National Forests of Texas

Sam Houston National ForestReferred to collectively as the National Forests in Texas, the Angelina, Sabine, Davy Crockett, and Sam Houston National Forests are in the heavily forested "Piney Woods" of East Texas. They are comprised of 634,912 acres of federally owned land scattered throughout 12 counties. The National Forests are administered by the U.S. Forest Service under the multiple use principle with each natural resource - timber, water, forage, wildlife and recreation - managed under a coordinated, balanced plan.

Primitive camping is allowed in all areas except where posted. No electric, water or sewer hookups are provided at any camping area. Hunting and fishing in National Forests is regulated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Developed recreation areas have varying facilities as shown in the chart. Fee areas require self-deposit of fees for overnight camping or day use of developed swimming beaches. Some areas have been set aside as "wilderness areas" to provide totally primitive camping experiences. No wheeled vehicles of any kind are permitted in the wilderness areas.


Smallest with 154,307 acres in Angelina, Jasper, Nacogdoches and San Augustine Counties, with these recreational areas:

  • Bouton Lake - Southeast of Zavalla: 7 miles east on Texas 63, 7 miles south on Forest Service Road (FSR) 303.
  • Boykin Springs - Southeast of Zavalla: 11 miles east on Texas 63, 3 miles south on FSR 313.
  • Caney Creek - On Lake Sam Rayburn about 14 miles southeast of Zavalla via Texas 63, F.M. 2743.
  • Harvey Creek - On Lake Sam Rayburn about 9 miles east and south of Broaddus via F.M. 83, F.M. 2390.
  • Sandy Creek - On Lake Sam Rayburn about 21 miles southeast of Zavalla via Texas 63, FSR 333.
  • Townsend - F.M. 103 east of Lufkin 28 mi.; right on F.M. 1277 3 mi.; right on F.M. 2923 2 mi.


161,500 acres in Houston and Trinity Counties, containing these recreational areas:

  • Big Slough Canoe Trail and Wilderness Area - On Neches River near Neches Bluff From Ratcliff, F.M. 227 north 2 miles, east 5 miles on FSR 547, north on FSR 511.
  • 4-C's Hiking Trail - A 19-mile trail between Ratcliff Lake and the Neches Bluff overlook South of Texas 21.
  • Kickapoo - About 1.5 miles southeast of Groveton on U.S. 287.
  • Neches Bluff - On Neches River about 7 miles southwest of Alto via Texas 21, FSR 511.
  • Ratcliff Lake - On Texas 7, 20 miles cast of Crockett.


Includes 157,951 acres in Jasper, Sabine, San Augustine, Newton and Shelby Counties with these recreational areas:

  • Indian Mounds Recreation Site and Wilderness Area - On Toledo, Bend Reservoir, east of Hemphill via F.M. 83 about 5 miles, and 7 miles southeast and south on FSRs 115 and 115A.
  • Lakeview - On Toledo Bend Reservoir, primitive camping area, 16 miles southeast of Hemphill via Texas 87 and local road.
  • Ragtown - On Toledo Bend Reservoir about 15 miles southeast of Shelbyville via Texas 87, east on F.M. 139 and FSR 132.
  • Red Hills Lake - About 3 miles north of Milam via Texas 87.
  • Willow Oak - On Toledo Bend Reservoir about 14 miles southeast of Hemphill via Texas 87, FSR 117.


161,154 acres in Montgomery, San Jacinto and Walker Counties with these recreational areas:

  • Double Lake - About 4 miles south of Coldspring via Texas 150, F.M. 2025.
  • Kelley Pond - off-road vehicle area. From New Waverly, F.M. 1375 west 11 miles; south one mile on FSR 204; west one mile on FSR 271.
  • Lone Star Hiking Trail - A 27-mile segment of 140-mile forest hiking route is designated National Recreation Trail. Begins near Montague Church on F.M. 1725 approx. 6.7 miles northwest of Texas 105 (near Cleveland). Obtain map from forest ranger.
  • Stubblefield Lake - On West Fork of San Jacinto River hour 12 miles north and west of New Waverly. From I-45: F.M. 1375 northwest 7.8 miles, FSR 215 southwest 3.3 miles.

Check out our Guide to Texas Outside for more information on our State parks and forests.



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