I went camping at Huntsville State Park! The park is located in Huntsville, Texas, which is about an hour to hour and a half north of Houston.
Huntsville State Park is a 2,000+ acre park next to the Sam Houston National Forest. Within the park is Lake Raven, about 200 acres and filled with a variety of fish, frogs and alligators (yes — alligators!). It it a popular camping and hiking spot for Houston locals and is the perfect spot for a quick weekend getaway from the city, which is exactly what I did.
There are a variety of campsites, and they all seemed fairly nice when I walked around the park. There are spots for trailers, cabins and plain ol’ campsites with a water spout, picnic table and a spot for a campfire. The basic campsite is $15 per night (8 person max), $7 per person per night, and $5 per car (2 car max). There are bathrooms located sporadically throughout the campsites with showers, sinks and toilets. I thought that, overall, they were fairly clean. I only showered once that weekend and although I wore shoes in the shower (which I always recommend), it seemed fairly clean.
There are little piers located around Lake Raven for fishers. You don’t need a fishing license to fish, and you also can’t jump into the lake from the piers and swim due to alligator dangers (more on that below).
There is a specific area dedicated to swimming in the park. It is fairly small and almost always busy, but the water is cool and nice when it’s hot. It’s not the cleanest and there is always the danger of alligators, fish and water snakes, but it was still nice. Boats and kayaks are allowed on the lake, but it is a no-wake lake. Kayak and little boat rentals are available near the swimming hole.
Huntsville State Park has a six official hiking trails of varying difficulty. I was only about to complete the Prairie Branch loop, which is about 1.5 miles, but it was a beautiful and easy hike. Since it’s a state park, you are allowed to bring your dogs with you so long as they are always on a leash.
My group planned to hike the Triple C Trail, which is about 8.5 miles and the most challenging hike, but we ended up going horseback riding at a nearby ranch instead.
Horseback riding was really fun because I hadn’t been since I was a teenager. It was $35 per person (cash only) for an hour-long ride. Our guide was really nice and answered all of our questions, which ranged from what it takes to raise a horse to her daytime job. My horse’s name was Pinkey and he was a gentle 18-year-old man, and I fell in love.
I had expected the camp to have a ton of mosquitoes and biting flies, but fortunately I didn’t get too eaten up. I only got a few bug bites, but I was almost always wearing bug spray. (I normally always get eaten by mosquitoes.) The people I went camping with got even more bitten by bugs. One of my camp mates walked around barefoot at the camp and her feet were swollen with bug bites, most likely from fire ants. Make sure that you spray your feet and ankles!
Overall, I really liked camping at Huntsville State Park and would recommend it to anyone who likes camping (or glamping)!
Thank you for reading! Have you ever visited Huntsville State Park? Do you enjoy camping, or are you more of a ‘glamper’? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!