2014 Forest River Rockwood signature ultralite
2014 Forest River Rockwood signature ultralite
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Nicknamed the “Butterfly Capital of Texas,” Jasper lies in the Deep East Texas region to the northeast of Houston. It’s renowned for being on one of the main flyways for the annual monarch butterfly migration and holds a festival to celebrate this natural phenomenon every year.
Jasper was first settled in the 1820s when it was still part of Mexican Texas and was named after a war hero from the American Revolution, William Jasper, in 1835. It served as a major center for Confederate operations during the Civil War and flourished into a manufacturing hub following the arrival of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway in the early 20th century.
Today, Jasper is a laid-back place to rent an RV while exploring East Texas. It’s on the doorstep of one of Texas’ most famous bass fishing lakes while being a stone’s throw from the border with Louisiana.
Book a motorhome rental in Jasper and make the short drive west to the Martin Dies Jr. State Park, which encompasses 705 acres on the banks of the Steinhagen Reservoir. It’s named in honor of this renowned Texan politician and is a hub for everything from kayaking and swimming to hiking, cycling, and fishing. Keep your eyes peeled for white-tailed deer, nine-banded armadillos, and Virginia opossums while exploring the trails and stay until after dark for some of the best stargazing in the region.
Directly north of Jasper sprawls the Sam Rayburn Reservoir, which is the largest lake to lie wholly within the state of Texas. It was constructed in the 1950s for hydroelectricity generation and the conservation of water and named in honor of the long-time champion of soil and water conservation, Sam Rayburn. Fishing is the main activity, with largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish all for the taking, and more than 300 fishing tournaments take place here throughout the year due to its reputation for being the best bass lake in the United States.
Jasper also makes a good base for visiting the Davy Crockett National Forest, which encompasses more than 160,000 acres and is named for the legendary pioneer. Head to the Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area where you can take a dip at the swimming beach and cast a line from the fishing pier or enjoy a short stroll along the interpretive nature trail. Trekkers looking for a more challenging hike can explore the 20-mile-long Four C National Recreation Trail, which leads to the spectacular Neches Bluff Overlook.
Pick up your travel trailer rental in Jasper and head to the Log Cabin RV Park, which is located directly on the highway leading southwest of the city. This predominantly long-term RV park has a handful of overnight sites, as well as laundry facilities that guests are welcome to use.
Alternatively, drive north to the Fisherman’s Retreat RV Park, a peaceful campground en route to the Sam Rayburn Reservoir. There are large grassy sites situated beneath sprawling trees and clean but basic amenities.
If you want to be even closer to the reservoir, consider booking a spot at the Double Heart RV Park where you’ll find both pull-through and back-in sites with 30 and 50-amp service. There’s a self-service RV wash station, laundry facilities, and Wi-Fi available, together with bagged ice, propane, and soda sales.
Book an RV rental near Jasper and head to the Jasper County Historical Museum to discover the people and events that have left their mark on the city. It faces the late-19th-century brick courthouse on Jasper’s historic courthouse square, with exhibits that include wartime artifacts and treasured family heirlooms belonging to Jasper County residents. See a replica of the office used by Jack Ruby’s lawyer, Joe Tonahill, then pay your respects at the Vietnam War memorial that’s located nearby.
Spend a day enjoying scenic drives through the towns and cities of East Texas as you head north to charismatic Jefferson. Stop in the aptly-named city of Center that lies at the heart of Shelby County, then continue to Carthage to visit the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Farther north lies the bustling hub of Marshall where you can explore the Michelson Museum of Art and Starr Family Home State Historic Site before ending in the historic streets of Jefferson.
Jasper is also just an hour’s drive from Lufkin, which serves as the seat of Angelina County and is home to numerous cultural and historical museums. Get hands-on at the Texas Forestry Museum that features vintage equipment and old trains or browse the paintings and sculptures on display at the Museum of East Texas. Also of note is the Naranjo Museum-Natural History just south of the city center where you’ll find an unusual collection of dinosaur bones, old weapons, and fascinating space shuttle artifacts.
Jasper is home to a couple of supermarkets where you can pick up groceries, as well as plenty of fast food restaurants for dining out. There are also gas stations if you need to fill up your campervan rental in Jasper.
Whether you’re visiting Jasper County for its eclectic museums or fish-filled lakes, book an RV in Jasper and start planning your next excursion.