Saturday, July 13, 2024

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Sam Houston State Park Camping

Water Soil And Minerals

Sam Houston Jones State Park near Lake Charles LA – Campground Review, Full Time RV Living & Travel

The Sam Houston National Forest is drained through several small creeks into the east and west forks of the San Jacinto River, and a small portion drains into Lake Livingston.

Lake Conroe, on the west fork of the San Jacinto River was dammed in 1972. It is in the southwestern part of the Sam Houston National Forest near Conroe, Texas. Lake Livingston on the Trinity River was dammed in 1968 and is located on the Northeastern side of the Sam Houston National Forest near Coldspring, Texas.

The Sam Houston National Forest lies within the Gulf Coastal Plains, and the principal soils were developed from unconsolidated beds of clay, sand, sandy clay, or clay shale materials comprising old non-calcareous sediments of the Tertiary and Pleistocene Ages. The soils range from slightly to severely erosive, although any of the soils in the forest will erode if the right conditions such as heavy rains or where concentrations of waterflow are present.

Exploration and drilling for minerals in the Sam Houston National Forest is part of the multiple-use program. Mineral extraction and drilling, allowed under certain conditions, help meet energy needs. Many of the forest minerals belong to private entities who reserved the mineral rights when the lands were purchased during the 1930s, and under the terms of the deed, these outstanding and reserved minerals can be legally explored and removed by the owner.

The Gulf Coast Trades Center is located in the forest.

Sam Houston Jones State Park Overview

Sam Houston Jones State Park Campground has 62 single-family campsites situated next to tree-filled lagoons. There are 42 sites with water and electrical hookups, 20 premium pull-through sites with water and electrical hookups and 19 tent-only campsites. There are also 12 cabins available to rent. Each campsite also has a table, fire ring and grill. The campground has drinking water, flush toilets, hot showers and an RV dump station. Campfire wood is also available for sale from the camp host.

Sam Houston Jones State Park encompasses 1,087 acres with an abundance of wildlife. In fact, the bird watching is always excellent. Nearly 200 species of birds can be seen at or within 30 miles of the site. The numerous waterways in this area provide a variety of water sport recreation including boating, canoeing, kayaking and fishing. Two boat launches are conveniently located on the West Fork of the Calcasieu River, providing access to the Gulf of Mexico, only a few miles away. There are also 3 hiking trails that wind through the park.

Lake Fausee Pointe State Park is another option. Its about 126 miles to the east and has 50 campsites.

Are There Bears In Sam Houston National Forest

Bears are among the wildlife that most people are often scared of, which are rare in Texas. Although sightings are starting to become common, there are no reports in Sam Houston as of writing. Thats why even if you dont stay in Sam Houston National Forest cabins and just camp out in the area, you will be safe from bears.

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Screened Shelters At Huntsville State Park:

Shelters with Air Conditioning and Heating

Total Shelters: 2

Water and Electricity at Site

30/50amp RV Electrical Hookups at Site

Park at the Shelter

Each shelter at Huntsville State Park includes a picnic table, fire ring, BBQ grill. Bring your own bedding and all of your own supplies. A comfort station with showers is located within the shelter area. And yes, we confirmed with the park that RVs can reserve a shelter site. All of the shelter sites have 30/50amp hookups and water connections for RVs. A dump station is shared with the Prairie Branch Camping Area.

Hit The Trails In A Pristine Southwest Louisiana Cypress Forest

Sam Houston Jones State Park Campground

Play a round of disc golf at Sam Houston Jones State Park.

Enjoy nature up close with a hike around the lagoons at Sam Houston Jones State Park.

*Notice: Sam Houston Jones State Park sustained extensive damage from Hurricanes Laura and Delta and remains closed for restoration. Please check with Louisiana State Parks for updates.

Southwest Louisianas sole state park, Sam Houston Jones, is notable for its unimpeded expanses of pine and cypress forests. In the years since it was founded, park administrators have made it a priority to leave much of the preserve in its natural state. As such, its become a save haven for a variety of wildlife, including more than 200 species of birds that migrate through the area.

The park was named for two men with similar names. Sam Houston Jones, Louisianas 46th governor, received the honor after working tirelessly to establish the park in 1944. The park also commemorates the accomplishments of Sam Houston, the Texas and Tennessee governor who traveled extensively in this stretch of Louisiana over 150 years ago.

Sam Houston Jones State Park also offers visitors numerous chances to get out on the water. Two boat launches have been constructed for boaters convenience, allowing access to the west fork of the Calcasieu River and Lake Charles 10 miles south.

Entrance fee: $3 per person free for seniors age 62 and older, and children age 3 and younger.

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Camping For Free Oh My

There are 112 miles of trail and various trail heads throughout. It is wilderness! Ticks! Wild Hogs Water along the trail is usually murky. I reccomend hammock camping not only because of the bugs, but because the forest is dense. Have your maps and blaze trails if you get off of the well marked trail. Also, there are many other networks of trails that are not part of the Federal system that cross and loop around the Lonestar trail. Not too difficult as far a grade is concerned. Just 50 ft increases max, throughout the trek.


Cagle Lake is the campground area in the Sam Houston National Forest. The forest, itself, is quite beautiful. The campground is nice for a weekend away. The campsites are nicely wooded and shaded. Camping pads are well kept. Bathrooms are clean. There are nice loops around which the kids can ride bikes, and good walking/hiking trails that go near the water. In the rainy season, there are areas where water collects and stands, which can be annoying. Overall, a decent park with great camping rates.

Sam Houston National Forest Atv And Off

This 163,037-acre piece of land is managed well to ensure the public can maximize its use without negatively affecting wildlife, natural resources, and more. The forest has also been divided into different categories, enabling you to identify what recreation activity you can do in a particular area.

As one of the four recognized national forests in Texas, Sam Houston has several trails that you need to be aware of to ensure youre not breaking any rules or laws. Also, make sure you call the Rangers Office before heading to the area to ensure the area you want to visit is open to the public.

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Lone Star Trail Primitive Camp Number Two

The Lone Star Trail Primitive Camp Number Two is a dispersed camping area off of Lone Stars trailhead #13. This primitive camping area has free first-come-first-served sites for tent camping. Since the campground is primitive, there are no amenities, and youll need to come prepared with water and other hygienic tools. Hikers trekking the 130-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail will enjoy this quiet place to camp while you rest and refuel. The trail takes you through the best of the Sam Houston National Forest, showing off lakes, creeks, and lush wilderness. The Lone Star Trail primitive camping area is the perfect place to step out of daily life and take in the wonders of the Sam Houston National Forest.

Nice place for tent camping. There is no water bathrooms or electricity. Great place for being in contact with nature. If you are looking to be away from the civilization but at the same time not that far it is perfect. Daniel L.

How About Fire Safety

Camping with Kids – Family Camping – Things To Do in Louisiana: Sam Houston Jones State Park

Wildfire is a natural calamity that can or cant be prevented and common in forests because of the presence of grasses and tree leaves that can catch fire due to the suns heat. That is especially during the summer season.

Fortunately, there is a cooperative action plan and agreement led by the U.S. Forest Service and the Texas Forest Service. It includes coordinating wildfire prevention, enforcing laws, aerial detection activities, and wildfire suppression. The National Forest also has a prescribed fire system that can prevent forest fuel accumulation, minimizing the damages caused by wildfire.

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Forest Retreat Rv Park

Location: 21711 McCleskey Rd, New Caney TX 77537

This park is open all year round and is an RV only park. There are a total of 98 sites available and it sits at an elevation of 108 ft. Visitors of all ages are welcomed in all sites. A total of 74 pull-thru sites have 98 full hookups. Electricity is also available at 20, 30, and 50 amps. There are also 98 and 50 amp sites available. Other amenities offered also include showers, water, dump, laundry, pool, toilets, cable tv, and internet.

Vehicle Fuel And Water Source

Your ATV running out of fuel wont be a problem because there are stations where you can purchase diesel and gasoline. Most ATVs still have lead-acid batteries, requiring distilled water to function properly and prevent any damage to the engine. As such, you can also find stations where you can pump up your vehicles water level.

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Outdoor Rock Climbing And Camping At Lake Mineral Wells State Park

Climb to new heights in North Texas as we explore the rocks and trails at Lake Mineral Wells State Park. Not into rock climbing? It’s ok! Lake Mineral Wells is an incredible place to explore from the ground too. Transportation, most meals, climbing instruction and gear provided.

Dates: Fri, April 8 – Sun., April 10

Register by: April 1

Cost: $70 for students, $80 for non-students

Location: Lake Mineral Wells State Park

The trips and workshops offered by the Outdoor Recreation Program at Sam Houston State University are open to anyone who wants a truly unique experience. Trips can vary in difficulty from easy to strenuous and range from an afternoon in a canoe to a week in the backcountry. This is your chance to get outside, try something different, and live the life less ordinary. No experience is necessary to sign up! Trip costs include transportation, equipment, food , permits and fees, lodging or camping, instruction, and guides.

Sunday, April 10

Lake Mineral Wells State Park

Event Type

Things To Do At Huntsville State Park:

Sam Houston Jones State Park Campground

Hiking: Definitely, our favorite thing to do at Huntsville State Park! This park offers almost 20 miles of hiking trails, with distances ranging from 0.2 miles on the easy Loblolly Trail to 8.5 miles on the challenging Triple C Trail. Two trails completely circle the park. If you are interested in an easy trail that is longer than the Loblolly Trail, check out the Coloneh Trail which runs 0.8 miles between the Coloneh and Raven’s Hill Camping Areas. Trailhead parking is available throughout the park. Serious hikers may want to check into the Lone Star Hiking Trail which runs near the state park line through the Sam Houston National Forest. The 129 mile Lone Star Hiking Trail is the only long-distance National Recreation Trail in Texas, and is Texas’ longest continuously marked and maintained path. None of the park trails connect to the Lone Star Hiking Trail.

Paddling: 215 acre Lake Raven is a no-wake lake that is contained completely within the boundaries of Huntsville State Park. This is an easy place to paddle for even novice kayakers like us. You can bring your own kayak or canoe, or rent one from the boathouse located right next to the park store. Paddleboats are also available for rent.

Boating: Small boats are allowed on the lake, but must not create a wake. The park’s boat ramp is located between the Raven Lodge day use area and the screened shelters.

Boat Rentals are Available at the Boathouse

Huntsville State Park has 2 Lighted Fishing Piers

Park Store Air Pump

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Enjoying Sam Houston National Forest

The Sam Houston National Forest isnt just well-managed but also well-protected because of the many wildlife, trees, bodies of water, and other natural resources found in it. Similarly, its well maintained, and there are protocols they follow in terms of landslide, erosion, and fire safety.

When looking at Sam Houston National Forest trail maps, youll find that there are designated areas for camping, hunting, hiking, cycling, off-road riding, and more. With so much going on within the area, its important to keep the rules in mind. That is especially during the hunting season, or from November to January.

Most of the critical ones were discussed above, and theyre not too hard to follow. That said, if you still havent bought safety gear for your ATV, UTV, and SXS riding, all you would need are a DOT-approved helmet and a pair of eye protection. On the contrary, it would be best to wear the proper dirt bike attire and boots when you plan to ride your dirt bike.

Sam Houston Jones State Park

The following parks received significant damage from Hurricane Ida in 2021 :

Fontainebleau State Park – campgrounds reopened Sept. 24. Cabins remain closed until further notice.

Grand Isle State Park – sustained serious damage and will remain closed until further notice.

Sam Houston Jones State Park – received major damage following hurricanes Laura and Delta in 2020 and remains closed. Estimated reopening of the park is either late spring or early summer of 2022.

Friday, Saturday and days preceding holidays.

  • open at 6 a.m.
  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday, Saturday and days preceding holidays.

  • 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Free for seniors

Free for children

Originally named for the Texas folk hero who traveled extensively in the western reaches of Louisiana, Sam Houston Jones was given its current name in honor of the state’s 46th governor, who was instrumental in setting aside this tract of land for the public to enjoy for both day-use and overnight visitors.

Because the caretakers of this 1,087-acre park have worked to keep the land in its natural state, abundant wildlife inhabits the area. Tree-filled lagoons and a mixed pine and hardwood forest combine to create a unique natural environment. The park is located just north of the most productive birding region of Louisiana. The bird watching is always excellent, but at certain times of year, nearly 200 species of birds can be seen at or within 30 miles of the site.

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We Always Enjoy Our Visits To Huntsville State Park:

Video: Huntsville State Park Tour

As Native Houstonians, we’ve spent a lot of time at Huntsville State Park over the years. The park is located just about an hour north of Houston just off of I-45/I-75, between New Waverly and Huntsville, Texas, barely outside the Sam Houston National Forest. Its easy to access location makes it a great park to get away for a week, a weekend or even for just a few hours during the day. Over the years, we done all of those things and we’ve always found the park to be a relaxing get-away.

Huntsville is where you’ll begin to see some gentle rolling hills as you drive north from Houston. These small hills aren’t anything like you’ll see in the Texas Hill Country at Garner State Park or even further northeast around Mission Tejas State Park or Tyler State Park, but they are enough to make leveling your RV a bit of a challenge in some of the campsites. Be sure to bring your leveling blocks and be prepared to spend some time choosing the right site for you once you get here. But trust us, once you are all set up, that little challenge is absolutely worth it to get to stay within this beautiful park!

Our Campsite in the Raven Hill Camping Area

Hiking with Stacie’s Mom

Camping loops on both sides of the lake have access to trail heads for hiking and biking. There is also trailhead parking throughout the park and parking at the Nature Center/Amphitheater.

Our Campsite in the Prairie Branch Camping Area

Hiking Amongst the Tall Trees

Double Lake Recreation Area

FREE Texas Car Camping: Sam Houston Natl Forest-Car Camping Sites on FS220

Image from The Dyrt camper Tim H.

The Double Lake Recreation Area campground is on the western shore of Double Lake. The campground has sites for tents and RVs, with electric hookups, flush toilets, showers, and canoe rentals. The 23-acre lake is a great place to fish for bass, bream, and catfish. For land activities, take advantage of the 21-mile mountain biking trail around the lake or the 5-mile hiking trail featuring the best of the Big Creek Scenic Area. You can also enjoy the sandy beaches or head over to Lake Livingston for even more fish species. Double Lake Recreation Area is a great place to relax, rewind, and enjoy the splendors of the wilderness.

We enjoyed camping at Double Lake. The campsites are huge and well kept. We had a lakefront site which had a private little path to the lake. The shore was good for fishing. There is a trail which goes around the whole lake, and it was such a nice hike we did it several times. There are plenty of shady sites, which makes this a great campground for summer in Texas. There is a swimming area but we didnt get in the water. We will definitely camp here again. Debbie J.

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