Huntsville State Park is a 2083 acre park that is nested in the tall pines and along the shores of the 215 acre man-made Lake Raven. The park is located about six miles southwest of Huntsville. The park is very clean and well maintained, the lake is small but pretty, and there are some nice sites along the lake. This is a great campground for camping, hiking, biking, or enjoying nature.
Facilities include: 64 sites with water and electricity, 127 sites with water only, and 30 screened shelters; 105 picnic tables and grills throughout the park and along the lake; a screed group picnic pavilion with a capacity of 75 that is right on the water; a cool recreation hall (accommodates 200) on the lake that was built in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps; restrooms with showers (dated but clean); trailer dump station; 3 playgrounds; swimming area and bathhouse; 2 lighted fishing piers and two fish cleaning stations; boat ramp and dock; interpretive center and nature trail; and small park store; amphitheater.
One of the reasons we like Huntsville State Park is because of the number of things to do within the park. You can walk the 1.3 mile nature trail; and bike or hike the 3.2 miles of surfaced trails that run through the campsites. There is an additional 15.5 miles of hiking trails and 11 miles of mountain bike trails which run throughout the park and around the lake.
You can also rent canoes, kayaks, and row boats. Lake Raven Stables has guided horseback rides and breakfast and dinner rides. Water skiing is prohibited on the lake and the boat speed is limited to idle.
We enjoy spending most of our time at Huntsville hiking or mountain biking. Our favorite trail is the Chinquapin Trail that circles the eastern side of the campground and goes around the lake. The eastern side of the trail is flat and easy, around the lake on the west side is tougher and up and down some hills. A nice easy walk along the lake is the Prairie Branch Loop Trail which is 1.5 miles. The rest of the day and evening is spent playing games, cooking and eating some great food (always tastes better outside), and sharing some stories around the campfire.
Huntsville, which is one of Texas' oldest cities (founded in 1836 as an Indian trading post), is only 6 miles north and offers a few things to see and do. Quaint antique shops, arts and crafts shops, soda fountain and restaurants, and other establishments surround the town square. Check out some of the well kept and restored turn-of-the-century homes around town.
Blue Lagoon is an old rock quarry that is feed by sparkling artesian springs and excellent for scuba diving. Submerged boats, planes, and platforms are strategically placed in two lagoons. There is an entry fee and it is not open to swimmers.
Some other nearby attractions include: Hearts Veterans Museum; Sam Houston Memorial Museum Complex; Sam Houston National Forest; Sam Houston Statue; and the Texas Prison Museum.
Texas Outside uses a tough rating scale and it’s difficult for a campground to get a “10”. Each park is rated on: