Angelina National Forest
Guide

Introduction

Stretching over four counties in eastern Texas, Angelina National Forest is covered by over 150,000 acres of longleaf, loblolly, and shortleaf pines. The forest is home to a wide range of wildlife, including rare waterfowl species and a variety of big game for hunters. The grasslands in the forest have some of the best white-tailed deer hunting in the region. You’ll also be able to access dozens of miles of hiking trails, including routes that lead along the shore of Angelina Reservoir. Many of the trails are multi-use, allowing for off-roading and horseback riding.

In addition to the park’s offerings on dry land, you’ll find a range of water activities to keep you busy throughout your stay. Sam Rayburn Reservoir is a popular fishing area, with large populations of crappie, large and smallmouth bass, panfish, and channel catfish. There are also a number of streams where you can fish from the banks. Motorized boating is allowed on the Angelina Reservoir, and you can also canoe and kayak on Bouton Lake and Boykin Springs. You can book a private, primitive site to get away from civilization, or choose one of the more modern campgrounds near Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Read on for details about the two RV campgrounds available at Angelina National Forest.

RV Rentals in Angelina National Forest

Transportation

Driving

Located in eastern Texas, Angelina National Forest is within driving distance of a number of cities in the region, including Houston and Dallas. If you are coming from Houston, take I-69 north out of the city and you’ll get to the edge of the forest in just over two hours. From Dallas, take US-69 south from the city and you’ll arrive in just under four hours.

Many of the attraction are located around Sam Rayburn Reservoir, which has two main bridge crossings. Make sure you know which side of the reservoir your point of interest is on, as it can add over an hour to your travel time if you have to cross over to the other side using one of the bridges.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Angelina National Forest

Campsites in Angelina National Forest

Reservations camping

Rayburn Campground

Located on the shores of Sam Rayburn Lake, this campground is one of the best options for RV campers interested in boating and fishing. There are 65 campsites for tents, RVs, and trailers. All of the RV sites have electrical and water hookups. Every site has a picnic table and a fire pit, and you’ll also have access to restrooms and showers. The lake is known for its largemouth bass fishing, playing host to numerous tournaments throughout the year. You’ll also be able to connect to a number of hiking trails taking you along the shore of the lake. The maximum vehicle length is 75 feet. This campground is open year-round.

First-come first-served

Boykin Springs Campground

This campground is small, with just nine RV sites, none of which have hookups of any kind. RVs, campers, or trailers up to 24 feet long are permitted. It’s a great option for campers who want a secluded site tucked away behind thick groves of pine trees. Every site has a picnic table and a grill, and there is a restroom in the campground. You’ll have excellent fishing opportunities on Boykins Spring Lake, as well as access to a number of nearby hiking trails with scenic views.

Seasonal activities in Angelina National Forest

In-Season

Hiking

The Sawmill Hiking Trail is one of the most popular in the area, a five-mile loop that takes you to an old abandoned sawmill. The forest features a range of tree species, mainly consisting of shortleaf, loblolly, and longleaf pines. Hiking is great year-round, although the heat may be too much for some people during the summer. Spring is a popular time to visit, as you can see the area come alive with a wide variety of wildflowers.

Boating

There are a number of large lakes within Angelina National Forest, giving RV campers plenty of boating opportunities. Sam Rayburn Reservoir is the largest body of water in the forest, at over 110,000 acres. There are a number of campgrounds scattered along the shore, most of which have boat ramps. Motorized boating is allowed, making for the perfect summer destination for water and jet skiing.

Fishing

Anglers will find plenty to keep them happy at Angelina National Forest. Sam Rayburn Reservoir has some of the best fishing in the area, with large populations of largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, sunfish, and white bass. You can also find fishing at many of the other main campgrounds in the forest, including at Boykin Springs. Anyone over the age of 17 will need a Texas state fishing license in order to fish in any of the public bodies of water found in the forest.

Off-Season

Birdwatching

Eastern Texas is home to a wide range of bird species, many of which can be spotted in Angelina National Forest. You’ll be able to spot pileated woodpecker, eastern Phoebe, ruby crowned kinglet, and yellow throated vireos. The 110,000 acres of forest feature a variety of different terrain types, so you’ll see different species depending on the area you visit. You can find a number of field guides for the eastern Texas region that will highlight some of the species found in the forest. So don't forget to pack your field guide and binoculars in your campervan.

Hunting

Eastern Texas is a popular hunting region, with a wide range of big game species and waterfowl. Angelina National Forest is mostly open to hunting, with a wide variety of terrain types that make hunts interesting. You’ll find deer, feral hogs, waterfowl, and hare in the forest, All hunters are required to wear orange vests when hunting during the day. Hunting is not allowed near the trails or any of the campgrounds. You’ll also need to make sure you have an annual hunting permit.

Wildlife Viewing

RV campers will find a wide variety of animal and plant species in Angelina National Forest. You’ll see coyote, muskrat, deer, squirrel, waterfowl, and river otters throughout the forest. Bald eagles commonly come to next in the area, especially near Sam Rayburn Reservoir. You’ll also be able to spot hundreds of wildflowers if you visit during the spring, as the grasslands come alive with color. The forest is made up different pine species, including shortleaf, loblolly, and longleaf.

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