It took 20 years of development, including weathering a flood and a World War, but in 1956 the community of Huntsville, Texas, finally got their own state park. Located just 10 miles south of town, in the Sam Houston National Forest, this 2,000-acre park of pine and hardwood forest is situated around man-made Lake Raven. Today, locals and visitors alike flock to Huntsville State Park for its hiking trails, water recreation and prolific wildlife. With so many outdoor activities to choose from, a good first stop is the park’s Nature Center. Here you can get information about the local flora and fauna, including the more than 250 species of birds, plus a variety of mammals and alligators, that make the park their home.
Campers at Huntsville State Park have access to 160 tent and RV campsites in three camp areas near the shore of Lake Raven: Prairie Branch, Raven Hill and Coloneh. Full- and partial-hookup RV sites are available, and can accommodate vehicles/trailers up to 60 feet. All sites are equipped with picnic tables, grills, and lantern posts, and drinking water faucets are shared between sites; some sites are ADA accessible. Each camp area provides flush restrooms, showers, playgrounds, picnic areas near the lake, fishing piers, and boat launches. There is a dump station located in the Raven Hill camp area. The park also has two camping cabins for rent. Campsite rates range from $15–$25/night, plus park entrance fee; cabins are $60/night, plus entrance fee.
When you’re ready to play on the water, head down to the lakeshore where you can take a dip in the designated swim area, rent a canoe or kayak (or put in your own) for paddling around the lake, or cast a line for crappie, perch and largemouth bass. A shop near the Prairie Branch day-use area has groceries, ice, fishing supplies and beverages. If you’re up for some roaming or wildlife watching, pick up a trail map and birding guide and go explore more than 20 miles of multiuse paths and nature walks. From the park’s bird blind, you can scan for a variety of songbirds and waterfowl. The park also offers ranger-led nature programs, and there are Junior Ranger activities for the kids.
We love this park because we can be at it in just over an hour from Houston. It makes it a great weekend camping choice. The RV sites are water and electric only. Some of the sites are level but some need some serious leveling work to be done. One of the sites we stayed at required 4 blocks on one side to level it. That will test a marriage :-P. Most of the sites are very shaded which really helps during the summer.
There are miles of trails and several geocaches throughout the park. Which will give hours of entertainment. There is wildlife all over the place. We have a couple food buckets that we keep chips etc in outside so the kids don’t have to go in and out of the camper to get. I have woken up to footprints on the bucket so the raccoons were obviously trying to figure out how to get to the goodies. The park also will run a couple of events per day with the rangers for education. As you can see from the pictures that I am posting there are horseback riding activities but that costs extra. Also, we have heard rumors that the company that did it has pulled out of the park. I hope not because that is something we typically did as my girls really love doing it.
Just a hop, skip, and jump from Houston, but a piney gem. Great trails, super camping, and wildlife galore.
I took the whole family for a weekend getaway. We loved the park, it was our first time tent camping here and it did not disappoint. It has a swimming area, trails, fishing, and playgrounds. The park was very nice and clean, the showers had door! We will definitely come back.
This was our first trip with our kiddos in tent and we cannot wait to go back!! Site 146 was amazing!!
You’ll find Huntsville State Park six miles southwest of Huntsville, TX in Walker County in the Sam Houston National Forest. Huntsville State Park has over 20 miles of trails to explore along with a pretty great lake to fish, paddle or swim. Fish for crappie, perch, catfish, or bass. Lake Raven also has a boat ramp, fishing piers, and fish cleaning stations. Bring your own canoe or rent one from the little supply store. The supply store also has miscellaneous supplies and bait for purchase.
Campsites are spaced modestly except those in the full hookup loop. If you are looking for full hookups, book in advanced as those are in high demand at this location. All sites have a two-day minimum on Friday and Saturday.
- Full hookup campsites - pull-through, picnic table, fire ring, water hookup, lantern post, restrooms & showers nearby 20/30/50-amp hookup
- Electric sites - picnic table, fire ring, water hookup, lantern post, restrooms & showers nearby 20/30/50-amp electric hook up
- Campsites with water - picnic table, fire ring, water hookup, lantern post, & restrooms & showers nearby
Campsites are close together and there were a lot of people around. It was pretty loud with music and people later into the night. Canoeing was good on the lake and good mountain biking trails.
There is good fishing in the lake (it's a popular place to fish, but I haven't personally fished there). The picnic area and day use area are full of large trees. Area is well maintained, and didn't feel like a short day trip from Houston!
Wonderful trails. Clear and well marked. Primitive (water only) tent sites on lakeshore side leave the camper hunting flat surfaces while avoiding runoff pathways. However the dip shields you from stormy winds. Be ready to share the park. Lots of day trippers enjoy this piece of bliss so close to Houston. Trails are marked for foot and bicycle travel. Birdwatchers bring your glasses and journals, you will not be disappointed.
I camp here twice yearly, most years. In early to mid October and usually late April to early May. I love the shelters by the lake, the ability to rent canoes, the trees and the park employees keep it up really well. There are multiple level trail hikes and last May I finally completed one. I intend on doing that again, while I am there, this coming weekend. It is a lovely park! Lots of campsites, RV spots, shelters, there is just one basic cabin at this time, a swimming area, store and so much more.
We took our family here on a Texas state park camping trip. The park rangers explain basics of camping. It was a great experience for our family. The park is very family friendly and tent friendly. It is on a lake that has fishing, kayaking and paddle boats. The facilities were nice and clean.