Ready for fishing, hiking, or camping any time of year? Why not check out the best state parks in East Texas?
State parks are a popular way to spend some much-needed time outdoors for physical health and mental wellbeing any time of year, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. The Lone Star State has over 80 state parks, and eleven of them are in East Texas—and even though there are so many, you still have plenty of space to socially distance! While searching for the best place to camp in East Texas, think of Texas’ Pineywoods Region with tall pine trees, gorgeous views of nature, and camping and fishing.
All Texas state parks charge a small admission fee to enter, but if you’re looking to tour the parks, it might be worth investing in a Texas State Parks Pass. And a fishing license is not required to fish from shore or pier in a Texas state park but is required if fishing from a boat. Also note that you can make reservations at most camps ahead of time, which can be great for securing that perfect spot—or if you’re planning on camping during a busy weekend!
1. Tyler State Park
Tyler is home to one of the most beautiful state parks in Texas. North of the city, Tyler State Park provides mountain bike adventurers with steep and hilly terrain, and flat surfaces for bird watchers and walking around and viewing the park. Catch a fish or two on the banks of the 64-acre spring-fed lake, or rent a boat. The park offers many types of accommodations for camping. And if you’re just one to soak in the views, there are plenty of those here!
2. Daingerfield State Park
Hike the trails within the tall pine trees above you or dive into the clean, clear water in Daingerfield State Park …or do both! Located in Texas’s upper east corner between Jefferson and Texarkana is a beautiful camping area. If you visit in spring, you’ll enjoy many spring flowers blooming and dogwoods of all shades. In the fall, see oaks and maple trees in several different warm colors. And yes, you’re going to want to laze in that water as much as you can in the summer!
4. Caddo Lake State Park
Down on the bayou at this state park! Caddo Lake State Park offers the canoeist, anglers, and boaters the perfect space to explore the maze of bayous and bald cypress trees. I recently took a boat tour on Caddo Lake (which I highly recommend) and was mesmerized by all the cypress trees. This park is located near Jefferson and Marshall, Texas. If you’re worried about camping amongst the bugs, though, don’t be—Caddo Lake State Park offers screened shelters and historic cabins for anyone looking to nab a little luxury away from home.
5. Lake Livingston State Park
Lake Livingston State Park is located in Livingston, not too far from Hunstville, TX. If you like to fish, this is the state park for you to do just that. Grab a pole and fish on the lighted fishing pier or rent a boat. If you like to hike and birdwatch, there are plenty of nature trails that provide an abundance of awesome views. And if you’re new to camping or want your kiddos to have a great experience, this state park offers plenty of ranger programs where you can learn new skills!
6. Lake Bob Sandlin State Park
Located towards the upper east corner of the state, Lake Bob Sandlin State Park is where you’ll see massive trees, tall grasses, and an abundance of plants. Fish by the shore or hike in among the trees to unwind in nature. This is a great option for anyone looking to do some nature-spotting, too!
Enjoy yourself at one of the best state parks in East Texas mentioned here.