The 1,087-acre Sam Houston Jones Park located near Lake Charles in southwestern Louisiana has been maintained in its natural state and is home to more than 70 acres of longleaf pines. This species, the oldest living southern pine species, was once the most abundant tree species in the US. Due to logging, farming, development, and urban encroachment, the longleaf pine has become greatly diminished.
At Sam Houston Jones Park, guests can stroll through tree-filled lagoons and hike a mixed pine and hardwood forest in this unique natural environment. The park, located just north of the most productive birding region of Louisiana, is an excellent space for bird-watching. Indeed, at certain times of year, nearly 200 species of birds can be seen at or within 30 miles of the park.
The numerous waterways within the park make water sports a natural highlight for guests. Sam Houston Jones State Park offers boat launches conveniently located on the West Fork of the Calcasieu River.
The three hiking trails that wind through this beautiful park make strolling or serious hiking a pleasure. Guests will find the old stagecoach road particularly interesting. Using the old stagecoach road hikers may explore the park and the banks of the various tributaries to the Calcasieu River.
RV Rentals in Sam Houston Jones State Park
Transportation in Sam Houston Jones State Park
Sam Houston Jones State Park is located at:
107 Sutherland Road
Lake Charles, LA 70611
Guests will easily find the park from Lake Charles (I-10): Take U.S. 171 North for four miles to Moss Bluff, then left on La. Hwy. 378, or take La. 378 north from Westlake to the park.
Guests will easily negotiate the park via paved roads. As long as you take your time and leave plenty of space for quicker traffic to pass, even the largest RVs should have little trouble maneuvering along the park's roads.
Parking is available near the trail head as well as in the campground.
There is no public transportation available within the Sam Houston Jones State Park
Campgrounds and parking in Sam Houston Jones State Park
Campsites in Sam Houston Jones State Park
Sam Houston Jones State Park
Gracing the lagoons within the Sam Houston Jones State Park, the campground offers guests stunning views of native pine woods and a variety of woodland creatures in their natural habitat year-round. The campground offers guest the option of eight standard cabins, 56 improved campsites, 19 premium campsites, and one deluxe lodge. Electric and water hookup is provided for campers. The Sam Houston Jones State Park Campground accommodates RV’s up to 75 feet in length. The campground offers hot showers, restrooms, and dump stations. Pets are welcome in the campground but are not allowed in any cabins or the lodge.
Sam Houston Jones State Park allows for a maximum stay of 14 consecutive days. Reservations must be made at least one day in advance. Guests should note that all park buildings are smoke free environments including cabins and lodges. The deluxe lodge, with a sleeping capacity of 14, works great for group travelers.
Seasonal activities in Sam Houston Jones State Park
Sam Houston Jones State Park offers disc golfing at the Bob Rodgers Memorial Disc Golf Course. This course offers guests the opportunity to participate in a low impact and inexpensive sport while enjoying the sights and sounds of this stunning park.
Each hole on this 18 hole course has two or three tees and 14 holes have two basket placements. This course offers guests a challenging mix of heavily to mostly wooded holes with long and technical holes provided. White (Am) tees are marked with white bricks in the ground. Red brick tee markers mark short tees. Guests will find course maps at the park entry office and at the big sign by the putting basket.
Charpentier Historic District
The Charpentier Historic District, located in nearby Lake Charles, is on the National Register of Historic Places and covers more than 40 blocks of turn-of-the-century buildings of mixed styles. Guests will be enchanted by the use of turrets, towers, gables, shingling, leaded glass and gingerbread accents on the porches and railings of the homes here. The Charpentier (French for “carpenter”) District stands in homage to the carpenter architects who freely designed as they built. It is this type of building that created the unique Lake Charles style.
Guests to the Charpentier Historic District can download a history app which is available in multiple languages including English, French, Spanish, and German. The app also provides closed-captioning for guest that need it. This app provides visitors with a guided experience through the 40-block. The app also provides guests a choice of a 30 minute tour, an hour tour, or the Calcasieu Ghost Tour.
This is a great trail system for those who are new to riding trails or for those looking for less difficult trails. Sam Houston Jones State Park offers a winding single track thru forest with lots of small hills. Many smaller loops run off the main trail. Guests will want to explore these side trails as they often provide the best riding experiences.
The Longleaf trail is the longest trail at just over three miles and has a ton of roots. The trails are also divided by colors. Longleaf is blue at approximately three and a half miles, Orange trail is one and a half miles, and Purple trail is just over one mile and connects to the blue trail. Yellow trail is half a mile. All the trails combined along with the ride on the road to get to each one equals a little over eight miles.
Sam Houston State Park is an ideal space for bird watching. The winding trails take guests through mature forest and offers guests the opportunity to see species of owl, woodpecker, and even an occasional Brown-headed Nuthatch. In winter guests may expect to see birds like the Cedar Waxwing or Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.
The Gulf Coast Bird Club welcomes all bird enthusiasts, including visitors. They offer a monthly Beginner’s Bird Walk at Sam Houston Jones State Park on the fourth Saturday each month at 8 a.m. This is a lovely walk and often yields sightings of 25-30 local birds. The walk is guided by Master Naturalist David Booth. Guests will meet at the deck overlooking the swamp across from the pavilion.
Sam Houston Jones State Park is one stop in a geocaching adventure challenge established by the state of Louisiana. This geocaching adventure challenges you to visit each of Louisiana's State Parks and Historic Sites. Each State Park and Historic Site has a unique special mission with a story to tell, and offers its own very special geocaching adventure for you to experience. Each of these facilities has an official Geo Project cache, containing a special clue for you to find and record. These clues collectively will enable you to determine the coordinates of the mystery location of the Final Cache, which is located somewhere in the state of Louisiana. Use this Official LAOSP Clue Tracking Sheet to record all your clues.
As you travel the state of Louisiana, you are encouraged to upload photos of your travels on the geocaching.com web pages. However, the state asks that you do not log clues or spoilers to the caches.
Lovely Sam Houston Jones State Park Trail offers a seven and a half- mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Lake Charles, Louisiana that features a river and is good for all skill levels. Guests to the park will enjoy the natural beauty of the old wood forest and can expect to encounter many animals native to the area. The trail offers a variety of options and is best used from September until December.
Trails at Sam Houston Jones State Park
- Riverwalk Trail -- 1.6 miles
- Cypress Tupelo Trail -- 1/2 mile
- Swamp Walk Trail -- 1.1 miles
- Longleaf Pine Trail -- 3-1/2 miles
- Longleaf Pine Extension -- 1.3 miles