This article about Sam Houston National Forest camping is brought to you by Shamma Sandals. Look out for their new hiking boot available this fall!


Sam Houston National Forest camping is the perfect way to escape the commotion of city life and get away for a weekend. There’s no better way to restore your sanity and rejuvenate your spirit and with over 160,000 acres of rivers, lakes, and forest, you’ll find the best fishing, hiking, and mountain biking anywhere outside the city. These are the best Sam Houston National Forest camping spots for all kinds of campers.

The Best Sam Houston National Forest Camping


1. Stubblefield Lake Recreation Area

Image from The Dyrt camper Dan X.

The Stubblefield Lake Recreation Area campground is on the shores of Stubblefield Lake (an offshoot of Lake Conroe). The campground has spacious sites for tents and non-electric RVs up to 28 feet. Amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, drinking water, flush toilets, and showers, and some campsites overlook the lake. The campground gives you instant access to the lake, where you can drop a small boat in and fish for largemouth bass, or float the water in your kayak. You can also hike the Stubblefield Nature Trail and watch for local bird species. Stubblefield Lake is a quiet respite from the city that will leave you feeling refreshed and restored.

“Super roomy sites in the woods, quiet, and easy access to the lake. Stayed two nights on a cross country drive. Did some kayak fishing and a 25 mile bike ride on the state forest / country roads – many trucks but generally courteous drivers who gave me the lane. Trees for hammocks at basically every site! LOTS of birds (pine warblers, yellow-bellied sapsuckers especially) if you’re into that.”Dan X.





Campground Details:

  • Price: $15
  • Number of sites: 28
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

2. Kelly’s Pond Campground

The Kelly’s Pond campground is the perfect destination for tent campers who want to escape the busy city for a few days. This primitive campground has first-come-first-served sites for tent campers and the campsites are dispersed around the pond, so you have plenty of privacy. Sites come with fire rings, picnic tables, and vault toilets, but there’s no potable water. The best part is, camping is free. The Lone Star Hiking Trail passes right through the campground, making it a great basecamp for longer treks through the Sam Houston National Forest. You’re also a few short miles from the shores of Lake Conroe, where you can drop a canoe or go fishing for bass. Kelly’s Pond is a soothing place to relax and enjoy the pleasures of life uninterrupted.

“Great place to camp along the LSHT! They have bathrooms but not much else. If you are hiking during hunting season, Kelly’s Pond Road Hunter Camp is a designated primitive site!!! It is located at mile 14.3 on the Lone Star Hiking Trail, plus an extra 1.2 miles to the East for Kelly’s Pond with bathrooms, if you are hiking from Western Terminus to Eastern Terminus.”Brittany S.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $0
  • Number of sites: 8
  • RV sites: No
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

3. Cagle Recreation Area

Image from The Dyrt camper Napuani

The Cagle Recreation Area campground is on the eastern shore of Lake Conroe. The campground has sites for tents and RVs up to 42 feet, with full hookups, flush toilets, and showers. You’re mere steps from the lakeshore, where a boat ramp awaits your fishing boat or canoe. If you’re camping in the winter, keep an eye out for the endangered bald eagle. Take advantage of the trail that winds through the campground, or dip your toes into the Jacinto River. The Cagle Recreation Area is a great place to grab a picnic and enjoy the lakeshore with your neighboring nature lovers.

“We had a great time at this park. We camped w/a buddy in his camper and the site we had was huge. There were tons of trees and very shaded. There is a huge lake w/a boat ramp and pier. There are tons of trails you can get lost on. We walked many miles. There are restrooms and showers. The site had full hookups as well.”Jonathan K.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $20-30
  • Number of sites: 47
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

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4. Double Lake Recreation Area

Image from The Dyrt camper Tim H.

The Double Lake Recreation Area campground is on the western shore of Double Lake. The campground has sites for tents and RVs, with electric hookups, flush toilets, showers, and canoe rentals. The 23-acre lake is a great place to fish for bass, bream, and catfish. For land activities, take advantage of the 21-mile mountain biking trail around the lake or the 5-mile hiking trail featuring the best of the Big Creek Scenic Area. You can also enjoy the sandy beaches or head over to Lake Livingston for even more fish species. Double Lake Recreation Area is a great place to relax, rewind, and enjoy the splendors of the wilderness.

“We enjoyed camping at Double Lake. The campsites are huge and well kept. We had a lakefront site which had a private little path to the lake. The shore was good for fishing. There is a trail which goes around the whole lake, and it was such a nice hike we did it several times. There are plenty of shady sites, which makes this a great campground for summer in Texas. There is a swimming area but we didn’t get in the water. We will definitely camp here again.”Debbie J.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $20-66
  • Number of sites: 65
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

5. Huntsville

Image from The Dyrt camper Dyann W.

The Huntsville State Park campground is on the eastern shore of Lake Raven. There are sites for tents and RVs up to 60 feet, and amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, flush toilets, showers, and full hookups. You’re right on the lakeshore, where you can swim, SUP, or fish for largemouth bass. Huntsville is a great place to spot birds and other wildlife (even gators), so keep an eye out. When you’re done enjoying the water, check out the hiking trails; there are more than 20 miles of trails in the park and a connection to the National Recreation Trail. The park features a nature center where you can learn about local species and junior ranger programs for the kiddos. Huntsville is a great place to get away for the weekend and take in the natural beauty of the Sam Houston National Forest.

“There’s plenty more to do at this park. If you want to stay on land, you will never exhaust the amount of trails this place has. I have a lot of great memories at this park, including group hangouts, fishing, hiking, and swimming. The park has a great, huge lawn for a picnic and a game of frisbee. Check yourself for ticks after hiking the trails though. Its a thick forest.”Amy H.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $15-25
  • Number of sites: 160
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

6. Lone Star Trail Primitive Camp Number Two

The Lone Star Trail Primitive Camp Number Two is a dispersed camping area off of Lone Star’s trailhead #13. This primitive camping area has free first-come-first-served sites for tent camping. Since the campground is primitive, there are no amenities, and you’ll need to come prepared with water and other hygienic tools. Hikers trekking the 130-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail will enjoy this quiet place to camp while you rest and refuel. The trail takes you through the best of the Sam Houston National Forest, showing off lakes, creeks, and lush wilderness. The Lone Star Trail primitive camping area is the perfect place to step out of daily life and take in the wonders of the Sam Houston National Forest.

“Nice place for tent camping. There is no water bathrooms or electricity. Great place for being in contact with nature. If you are looking to be away from the civilization but at the same time not that far it is perfect.”Daniel L.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $0
  • Number of sites: N/A
  • RV sites: No
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

Whether you’re an angler, hunter, hiker, or camper looking to relax, Sam Houston National Forest camping is your ticket to rewind and enjoy the splendors of the outdoors. Get away for a weekend of Sam Houston National Forest camping and head back to daily life with a new lease on life.

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