Whether you are into hiking, biking, boating or fishing, Huntsville State Park is somewhere you should make a point of visiting.
Situated in Huntsville about a 90 minute drive from Houston, this stunning 2,083-acre Texas State Park provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy these activities among a landscape of lush forest and an idyllic, tranquil lake.
Nestled in between two of Texas’s four National Forests, the park is also a highly prized destination for birding, with over 250 species residing within it, at various parts of the year.
Camping too is a very popular activity, as Huntsville offers several accommodation options for all preferences of RV and tent campers.
Visitors to the park can partake in a wide range of outdoor recreational activities during their time at Huntsville.
Here are further details about what you can do while there.
Water Activities at Huntsville State Park
Covering some 210-acres, scenic Lake Raven provides excellent opportunities for boating and swimming.
Canoeing, SUP and kayaking are well practiced here and provide a unique waterside perspective in which to take in the park’s stunning shoreline scenery.
If you don’t own, or didn’t bring, any of these watercraft with you, they can be rented at the park’s store.
On a hot day, swimming in the lake is a fabulous way to cool off from the unforgiving heat of the Texan sun. You’ll also find a designated swimming area by the park’s store, just south of the Prairie Branch Camping Area.
Wherever you choose to swim, you will have to do so at your own risk as none of the waterways are lifeguarded.
Be aware that alligators live in the park too. So its best to swim during daylight hours, as these creatures tend to be more active around dawn and dusk.
Fishing at Huntsville State Park
Fishing is a very popular activity at the park with anglers coming from all over Texas for the opportunity to cast a line in its shimmering waters.
The likes of crappie, perch and largemouth bass can all be caught in abundance, and as the lake is wholly contained within the park, you won’t need to worry about securing a fishing licence before doing so.
To assist with your fishing experience, you’ll find a boat ramp, multiple fishing piers and fish cleaning stations around the lake.
While you can fish from the shoreline or on the pier, if you decide to take a motorboat out, be mindful that only idle speed is permitted.
Hiking at Huntsville State Park
Boasting stunning rock formations that date as far back as the Pleistocene and Miocene epochs, the park is a wonderful place to hike.
Overall, there are about six trails to navigate, which meander their way for approximately 21 miles through its spectacular terrain.
Taking you through dense forest and around its picturesque lake, be sure to have your camera with you, as you’ll want to take lots of photos.
Here are some of the most popular trails at Huntsville State Park:
- trail 1 – Coloneh Trail. Length: 0.8 mile Degree of Difficulty: easy
- trail 2 – Prairie Branch Loop. Length: 1.5 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate
- trail 3 – Triple C Trail. Length: 8.4 miles Degree of Difficulty: challenging
Biking at Huntsville State Park
If you are more into biking than hiking, the park offers plenty of trails for you to explore on two wheels.
These trails vary in length and degrees of difficulty, but all showcase the park’s gorgeous topography.
Some of the most popular trails for biking at Huntsville are the Lone Star Trail, Chinquapin Trail and Dogwood Trail.
Extending for about eight miles around the park’s perimeter, the Lone Star Trail is terrific for beginners as it is fairly flat.
Running for 6.8 miles, The Chinquapin Trail, provides a tougher challenge that involves frequent changes in elevation and obstacles in the way of tree roots.
The Dogwood Trail is just over two miles long and is often used as a warm up trail.
Birding at Huntsville State Park
With over 250 species calling the park home, Huntsville is a haven for those who enjoy birding.
Many of these breeds only pass through during the spring migration, including several types of vireos, warblers and thrushes.
At various other times throughout the year, you might also spot the likes of belted kingfisher, purple martins, blue-gray gnatcatchers and Carolina chickadees. So be sure to bring your binoculars with you.
Pets at Huntsville State Park
You are welcome to bring pets to the park, although they must be kept on a leash at all times.
Some other restrictions may also apply, so it is best to contact the park’s main office to determine what they are.
Camping at Huntsville State Park
For those who want to stay for a few nights, the Huntsville State Park Campground provides RV campers with three different options. All of which require a two night minimum stay during the weekend.
The first option takes the form of 23 full hookup, pull-through campsites, for vehicles of between 20 to 60 feet in length. These hookups include water, sewer and either 20-amp, 30-amp or 50-amp electric hookups. They all come with individual picnic tables, lantern posts and fire rings. Comfort stations with showers and flush toilets are located close to these sites.
Complimenting them are 77 other sites that come with 20-amp, 30-amp and 50-amp hookups. These sites all come with the same basic amenities as the full hookup sites. But can also accommodate tent campers, as well as RVs that are between 15 and 60 feet long.
The third option for RVs is screened shelters. These sites come with electric and water hookups, as well as picnic tables and BBQ grills and offer protection from both the rain and sun.
Huntsville State Park
565 Park Road 40 west
Huntsville, TX 77340
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Huntsville State Park:
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