Perfect Place to Hit the Trail
As a part of the Texas Forest Trail, Houston County offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation. Salmon Lake Park in Grapeland (host of the Annual Blue Grass Festival) offers a unique area for camping, swimming, family reunions and other family fun.
The park often hosts RV clubs and various local festivals throughout the year. Houston County Lake (in the western part of the county) provides water sports (such as boating, skiing, swimming and fishing), while the Crockett Family Resort at the lake provides cabins and areas for camping. The lake is known throughout Texas for its trophy-size bass, and is host to several bass tournaments yearly.
Nestled in the Davy Crockett National Forest, Ratcliff Recreation Area provides picnic and camping areas, and guests can swim and fish. The recreation area is also a starting point for many forest trails, allowing hiking and horseback riding in the peace and tranquility of the forest.
Mission Tejas State Historical Park is an 118-acre park set in the hills of the East Texas Piney Woods. The Spanish Mission was established in 1690 in this location, and a wooden chapel built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s stands in the place of the original mission. The Rice Family Home is also in the park. Built between 1828 and 1838, this original stagecoach house was moved to the park in 1974. As a family centered historical park, Mission Tejas offers a number of recreational activities — including camping, picnicking, fishing and hiking. There are also play areas for children. The Caddoan Indian Mounds, a living history of Texas Indian heritage, is also nearby.
Texas also has a diverse bird population, and — according to the American Birding Association — is one of the top birding destinations in the country. More than 600 species of birds can be spotted, and Houston County has a growing population of birds that includes golden eagles (which have been spotted at Ratcliff Lake and Houston County Lake) and bald eagles passing through.