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Counties
Montgomery, San Jacinto, Walker
Region
Pineywoods
Nearby
Parks
Sam Houston National Forest
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Sam Houston National Forest Information:
This 163,037 acre forest is located in Montgomery, San Jacinto and Walker Counties, 50 miles north of Houston between Huntsville, Conroe, Cleveland and Richards, Texas. Evergreen, New Waverly, and Phelps, Texas are located near the forest’s recreation facilities. The Sam Houston National Forest is managed under the multiple-use concept of programs which include recreation, fish and wildlife, timber, grazing, soil and water, and minerals. All programs are planned to maintain a balance among the benefits, yet provide for public needs. Forest Service objectives, by law, must consider all resources of the forest and no single resource can be emphasized to the detriment of others. Activities include hunting, fishing, birding, camping, OHV riding, hiking and biking, and picnicking. The entire forest is managed as a Wildlife Management Area by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Not all lands located within the forest boundaries on a map are public land; some of the land is private property. The boundaries between public land and private property are marked with signs and red paint. Entry signs are placed on major roads to indicate the road is entering a national forest. Huntsville State Park and the northern portion of Lake Conroe are located within the forest. The forest service district manager’s office is located 3 miles west of New Waverly on FM 1375. Sam Houston Forest Facilities Map
 
Sam Houston Wildlife Management Area Information:
The entire 161,508 acre Sam Houston Forest is a Wildlife Management Area. 47,609 acres are in Montgomery County, 59,746 acres are in San Jacinto County, and 54,153 acres are in Walker County. The WMA is operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department under a Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. Forest Service. Fishing, trapping, and public hunting of white-tailed deer, feral hog, waterfowl, dove, other migratory game birds, squirrel, quail, rabbits, hares, predators, furbearers, and frogs is permitted. A bird checklist is available at the headquarters. Other outdoor activities include camping, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and wildlife viewing. Designated primitive and developed campsites are available. Equestrian amenities include pens and designated campsites. All horses must have proof of a negative Coggins Test. Some restrooms and campsites are ADA compliant. Bring your own drinking water and mosquito repellant. The WMA is open year round, with some restrictions during hunting season. Huntsville State Park and the northern portion of Lake Conroe are in the national forest. From New Waverly take FM 1375 west three miles to Sam Houston National Forest Ranger Station.
 
Huntsville State Park Information:
This heavily wooded 2,083 acre park lies in the Pineywoods of the Sam Houston National Forest. The purchase of the parkland was funded by bonds sold by Walker County in 1936. The park lands were chosen because a recreational lake could be formed by building a dam below the junction of Big and Little Chiquapin Creeks. Prairie Branch Creek also flows into the lake. In October, 1937 the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) began construction on the dam which created the 210 surface acre Lake Raven. CCC workers also built the group recreation hall, the frame pump house, stone culverts and the stone road curbing. During a rainstorm on November 24, 1940, the dam spillway collapsed. It was repaired in April 1956, and the park opened to the public on May, 18, 1956. The tannin from the pine trees gives the lake water a slight brownish color. Habitat consists of piney woods dominated by loblolly and shortleaf pines. Wildlife species include white-tailed deer, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, migratory waterfowl and fox squirrels; alligators are occasionally observed in Lake Raven. Park entrance and camping fees apply. For more information read the Park Information Brochure and watch the Park Video.  The park is located 6 miles southwest of Huntsville, Texas. From IH-45, take Park Road 40, six miles to the park entrance.  Huntsville State Park Facilities Map
 
San Jacinto River:
The San Jacinto River rises at the San Jacinto Dam on the southern rim of Lake Houston and flows southeast for 28 miles to its mouth on Galveston Bay. Both Lake Houston and the river are formed by the confluence of the 69 mile long East Fork and the 90 mile long West Fork of the San Jacinto River. Lake Conroe is formed by the impoundment of the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. The Houston Ship Channel, built in 1914 to link the Port of Houston with Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, runs through Buffalo Bayou and the lower portion of the San Jacinto River. The river proper is navigable for approximately twenty miles above its mouth. Commercial shipping traffic in the main channel renders it unsuitable for recreational purposes, but the nine-mile-long Lake Houston, a multiple-use reservoir constructed in 1953, is a major recreational facility. The river is best known as the site of the Battle of San Jacinto, at which, on April 21, 1836, Texan forces led by Sam Houston defeated the Mexican Army under the command of Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna, thus securing Texas's independence. The San Jacinto Battleground State Historical Park is located on the south bank of Buffalo Bayou near its mouth on the river.   
 
Lake Conroe Information:
The 20,118 surface acre Lake Conroe is located 7 miles northwest of the City of Conroe, Texas. It was impounded in 1973 on the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. This 21 mile long lake is 6 miles wide at its widest point, and has 157 miles of shoreline. The average depth is 20 feet though some areas are over 65 feet deep. The lake is exclusively operated by the San Jacinto River Authority though only one-third of the lake is owned by the SJRA. The other two-thirds of the lake are owned by the City of Houston. Lake Conroe is a major recreation area. The northern portion of the lake is located in the Sam Houston National Forest. 
Lake Conroe Area Map 
Lake Conroe TPWD Public Access Facilities    
Current Lake Conroe Lake Level