Sam Houston National Forest and Huntsville State Park

Cleveland, Texas

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The 158,411-acre Sam Houston National Forest, about 50 miles north of Houston, offers ready access to numerous clusters of the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker. The forest also contains some of the best remaining examples of native pineywood forest. The forest is crisscrossed by approximately 150 miles of hiking trails, including the Lone Star (national recreation) Hiking Trail. This 140-mile-long trail stretches from its eastern trailhead near Cleveland north through the Big Creek Scenic Area to Double Lake, then northwest to Huntsville State Park and southwest to the Little Lake Creek Wilderness Area. Key birds: Wood Duck; American Woodcock; Red-headed, Redcockaded, and Pileated Woodpeckers; White-breasted and Brownheaded Nuthatches; and Bachman’s Sparrow are present year-round. Mississippi Kite; Chuck-will’s-widow; Scissor-tailed Flycatcher; Wood Thrush; Yellow-throated, Prothonotary, Worm-eating, Swainson’s, Kentucky, and Hooded Warblers; American Redstart; Louisiana Waterthrush; and Indigo and Painted Buntings occur in summer. Osprey; Bald Eagle; Grasshopper, LeConte’s, and Fox Sparrows; and Rusty and Brewer’s Blackbirds can usually be found in winter. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, a detailed map, and helpful general information.
Birding Texas

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Birding Texas

by Roland H. Wauer & Mark A. Elwonger (Falcon Guides)

The 158,411-acre Sam Houston National Forest, about 50 miles north of Houston, offers ready access to numerous clusters of the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker. The forest also contains some of the best remaining examples of native pineywood forest. The forest is crisscrossed by approximately 150 miles of hiking trails, including the Lone Star (national recreation) Hiking Trail. This 140-mile-long trail stretches from its eastern trailhead near Cleveland north through the Big Creek Scenic Area to Double Lake, then northwest to Huntsville State Park and southwest to the Little Lake Creek Wilderness Area.

Key birds: Wood Duck; American Woodcock; Red-headed, Redcockaded, and Pileated Woodpeckers; White-breasted and Brownheaded Nuthatches; and Bachman’s Sparrow are present year-round. Mississippi Kite; Chuck-will’s-widow; Scissor-tailed Flycatcher; Wood Thrush; Yellow-throated, Prothonotary, Worm-eating, Swainson’s, Kentucky, and Hooded Warblers; American Redstart; Louisiana Waterthrush; and Indigo and Painted Buntings occur in summer. Osprey; Bald Eagle; Grasshopper, LeConte’s, and Fox Sparrows; and Rusty and Brewer’s Blackbirds can usually be found in winter. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, a detailed map, and helpful general information.

©  Roland H. Wauer & Mark A. Elwonger/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Cleveland
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Best April-May for spring migrants & nesting activities; April and late September for huge kettles of migrating Broad-winged Hawks
Local Contacts: Sam Houston National Forest
Local Maps: Texas Atlas & Gazetteer, DeLorme
Driving Directions: Directions to Sam Houston National Forest and Huntsville State Park

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May 2018