State Parks in East Texas

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East Texas is home to a wide variety of state parks, from Upper East Texas down to the Gulf Coast.

Included on this page are highlights of some of the more popular state parks across this part of Texas.

Whether you are touring in Deep East Texas, around Nacogdoches, or in Upper East Texas in the Tyler, or elsewhere in the area, there are a variety of state parks of interest to everyone.

For more information, maps and facilities at State Parks in East Texas, visit the website of Texas Parks and Wildlife

Shangri La Botanical Gardens in Orange, South East Texas

Sea Rim State Park

Offering more than five miles of natural Gulf of Mexico beach shoreline, Sea Rim State Park is where the marsh meets the surf, making it prime binocular-hunting grounds for numerous species. Bring a kayak or canoe (or rent one at the park) and paddle along one of its paddle trails, or comb the sand for sea treasures that wash up on the shore.

Details at Texas Parks and Wildlife

Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Park

The location of a significant Civil War battlefield, Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Site tells the story of Confederate Lt. Richard “Dick” Dowling and his 46 men who thwarted an attempted Union attack on Sabine Pass, a primary Texas port for Confederate shipments of supplies and vital to the war effort. Located at 6100 Dowling Road in Port Arthur.

Details at Texas Historical Commission

Shangri La Botanical Gardens in Orange, South East Texas

Tyler State Park

Tyler State Park is located just north of Tyler, 2 miles north of Interstate 20 on FM 14, then into the park on Park Road 16. This beautiful 985 acre park in the rolling hills features a 64 acre lake, campgrounds, hiking trails, pavilions, cabins, mountain biking, nature studies, canoes, paddle boats, kayaks, bike boats, jon boats, park store and much more.

Details at Texas Parks and Wildlife

View of the lake at Tyler State Park in East Texas

Lake Bob Sandlin State Park

Lake Bob Sandlin State Park

Lake Bob Sandlin is located on Big Cypress Creek 5 miles southwest of Mount Pleasant in Titus, Camp, and Franklin counties. It has a surface area of 9,004 acres, and a maximum depth of 65.6 feet. It was impounded in 1977.

Lake Bob Sandlin State Park is a 639.8-acre park located on the heavily wooded shoreline on the north side of Lake Bob Sandlin.

Details at Texas Parks and Wildlife

Lake Livingston State Park

The park is located on 635 acres along the southeastern edge of Lake Livingston in Polk County. Lake Livingston is one of the largest reservoirs in the state, with 83,000 surface acres. The lake is an impoundment of the Trinity River, and provides water for the city of Houston and other East Texas cities. It is ideal for boating and fishing because of its size and constant level.

At the park, visitors can swim, fish, boat, hike, bird, camp, picnic, mountain bike, geocache and study nature. It offers many camping options, from tent sites with water nearby up to campsites with full hookups.

Details at Texas Parks and Wildlife

Lake Livingston State Park

Martin Creek State Park

Martin Creek Lake is located in Rusk County, on Martin Creek 3 miles southwest of Tatum on Texas Highway 43. It covers a surface area of 4,981 acres, with a maximum depth of 35 feet. The lake was impounded in 1974 to provide cooling water for a power plant.

Since Martin Creek is a power plant lake, water temperatures are elevated, especially during the winter months. Anglers are most successful at catching largemouth bass during the winter and early spring. Martin Creek Lake State Park, which consists of 286.9 acres, is located in the area.

Details at Texas Parks and Wildlife

Martin Creek State Park

Caddo Lake State Park

Caddo Lake is a 25,400 acres lake and wetland on the border between Texas and Louisiana, in northern Harrison County and southern Marion County in Texas and western Caddo Parish in Louisiana.

Caddo Lake in East Texas

This lake was the only natural lake in Texas until it was artificially dammed in the early 1900s when oil was found and for flood control in 1914. A new dam replaced the old one in 1971.

Some of the cypress trees in the swamp are more than 400 years old.

The average depth of the lake is 8 to 10 feet with the deep water in the bayou averaging about 20 feet. The lake contains 71 species of fish, and it is especially good for crappie and largemouth and white bass.

The denseness of the swamp creates an inviting maze for paddlers in kayaks and canoes. On the Texas side, at Caddo Lake State Park, there are 10 kayak/canoe trails, with names like Hell's Half Acre, Cathedral Trail, Old Folks Playground and Turtle Shell Trail. The trails are marked, and maps are provided.

For more information on the park, located at 245 Park Road 2, Karnack, TX, phone 903.679.3351


Quiet moment in the fall at Daingerfield State Park

Daingerfield State Park

Daingerfield State Park, in Morris County southwest of Texarkana, is a 506 acre recreational area, and includes the 80 acre Lake Daingerfield.

The park features the Rustling Leaves Nature Trail, camping, fishing, hiking and more, all nestled in colorful groups of maples, gums and oaks.

More State Parks in East Texas

Atlanta State Park

Mission Tejas State Park

Martin Dies, Jr. State Park

Village Creek State Park

Huntsville State Park

Purtis Creek State Park

Atlanta State Park

Fairfield Lake State Park


Map and Details of All Texas State Parks

Fall Colors at Texas State Parks

Fall scene at Lost Maples State Natural Area
Fall scene at Lost Maples State Natural Area (Photo courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife)

The State of Texas offers dozens of excellent state parks, many in wooded areas that feature acres of vivid fall colors.

Beyond the popular bigtooth maples of Lost Maples State Natural Area, you'll find fall foliage in many state parks. Visit gorgeous yellow cottonwoods at Caprock Canyons. Enjoy the many East Texas hardwoods including elms, oaks, sweetgums, beeches and hickories at state parks like Lake Bob SandlinCooper LakeMartin Creek Lake and other locales. 

For more information on fall activities in Texas State Parks, visit "Fall for Parks" at the website of Texas Parks and Wildlife

Big Thicket National Preserve in Southeast Texas

Big Thicket National Preserve

The Big Thicket is an area of dense forest located north and northwest of Beaumont. This 97,000 acre National Preserve protects a unique environmental confluence of swamps, coastal prairies, piney woods, plant life and animals.

For more information visit the Big Thicket website at NPS

More East Texas Resources