Martin Dies, Jr. State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Set along the meeting point of two rivers in eastern Texas, Martin Dies Jr. State Park is a scenic riverside RV getaway. The park has over seven miles of hiking and biking trails that lead you through the Big Thicket, an ecosystem featuring hundreds of species of birds, mammals, and plants. Armadillo are commonly found in the park, and you can also see white-tailed deer, foxes, and the occasional bobcat.

Anglers will find plenty to keep them busy when they visit the park. You can fish on the Angelina or Neches rivers, as well as on B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir, where you’ll find abundant catfish, bluegill, largemouth and spotted bass, and crappie. Hunters can also head to the Angelina-Neches Wildlife Management Area, where they’ll find large numbers of deer, hogs, and squirrels.

Two main RV campgrounds are situated on the shores of the reservoir, giving you beautiful views of the water. All of the sites have electrical hookups, and some also have water and sewer hookups for your rig. The campgrounds are pet-friendly, and are located just minutes from the park’s boat launches and day use areas.

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Transportation in Martin Dies, Jr. State Park

Driving

The park is located in eartern Texas, near the border with Louisiana. It’s a quick drive from both Houston and New Orleans, and is easy to access directly off US-190. If you are coming from Houston, take I-69 east to US-190 and you’ll reach the park in just under two hours. From New Orleans, take I-10 west out of the city and you’ll get to the park in just under five hours.

The park only has one road, which takes you straight to the two campgrounds. The road is wide enough to accommodate large rigs without any issues. The park does get some occasional flooding, as it’s located directly on the banks of two rivers.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Martin Dies, Jr. State Park

Campsites in Martin Dies, Jr. State Park

Reservations camping

Hen House Ridge Unit

These campgrounds are located just south of the Walnut Ridge Unit. All of the sites have electrical hookups, fire pits, and picnic tables, and some also have water and sewer hookups. The campground is also pet-friendly, provided dogs stay on a leash. There is a boat launch within the campground, and you’ll be just minutes from the park’s day use area, as well as a number of hiking trails.

The sites at both campgrounds can be booked in advance online or by phone, and are open year round. Sites must be reserved at least a day before you arrive, and can be booked up to five months in advance. Plan on saving your spot as early as possible, as the campground tends to fill up quickly, especially in late spring and early fall.

Walnut Ridge Unit

This campground hosts 65 sites, all of which have electrical hookups, picnic tables and fire pits. The campground is pet-friendly, but all dogs must be kept on a leash. You’ll be near swimming areas, as well as boat launches that take you out onto the reservoir. The park’s Island Trail is just north of the campground.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Martin Dies, Jr. State Park

In-Season

Paddling

The park has over 14 miles of paddling trails that take you across sloughs, along Spring Creek, and down Neches River. The park offers kayak and canoe rentals, or you can bring your own with your campervan. The park also offers guided tours, where a ranger takes you through the sloughs and teaches you about the ecosystem and natural history of the area. Tours must be booked in advance, and availability might vary depending on the season.

Biking

The park’s trails are multi use, so you can also bring a bike and enjoy the park’s natural wonders at a faster pace. You can explore the Big Thicket, a diverse ecosystem of birds, plants, and mammals that is sustained by the park’s two rivers.

If you don’t have your own bike, you can rent one from the park office. Not all trails are open to biking, so check the park’s trail map to see which trails are hiking only.

Hiking

Martin Dies Jr. State Park offers a number of opportunities for RV campers interested in hiking. The trails lead along the banks of the Angelina and Neches rivers, and through the deep woods surrounding the lake. In total, you’ll find over seven miles of trails in the park.

Explore the almost one-mile Island Trail, located at the center of B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir. The park office has trail maps available at park headquarters, and you can also find an interactive trail map on their website.

Off-Season

Stargazing

Don't forget to pack a telescope in your camper or trailer. Martin Dies Jr. State Park is a secluded RV nature retreat, giving you clear views of the night sky. Without light pollution, you’ll be able to peer into the cosmos and see a dazzling number of stars.

The park also offers stargazing programs, where a ranger teaches you about constellations and what to look for in the night sky. Availability may vary depending on the season, so check with park officials for current times.

Hunting

If you want to hunt while staying at the park, head over to the Angelina-Neches Wildlife Management Area, located just next to the park. You’ll find abundant populations of deer, hogs, and squirrels. Duck hunters can use the North and South Cherokee Unit boat ramps to get out onto the water.

Most areas of the park are not open to hunting, so check with park officials to make sure you aren’t hunting in a restricted area. You’ll also need proper Texas state hunting licenses for all game, and must follow any state regulations.

Fishing

The waters of B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir are packed with a wide range of fish species. You’ll be able to catch largemouth bass, spotted bass, crappie, and catfish just about any time of year. The shallow waters of the lake are a fertile breeding ground for catfish, making them the most common catch. You can also head to the Angelina River, which has a large population of crappie.

Fishing is excellent year round for most species, but you’ll find the highest numbers of white bass in the spring. There are multiple boat ramps located throughout the park, and you can also fish from the shores or pier without a Texas state fishing license.

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