and south sections. The north section is more difficult due to the steeper terrain.

Camping Near You Find A Free Campsite

Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.

Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.

This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

Frequently Asked Questions About Davy Crockett National Forest

What is the closest town to Davy Crockett National Forest?

Some of the closest towns to Davy Crockett National Forest include Crockett and Lufkin. Lufkin is the larger of the two towns, but both have grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, campgrounds, and other services. Campers can stock up for their trip in either town.

Do you need a permit to fish or hunt in Davy Crockett National Forest?

Yes, you do need a permit to hunt in Davy Crockett National Forest. You need a fishing license if you’re 16 or older in order to fish in the forest as well.

Is there a fee to get into Davy Crockett National Forest?

No, there is no fee to get into Davy Crockett National Forest. However, there are fees for certain day-use areas. There are also fees for some recreational activities like camping in developed campgrounds.

Can you kayak, canoe, or raft in Davy Crockett National Forest?

Yes, you can kayak and canoe in Davy Crockett National Forest. In fact, the Neches-Davy Crockett Paddling Trail is perfect for canoes and kayaks. Whitewater rafting is not a popular activity in the area.

Does Davy Crockett National Forest offer free camping sites?

Yes, the Davy Crockett National Forest offers free camping sites. Dispersed camping is allowed throughout the forest year-round, although it’s restricted to 20 designated hunter camps during deer season each fall for safety reasons. The ranger office has maps showing these camps.


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Piney Creek Horse Trail

The Piney Creek Horse Trail is a horse trail with two trailheads, Piney Creek Trailhead and White Rock trailhead, with pit toilets. There are campsites and municipal water available.

Length: 50 miles

  • Removing archaeological or historical artifacts

  • Removing moss, stones, or plants for personal or commercial use

Activities that visitors to Davy Crockett National Forest can do include hunting, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, camping with campfires , and collecting food for personal use. For fishing, Davy Crockett National Forest only allows non-motorized boats, and there’s an accessible fishing platform for those who don’t wish to be on the water. There are picnic tables at all camping sites. Swimming and boating are both permitted.

Discover An Area By Activity

Davy Crockett State Park Campground Map

Select an activity to find an area to visit.

The National Forests in Texas provide a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities! There are dozens of developed recreation areas and trailheads, offering camping experiences ranging from highly developed to primitive. Camping is offered on a first-come, first-served basis in developed recreation areas, and some larger or more popular areas , offer reservations through Forest visitors can now camp up to 28 days at selected recreation areas in the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas.

There is a day-use fee at highly developed areas with swimming or boating facilities. Campground facilities generally include tent pads, picnic tables, parking spurs for trailers, lantern posts, grills, potable water, and toilets.

View the Recreation Matrix to see the amenities that the campgrounds have to offer.

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Must Do Things Around Davy Crockett National Forest

In our Must Do Things Around Greater Houston series, we take a look at Houstons vast array of communities, neighborhoods and destinations to bring you five fun, tasty, surprising and enticing reasons you should give each one a visit.

Around a two-hour drive from Downtown Houston, the 160,000-acre Davy Crockett National Forest was proclaimed a National Forest by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936.

The East Texas woodlands are part of the Piney Woods ecoregion, edged by the Neches River to the northeast and featuring the 45-acre Ratcliff Lake.

Here are five fun, tasty and exciting reasons you should give the area around Davy Crockett National Forest a visit:

The Davy Crockett National Forest

The Davy Crockett National Forest, just an hour north of Houston proper, makes a perfect hiking day trip or weekend getaway. The forests 4C National Recreation Trail provides up to 20 miles of footpath winding through dense forest, around lakes and swamps, and over a few bluffs for scenic views.

The trail is easy enough to bring children for a short, gentle stroll or you can hike midway in with a buddy, have lunch at the central shelter, and tromp back out the same day. If you prefer, you also can make the whole 20 miles into a nice weekend backpacking trip.

This is real Texas wilderness. Although it previously was logging country, it has regrown, and again looks pretty much how it did when its namesake pioneer, Davy Crockett, roamed the woods in his famous coonskin cap. And at 160,000+ acres, its Texas-sized too. Plenty of space to have all to yourself, even this close to Houston.

Avid Dew

Perhaps the best thing about hiking this East Texas Trail is its sense of solitude. Its the type of temporary seclusion that, at least in Texas, you can only find in this tall-tree area. In East Texas, we hardly call anything under 50-feet-tall a real tree. So the scrub brush and oaks in the rest of the state have nothing on the pines and hardwoods of the Houston area, and especially those in this protected national forest.

Access and Camping

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Davy Crockett National Forest

The Davy Crockett National Forest is off U. S. Highway 7 west of Lufkin and east of Crockett. The preserve, which is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service local headquarters in Lufkin, has a total of 161,842 acres, with 94,481 acres in Houston County and 67,361 acres in Trinity County. The national forests in Texas were established by an act of the Texas legislature in 1933 authorizing the purchase of lands for the national forest system. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed these purchases on October 15, 1936. The national forests are managed on a multiple-use philosophy and are used for lumbering, grazing, oil production, hunting, and recreation. In fiscal year 1994, 93.8 million board feet of timber was harvested from the national forests in Texas, providing 2,098 jobs and $73,108,000 in income to the surrounding Texas communities. In addition, Texas ranchers with special permits could graze their cattle in the national forests. At the Davy Crockett National Forest, 386 head of cattle grazed in fiscal year 1994. Davy Crockett National Forest, which is bordered on the northeast by the Neches River, includes the 45-acre Ratliff Lake. The area is pine-hardwood woodlands with flat to gently rolling terrain. Recreational facilities at this national forest include a bathhouse, camping and picnicking areas, boat ramps, and hiking trails.

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