Camping in East Texas

Camping in East Texas
Camping in East Texas covers the areas of the state known as the Piney Woods and Coastal Plains. Texas is a long state, so expect considerable fluctuations in temperatures from places like Paris to Padre Island. The scenery and trails you will find in this stretch of land also varies wildly, making Texas one of the best states to hit for a camping vacation.

Big Thicket National Preserve

Big Thicket National Preserve in Lumberton has been called the biological crossroads of North America because eight different ecosystems interact here. This means thousands of species of animal and plant life are available for viewing on the eight hiking trails covering 45 miles. As for camping, this is backcountry only--so come prepared. There are no campground sites and no facilities. Timber Ridge Tours can put together a camping package for you to Big Thicket that is personalized for your specific interests, however anyone who has a valid, preserve-issued backcountry use permit can camp in designated areas. If you don't have a permit, get one at the visitor center.

Big Thicket National Preserve
6102 FM 420
Kountze, TX 77625
(409) 951-6725

Timber Ridge Tours
(409) 246-3107

Davy Crockett National Forest

Davy Crockett National Forest, named after the legendary hero of Texas' fight for independence, is the largest of the state's national forests and a great spot for those who like roughing it. Camping is allowed throughout the preserve for most of the year, except during deer hunting season in the fall when campers are held to a restricted area. The best choice for hikers is to take the trail that begins at Ratcliff Lake. Around the halfway point of this 20-mile long trail lies the Walnut Creek campsite. It is primitive, but offers shelter, some tent pads and a pit toilet. For privacy and interaction with nature, seek out the Big Slough Wilderness Areas on the Neches River. Recreation includes swimming and canoeing.

Davy Crockett National Forest
18551 State Highway 7 East
Kennard, TX 75847
(936) 655-2299

Goose Island State Park

For coastal Texas camping, you can't do much better than Goose Island State Park. Campers get solitude and beauty without the swimming crowd, since this is a boating-only place. The campsites vary in terms of amenities with some offering shelter, water and electricity, while in other spots you'll find only shade and water. The centerpiece of Goose Island is the Big Tree, a live oak estimated to be more than 1,000 years old. A hike through the park will include the opportunity to see endangered and protected whooping cranes as well as deer, armadillo and 300 different kinds of fowl. In addition to fishing, recreation includes a paved bike path.

Goose Island State Park
202 S Palmetto St.
Rockport, TX 78382-7965
(361) 729-2858

Article Written By Timothy Sexton

Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.

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