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7 stunning state parks close to Houston price visiting

Houston has no scarcity of scenic parks for picnicking or climbing trails to discover. However in case you’re searching for place the place you may scope out native wildlife, mountain bike by means of a forest or fish in a lake or pond, there are a number of stunning state parks close to Houston price visiting.

From Brazos Bend State Park to Village Creek State Park, preserve studying for our prime picks for enjoyable on the paths, within the water, recognizing wildlife and extra. 

Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Studying Heart 

Situated: 20 miles from downtown Houston

Solely a 15-minute drive from downtown Houston, you will love all that Sheldon Lake State Park has to supply, from wildlife viewing and boardwalk strolls to boating and fishing.

Sheldon Lake Part 5 restoration undertaking

Texas Parks and Wildlife Division/Chase A. Fountain

First up, hike the roughly half-mile Pond Loop Path, which takes you previous 28 hatchery ponds, brimming with wading birds, frogs, alligators and different aquatic animals. In the event you’re not benefiting from the free catch-and-release fishing at two stocked ponds, you may decide to maintain your catch if you fish within the shallow 1,200-acre Sheldon Lake, the park’s namesake physique of water. Earlier than you pack up, you should definitely amble alongside the three,000-foot Prairie/Wetland Boardwalk and make your means as much as the highest of the 82-foot John Jacob Commentary Tower for sweeping views of the park and Area Metropolis’s skyline within the distance.

Good to know: All trails are ADA accessible. Additionally, LEED-certified services showcase “inexperienced structure” and various power use. 

Discover it: 14140 Garrett Highway, Houston, TX 77044

Brazos Bend State Park 

Situated: 45 miles from downtown Houston

Billed as a “nature lover’s paradise,” there’s a lot to see at Brazos Bend State Park. Our vote is beginning with a chew to eat below the shade of stay oak timber draped in Spanish moss within the park’s picnic areas, earlier than scoping out a sliver of the almost 5,000 acres of lakes, prairies and forests.

A man riding on the trails of Brazos Bend State Park. 

A person driving on the paths of Brazos Bend State Park. 

Texas Parks and Wildlife Division/Chase A. Fountain

The park provides nature applications and hikes to take year-round, or as a substitute deal with the greater than 30 miles of multi-use trails through bike or foot by yourself. Alongside the way in which, anticipate to come across some 300 species of birds, alligators and white-tailed deer (preserve your binoculars useful!). There’s additionally a winding, tree-lined creek for fishing and 6 small lakes on-site. In the event you bring-your-own horse, you may horseback experience on 13 miles of multi-use trails, too. 

Discover it: 21901 FM 762, Needville, TX 77461

Stephen F. Austin State Park 

Situated: 50 miles from downtown Houston 

You is likely to be about an hour exterior of Houston, however welcome to Austin, people. Effectively, Stephen F. Austin State Park. Perched alongside the Brazos River, roam round 473 acres of picturesque moss-draped hardwood forests and towering cottonwood timber on bottomlands as you scope out wildlife, hike and bike to your coronary heart’s content material. On these grounds, you’ll discover the pileated woodpecker, white-tailed deer, barred owl and extra.

Stephen F. Austin State Park

Stephen F. Austin State Park

Texas Parks and Wildlife Division

Wish to keep in a single day? Make the most of the park’s 30-amp full hookup, water-only and primitive campsites; screened shelters; cabin; and group services. Historical past buffs, take be aware: Mexico granted this land to Stephen F. Austin, the “Father of Texas,” and it turned the stomping grounds for the primary Anglo-American colonies within the state within the early 1800s. 

Discover it: Park Highway 38, San Felipe, TX 77473

Galveston Island State Park  

Location: 60 miles from downtown Houston

For an additional probably the greatest state parks close to Houston, enterprise to Galveston Island State Park. The postcard-worthy locale boasts a few of the most interesting views alongside the Texas Gulf, comprising 2,000 acres from the ocean to the bayside. Entry is open to guests on the bayside of the park, the place you may take within the coastal prairie, freshwater ponds and salt marshes for wildlife viewing, climbing, kayaking (BYO boat) or fishing.

An aerial view of Galveston Island State Park. 

An aerial view of Galveston Island State Park. 

Texas Parks and Wildlife Division/Chase A. Fountain

Must you select to remain some time, reserve one of many seashore or bay campsites (lodge leases are additionally out there) for the night time. On the bayside, select from historic homes, tent and multi-use campsites with restrooms and showers close by. The park is scheduled to open its newly redeveloped beach-side facilities this summer season, full with new campsites, picnic websites and restroom services.

Discover it: 14901 FM 3005, Galveston, TX 77554

Huntsville State Park 

Location: 60 miles from downtown Houston

Pine timber? Examine. Wildflowers? Examine. Lake fishing? Examine. If all this and extra sound good to you, make the drive to the bucolic Huntsville State Park with 21 miles of trails, playground, a hen blind and nature middle. Whenever you’re not swimming within the 210-acre Lake Raven, hire a kayak or fish for crappie, perch, catfish and bass or just take in the beautiful Sam Houston Nationwide Forest.

A man fishes on a dock at Huntsville State Park. 

A person fishes on a dock at Huntsville State Park. 

Texas Parks and Wildlife Division

It’s price highlighting that the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), created by President Franklin Roosevelt, helped construct parks all around the nation, and in 1937 one such firm made up of African-American veterans constructed Huntsville State Park.

Good to know: The CCC-built group corridor could be rented for weddings and occasions. 

Discover it: 565 Park Highway 40 W., Huntsville, TX 77340

Lake Livingston State Park  

Location: 73 miles from downtown Houston

Good luck working out of issues to do at Lake Livingston State Park, positioned on the shores of an 83,000-surface-acre lake, with catfish, perch, crappie and white bass galore. It’s just about a fishing oasis right here, because of a fishing pier and three boat ramps, two fish cleansing stations and financial institution fishing. Whenever you put your gear down, meander alongside the Pineywoods Nature Path Boardwalk, with two ponds, native pollinator backyard and hen blind. A number of free ranger applications can be found, and the character middle has a number of interactive displays (there’s even a stay bee hive).

A kayaker paddles past a trailer camping at Lake Livingston State Park.  

A kayaker paddles previous a trailer tenting at Lake Livingston State Park.  

Texas Parks and Wildlife Division/Chase A. Fountain

Head to the park retailer for meals, souvenirs and watercraft leases. Must you select to remain in a single day, the park provides loads of campsites together with full hookup websites and 10 screened shelters (some are ADA-compliant). 

Discover it: 300 Park Highway 65, Livingston, TX 77351

Village Creek State Park  

Location: 95 miles from downtown Houston

Roughly an hour-and-a-half drive from Houston, Village Creek State Park sits alongside Village Creek, one of many few free flowing creeks in the complete Lone Star State. Savor the contemporary air and tranquility whereas picnicking, fishing, climbing or mountain biking. Or, see in case you can spot bobcats, rabbits, white-tailed deer, opossums and extra among the many loblolly pines and white oak, beech and magnolia timber.

A man with binoculars stops on a bridge at Village Creek State Park. 

A person with binoculars stops on a bridge at Village Creek State Park. 

Texas Parks and Wildlife Division/Earl Nottingham

The wetlands are additionally house to beavers, river otters, fish, turtles, snakes and frogs. For an in a single day keep, select from campsites for tents and RVS or a six-person cabin rental.

Discover it: 8854 Park Highway 74, Lumberton, TX 77657

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