Enjoying the Great Outdoors in the Sam Houston National Forest

Lara DeHavenDay Trips, Lake Conroe, Montgomery County

Sam Houston National Forest

To the northwest, the Sam Houston National Forest borders about 40 miles of shoreline of Lake Conroe. It provides an abundance of wildlife, several types of birds, and even alligators. However, it also provides visitors many ways to enjoy the great outdoors on land, including hiking, camping, and hunting.


Hiking is probably the most popular way to enjoy the Sam Houston National Forest. There are many trails, including the Lone Star Hiking Trail. It winds for 128 miles through the forest. A 27-mile section has earned recognition as a National Recreation Trail (NRT). According to American Trails, NRTs “are existing trails that connect people to local resources and improve their quality of life, with applications for these trails often reflecting diverse partnerships.” Therefore, this would be a section you would want to hike. Anyway, there are three main sections of the Lone Star Hiking Trail. To see a trail map, click here in order to plan your outing. There are also several additional trails for your camping pleasure. Check out this site to read more.

While hiking, you are sure to enjoy the flora and fauna of this beautiful forest. It is currently one of the most popular times to hike these trails simply because of the pleasant weather. Understand that it is also deer hunting season, therefore, make sure that you protect yourself by wearing bright colors and stay on the trail. Fortunately, hiking any time of the year is free as is parking at several spots within the forest. Therefore hiking the national forest is great for your health, good for your spirit, and easy on your pocketbook.


If you wanted to spend an extended time enjoying the outdoors, then the next way to see the Sam Houston National Forest is to stay overnight at many of its camping sites. Three developed camping grounds offer a place for you and your family/friends to stay. In order to also enjoy the lake, check out Cagle Recreation Area. You cannot go swimming here, but there is a boat ramp, equestrian, hiking, and biking trails along the lakeshore. They also have hookups for electricity and sewer. There are also Double Lake and Stubblefield Recreation areas, in which you can camp. Read more about the differences between each camping area and how to make reservations here.


Any Texas hunting license holder can hunt legally within the Sam Houston National Forest. In addition, they need to purchase a $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit. Hunters cannot be younger than 17 and must wear hunter orange. Of course, they are expected to follow all state hunting laws.

The most popular game animal is the white-tailed deer. But you might not guess which animal is the second popular? It is squirrel. Hunters also find quail, dove, and duck to hunt within the forest.

Whether you want to hike, camp, hunt, or all of the above, hopefully you have learned a little more about the Sam Houston National Forest. It is one of the natural gems that line the Lake Conroe area.  Make plans to enjoy spending time outside. They don’t call it the “Great Outdoors” for nothing.