What to do in Lake Houston State Park

Lake Houston State Park, 4,919.5 acres, is located in New Caney, thirty miles north of Houston, in both Harris and Montgomery Counties. The park was purchased from Champion Paper Company in 1981 and was opened to day-use in 1992; overnight use began in 1995.

The park is situated at the confluence of Caney Creek and the East Fork of the San Jacinto River and extends northward to FM 1485. Most of the pioneers who settled New Caney came here from the Deep South in an effort to escape the ravages of the Civil War and/or the painful reconstruction period following the war. New Caney became a sawmill and lumbering community when the Houston, East, and West Texas Railroad ran a narrow gauge line through the eastern timberlands to ship the loblolly pine and hardwoods of the area. The intense thickets and canebrakes along the streams also supported bears and as well as hunters seeking a cash crop of bear grease.

In the early 1980's, the state purchased 4,710 acres from Champion Realty Corporation. In 1990, 202 acres adjacent to this area, owned by San Jacinto Girl Scout Council and home to Peach Creek Girl Scout Camp since 1955, was acquired. The Girl Scout Camp and Horse Ranch included lodges, campsites, and equestrian area, providing girl scouts with summer activities such as camping, swimming, and horseback riding. As many as 200 girls from all over Texas would visit the camp each summer, forming lifelong memories of piney woods, horses and mosquitoes! The Girl Scout Camp lodges, camping areas, and trails have all been updated for park use.

The park is open 7 days a week, year round. The gate opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m.

The park's terrain consists of typically coastal surface and soils, many bayous, lakes, and canals. Most parts of the park are heavily wooded.

Facilities include walk-in campsites with a lantern post, a picnic table, a fire ring, and a grill; water is centrally located. There are two areas of eight campsites (Camp Oakwood and Ironwood) that share a picnic pavilion (capacity 25), but Camp Magnolia area does not. A shower building with restrooms is hiking distance from these campsites. A Sponsored Youth Group Area has 6 walk-in campsites. Each has a fire ring, tent pad, picnic table, and lantern hook. This area is alongside Peach Creek; parking in the area. Not restricted to non-profit youth groups; any supervised group may use it. There are restrooms and showers nearby and a covered area to wash your hands. There is a 12-mile hike/bike trail and 8 miles of equestrian trails where a miximum of 20 riders per day are allowed. Reservations must be made in advance by calling the park and may be made up to two weeks ahead of your visit. There is a group dining hall with a kitchen (Pine Grove Dining Hall / Day Lodge), which can accommodate up to 100. Lazy Creek Cottage Lodge sleeps up to 26 persons and has a full-sized kitchen, 26 bunkbeds, a fireplace, gas heat, showers and restrooms. Forest Cottage (Lodge) meets ADA requirements, accommodates 12, has ceiling fans, air-conditioning, gas heater, fireplace, and screened windows with a cathedral ceiling. The kitchen has stove, refrigerator, counter, storage space; no cooking utensils. There is a large bath with showers and a changing area; bunk beds in the main area, private bedroom with 2 twin beds; no linens; and a half bath. The dining/activity area has tables and seating; there is a large outdoor patio overlooking woods with a large grill and a seating area around the large fire ring; ADA accessible.

Nearby attractions include the San Jacinto Battleground Historical Complex including the San Jacinto Battleground, the San Jacinto Monument, and the Battleship TEXAS; Sheldon Lake State Park and Wildlife Management Area; Huntsville State Park; Lake Conroe; and Deerbrook Mall.

Camping and entrance fees vary. For reservations, call 512/389-8900. Current conditions including fire bans can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

Activities include camping; nature study; birdwatching; hiking; biking; and horseback riding (The park does not furnish horses.)

Lake Houston State Park is situated within the Gulf Coast region of Texas. To reach the park from Houston, take US Highway 59 north to the New Caney exit, FM 1485; travel east 2 miles to Baptist Encampment Road, turn south for 1.5 miles to the park entrance.

Lake Houston State Park is located at an elevations ranging from 6 ft to 380 ft. Temperatures within the park range from an average January low of 46 degrees and a July average high of 93 degrees. The average annual rainfall is 42.6 inches. Current weather conditions can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

22031 Baptist Encampment Road
New Caney, TX 77357-7731

Phone: 281/354-6881

  • Lake Houston State Park Travel Q&A