Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
15.00 ft (4.57 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
7.51 mi (12.09 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Nestled into the Sam Houston National Forest, north of Houston, is a big-city escape among a canopy of 100-foot-tall pines perfect for a day of hiking and birdwatching. A day use fee of $7 is required to access the trail. You will drive to the nature center, which is close to the park entrance, to find the trailhead. The winding trail will take you through 7.51 miles of a sub-tropical climate that makes up the park. With each mile trekked into the forest, the call of birds dominate the various pines and under growth along the trail. Venomous snakes do exist in the park so be mindful of where your feet fall. Staying on trail is highly recommended. 

After 4.5 miles, the dense forest opens up and the trail takes you over a dam that creates Lake Raven. Historic Raven Lodge can be seen from this vantage point. Raven Lodge and many of the trails and campsites were developed by the Civilian Conservation Corp during the depression era of the 1930's. Continuing down the trail will take you through the back side of the park where restoration has been done due to flood damage. Access points to the Triple C trail that follows the park boundaries can be found in this area; the Triple C also has access to the national forest. Prior to reaching the dam, there are other trail access points for state park trails and an access point to the national forest mountain biking trails. A sign for the mountain biking trails is posted but is not shown on the state park map. 

The last few miles may prove challenging for any hiker as the compacted dirt gives way to fine sand, similar to a beach. The trail ends where you begin: the nature center. If the center is open, you can enjoy a curated exhibit of wildlife that can be seen in the park including the American Alligator. Due to the existence of alligators in the park, pets must remain on a leash at all times. To access the park coming from either south bound I-45 or north bound I-45, you will take the State Park Road 40 exit. 

For more information regarding Huntsville State Park and any park alerts, visit the website: Huntsville State Park

To reserve campsites or group shelters dial (512) 389-8900 or down load the app TX State Parks and search for Huntsville State Park. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Fall
Spring

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

$5.00

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Shaded. Swimming area. Amenities.

Cons

Hot summers. Mosquitos.

Trailhead Elevation

350.00 ft (106.68 m)

Highest point

375.00 ft (114.30 m)

Features

Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Potable water
Near lake or river
Historically significant
Shelters
Fishing
Bird watching

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

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