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Texas Parks & Wildlife
Texas Parks & Wildlife
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
park.information@tpwd.texas.gov
1-800-792-1112
www.texasstateparks.org

Texas State Parks near Houston

Soak up the sun on a quiet beach, kayak tranquil coastal waterways, visit the birthplace of Texas, and hike on scenic trails shaded by towering pine trees. All of these many adventures are yours for the taking at the Texas State Parks near Houston. Settled near the Texas Piney Woods and the Gulf Coast, Houston is a great starting point for experiencing these two different worlds. Check out a few of the options below and start planning your next adventure today.


Sea Rim State Park

Immerse yourself in the pristine and unspoiled beauty of the Texas Gulf Coast at Sea Rim State Park. Set among coastal wetlands about 100 miles east of Houston, the park is a natural wonderland full of endless adventure. Paddle along the park’s 16 miles of trails that take you through tranquil marshes channels and lakes.

Opt for one of the three trails ranging from an easy one-hour excursion to a challenging four-hour, 10-mile tour that will test your fitness. Along the way, you may see alligators or some of the many kinds of native and migratory birds that call the park home throughout the year, including roseate spoonbills, egrets, herons, ducks, and meadowlarks.

In addition to all its inland wonders, Sea Rim State Park sits along a five-mile stretch of Gulf Coast shoreline. Build a sandcastle or work on your suntan on the beach and swim in the gulf. The park is also a great place to go fishing as you can enjoy the best of both worlds: saltwater fishing off of the beach and freshwater in the marsh lakes and estuaries. When it’s time to turn in for the evening, pitch a tent right on the beach or spend the night at one of the campsites, some of which come with electricity.


Sheldon Lake State Park

Admire all the diverse wildlife of the Texas Gulf Coast when you visit Sheldon Lake State Park. Located just 20 miles from downtown Houston, the park is a former fishery turned learning center. Follow the half-mile self-guided nature trail and you’ll pass 28 naturalized ponds home to alligators and other animals. For a photo-worthy view of the park, ascend to the top of the 82-foot-tall John Jacob Observation Tower, from where you’ll spy the surrounding wetlands and the Houston skyline off in the distance.

Wildlife observation isn’t the only thing you can do at Sheldon Lake State Park. Cast your line from one of the two fishing ponds open year-round, or drop your boat into Sheldon Lake from the ramp on Pineland Road.


Stephen F. Austin State Park 

Settled among cedar elm, hickory, Osage orange, and cottonwood trees on the southern bank of the Brazos River, Stephen F. Austin State Park is both a natural oasis and a place of great history.

After all, it was here that the “Father of Texas” established San Felipe de Austin, where he oversaw the arrival of the first American immigrants in Texas.

Imagine you’re one of Austin’s first explorers as you follow more than five miles of trails that wind and weave through 473 acres of hardwood forest. Keep an eye out for armadillos, deer, raccoons, squirrels, and more, as the area is rich in flora and fauna.

If you’re a birding enthusiast, bring your binoculars or camera and watch for barred owls, yellow-billed cuckoos, and a variety of warblers that visit throughout the year.

Want to extend your stay? Sleep under the stars in one of the campsites or relax in the one-room cabin that features a microwave, mini-refrigerator, and air conditioning and heat. To get a history of the area, visit the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site. Located just 50 miles west of Houston, Stephen F. Austin State Park is an easy-to-reach outdoor escape ideal for any of the four seasons.


Other Texas State Parks near Houston

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Contact Information

Texas Parks & Wildlife
Texas Parks & Wildlife
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
1-800-792-1112
www.texasstateparks.org

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