When visiting the Lone Star State, you’ll want to venture roughly an hour north of Houston to the picturesque town of Livingston. Conveniently located off US 59, the town serves as the seat of Polk County and neighbors Lake Livingston State Park. A unique feature of the park is that it contains both wetland and woodland habitats. Livingston campers are likely to notice the variety of wildlife while on one of the park’s hiking trails.
Everything is bigger in Texas, and the roughly 90,000-acre Lake Livingston is no exception. The lake separates Livingston and the city of Coldspring. In 1969, construction of the Lake Livingston Dam was completed, forming the reservoir. Not only does Lake Livingston supply water to Houston and other nearby cities, but it also provides a perfect spot for swimming, boating, and fishing. Be sure to book an RV in Polk County so you can experience everything the area has to offer.
No matter your skill level, you can enjoy a hike on one of the park’s six scenic trails, which are all rated easy to moderate in difficulty. While walking the Pineywoods Boardwalk Trail, be sure to stop at the wildlife viewing area to see waterfowl and other birds, as well as monarch butterflies. Other wildlife that you may spot while camping at Lake Livingston State Park includes armadillos and Southern flying squirrels. If you find yourself on the trail at night, check out the frog pond for an unforgettable performance by the local amphibians. The Pineywoods Boardwalk is wheelchair-accessible. The Trinity Trace trail features an observation tower so campers can take in the full view of the park.
When you're ready to take a break from hiking, cool off and go for a swim in one of Lake Livingston’s designated areas. Whether from the wheelchair-accessible fishing pier or from the bank, fishing is another park favorite. You don’t need even need a license. Bass fishing is an especially popular sport in the spring through the fall. If you don’t have equipment, don’t worry; the park has a tackle loaner program. Additionally, you'll find two fish cleaning stations and three boat ramps from which watercraft can be launched. If you’re in search of a morning or afternoon activity on a Thursday through Sunday, you have the option to rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard.
As part of your state park RV camping trip, you should take advantage of one of the park’s free ranger programs. Not only will you have fun, but you’ll also gain a skill that you can take home with you. Programs include fishing lessons, kayaking lessons, crafting workshops, and geocaching.
Camping at Lake Livingston State Park
The Piney Shores, Pin Oak, Red Oak, and Yaupon Loops all have full-hookup campsites. No matter where you park your RV rental for the night, you’ll have access to water, sewer, and 50-amp hookups. Twenty and 30-amp hookups are available at the Piney Shore Loop campsites. You can choose from a total of 78 full-hookup campsites and an additional 69 campsites with electricity in the Hercules Club and Pin Oak Loops.
Restrooms and showers are among the amenities available at the full-hookup campsites. Additionally, campers can make use of the fire ring with grill and lantern posts while watching the night sky reflect on the lake. Pets are welcome at the campsites but must remain on a leash.
If you plan on camping at Lake Livingston State Park over the weekend, you can reserve a campsite. However, to reserve a campsite for a Friday or Saturday, you must stay both nights.
Exploring the Area
For Potomac County sites and attractions, head over to the Livingston Main Street District. You’ll feel like you’ve taken a step back in time when you visit the historic Polk County Courthouse. Beside the courthouse is the Old City Cemetery, an impressive sight in the early spring when Texas bluebonnets are in bloom. Among the area’s attractions is the Polk County Memorial Museum where you can learn about the county’s history in greater detail. You can end the day by enjoying live music at a local venue. Before you hit the road, fill up your tank at one of the gas stations on Church Street.
Once you’ve explored Livingston to your heart’s content, hop in your RV rental and head south towards Houston for popular attractions, such as the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the famous NASA Kennedy Space Center. Along the way, be sure to check out the Sam Houston National Forest near Coldspring, Texas.