HOUSTON – If you’re looking toward summer and your family plans for vacation, a camping adventure within driving distance of Houston might be just what your family needs. The outdoors. No costly plane tickets. Time together in a beautiful place.
The wilderness is waiting and it’s not that far away. Grab your bug spray and your sunscreen and check out these parks this summer. You might be amazed at the plethora of options that are close.
Lake Houston Wilderness Park – 25840 FM 1485, New Caney, TX 77357 – 33 Miles from Downtown Houston
This Houston park has nearly 5,000 acres of space. It is the only Houston park that allows overnight camping. Cabins and walk-in campsites are available for rental. Most of the park is heavily forested with over 20 miles of trails. The park offers camping, hiking, trail running, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, birding, fishing and horseback riding trails. Visitors have to bring their own bikes, fishing equipment, watercraft, and horses). Make online reservations here.
Spring Creek Park – 15012 Brown Rd, Tomball, TX 77375 – 35 Miles from Downtown Houston
This 114-acre facility has a softball field, a basketball pavilion, two tennis courts, a small barbecue pavilion, a large barbecue pavilion, eight RV/camper hook-ups, three tent camping sites, one primitive camping area, a playground, trails, picnic tables, barbecue grills, an archery range, a sand volleyball court, and a rest room/shower pavilion. Fishing along Spring Creek is also available. You can also camp overnight at no cost to public RV and tent campers at Spring Creek Park. Fill out an online request form to book.
Brazos Bend State Park – 21901 FM 762, Needville, TX 77461 – 48 Miles from Downtown Houston
You can hike, bike, fish, picnic, geocache, ride your horse, and, of course, stay overnight at this park. Stay overnight at a campsite, screened shelter, or cabin. Here’s more information on overnight accommodations. This park does have a healthy population of alligators so be sure to read its guide on alligator safety before you camp. You can explore on foot, bike, or horseback. The park has 37 miles of trails, some of which are wheelchair-friendly. Take virtual tour on the Interactive Trails Map. This park also has a great nature center.
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park – 34843 Betka Road, Waller, TX 77484 – 50 Miles from Downtown Houston
This Waller campground has cabins, tents, RV and group rental options. The attraction has fishing, a lake, lazy river, outdoor pool, splash grounds, water slides, mini golf, train and wagon rides, as well as basketball, volleyball and gaga ball courts. Activities around the park include visiting the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum or the San Jacinto Monument. Also nearby is the famous Newman’s Castle & Bakery about a half-hour away in Bellville.
Huntsville State Park – Huntsville, TX 77342 – 65 Miles from Downtown Houston
At Huntsville State Park, you can camp, hike, bike, picnic, fish, swim, paddle, geocache and study nature. We have 21 miles of trails, playgrounds, a bird blind and nature center. Alligators do live in the park, so be sure to read the alligator safety tips. Make reservations online here or reserve by phone at (512) 389-8900.
Stephen F. Austin State Park – Park Rd 38, San Felipe, TX 77473 – 50 Miles from Downtown Houston
In addition to the normal park fare – hiking, biking and more – this park has the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site nearby. Walk around the townsite, headquarters for Stephen F. Austin’s original colony. You can visit the museum, which tells stories of the early settlers in Texas. The park has campsites, RV hook-ups, a private cabin and group lodge.
Splashway Waterpark and Campgrounds – 5211 Main St, Sheridan, TX 77475 – 90 Miles from Downtown Houston
If you want a waterpark and a place to stay, Splashway Waterpark and Campgrounds has it covered with its massive water slides, play areas and pools and areas to stay, including cabins, bunkhouses, cottages, RV hook ups and space for tents. There are also playgrounds, boat rentals and activities for kids like Laser Tag and Putt Putt.
Pace Bend Park – 2011 Pace Bend Rd N, Spicewood, TX 78669 – 195 Miles from Downtown Houston
Experience Lake Travis at Pace Bend Park. You can camp on the cliffs overlooking Lake Travis, swim at the beach, go boating and go hiking, biking and riding on equestrian trails. You can make reservations here.
Pedernales Falls State Park – 2585 Park Rd 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636 – 200 Miles from Downtown Houston
At Pedernales Falls State Park, you can camp at a site with water and electricity or hike to a primitive site. You can also bring your group to the Youth Group Camp or Equestrian Group Camp. In addition to rest, you can hike, mountain bike, picnic, geocache, bird watch and ride horses. On the river, you can swim, wade, tube or fish. If you plan to swim, read the park’s swimming safety tips. You can also look for local wildlife and plants at the bird blind and butterfly garden. Learn more about the park here and book your camping experience here.