Stephen F Austin State Park Review & Rating
Stephen F Austin State Park Overview:
Review & Rating of Stephen F Austin State Park in San Felipe, TX
Stephen F. Austin State Park is located 30 miles west of the outskirts of Houston and close to San Felipe where Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas," brought the first 297 families to colonize Texas under a contract with the Mexican Government. From 1824 to 1836, San Felipe de Austin was the social, economic, and political center, as well as the capital of the American colonies in Texas. San Felipe is known as the birthplace of Anglo American Settlement in Texas and was home to Texas' first English language newspaper in 1829, the origin of the Texas Postal System, and the beginning of the legendary Texas Rangers. The city was home to the conventions of 1832 and 1833 and the Consultation of 1835 were held here which eventually led to the Texas Declaration of Independence.
In 1940, 473 acres of bottom land hardwood forest and swap along the Brazos River was deeded and Stephen F Austin State Park opened the same year. Stephen F Austin is heavily forested with giant cottonwood trees and thick vines and is loaded with wildlife (on a short bike ride we say whitetail deer, raccoons, armadillos, and a opossum!) and the park is a bird watcher's heaven.
Stephen F Austin State Park has full hook-up pull through sites, tent and trailer sites with water only, and screened shelters plus group sites. The park facilities are clean but dated and the staff is very friendly and outgoing. The roads are paved but bumpy and wide enough for the big rigs.
The Brazos River quietly meanders along the north edge of the park and several different hiking and biking trails will take you to the rivers edge as it twists and turns through the forest. Fishing in the Brazos River is good for gar and catfish and within the Park you can fish without a license.
There are lots of activities and things to do within the park and just outside the gate is an 18 hole golf course
Amenities and Fun Things To Do:
Stephen F Austin has 40 pull through sites with water, electricity, and sewer; 40 water only sites; 24 walk-in tent sites with water only; and 20 screened shelters with water and electric. Each of the sites have a picnic table, lantern holder, and firepit. The site pads are paved and level. The hook ups are conveniently located and the pull through sites are wide and long enough for a fairly big rig and towed vehicle. All of the sites are heavily shaded. Three restrooms are centrally located and two have showers.
There are two areas for group camping one of which has a dining hall and tent camping and the other has a dining hall, barracks with several bunk beds and a separate picnic area.
Some of the other amenities and things to do in Stephen F Austin State Park include:
- a playground and basketball court
- ladder golf and horseshoes available from the office
- a natural interpretive trail plus several well marked trails (over 5 miles) for hiking and biking - all of which are relatively flat and meander through the trees and to the river
- dump station
- three conveniently located restrooms, two with showers
- a bike cleaning station
- amphitheater as well as nature programs and guided tours
- bird watching station where you're likely to spot Mississippi kites, prothonotary warblers, and red-shouldered hawks
- picnic areas
· Stephen F Austin is one of those parks that you visit to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy a few days camping. We love cooking outdoors (it always tastes better) and campfires (when there is no burn ban) with marshmallows, games, and some stories!
· On our last visit we spent a few hours riding the trails as they meander through the trees and along the Brazos River - you can walk all of the trails in a half day. During our short ride we saw several deer, lots of squirrels, an opossum, and a couple armadillos grazing by the trail. I wish the grand kids had been with us because they would have enjoyed the trails, throwing stones in the Brazos or trying to catch a fish, climbing some of the downed trees, or swinging like Tarzan on the vines.
· We couldn't leave the Park without playing a round of golf on Stephen F Austin golf course which you can see from some of the sites and the pro shop is just outside the entrance to the Park. Read our review of Stephen F Austin Golf Courseto lean more.
A Typical Texas Outsider Day:
Stephen F Austin is one of there parks that you visit to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy a few days camping. We enjoy cooking outdoors (it always tastes better) and campfires (when there is no burn ban) with marshmallows, games, and some stories!
On our last visit we spent a few hours riding the trails as they meander through the trees and along the Brazos River - you can walk all of the trails in a half day. During our short ride we saw several deer, lots of squirrels, an opossum, and a couple armadillos grazing by the trail. I wish the grand kids had been with us because they would have enjoyed the trails, throwing stones in the Brazos or trying to catch a fish, climbing some of the downed trees, or swinging like Tarzen on the vines.
We couldn't leave the Park without playing a round of golf on Stephen F Austin golf course which you can see from some of the sites and the pro shop is just outside the entrance to the Park. Read our review of Stephen F Austin Golf Course to lean more.
Cool Nearby Activities:
Nearby points of interest include the San Jacinto Battleground Complex including the San Jacinto Battleground, San Jacinto Monument, and the Battleship TEXAS; San Felipe State Historic Site and Houston, the largest city in Texas, with numerous attractions including: Hermann Park Zoo, the Museum of Natural Science, and NASA.
- Overall Rating:
- Scenic Beauty:
- Things To Do:
Additional Pictures of Stephen F Austin State Park
Texas Outside uses a tough rating scale and it’s difficult for a campground to get a “10”. Each park is rated on:
- Scenic Beauty: a campground that is flat with no trees or character gets a “1” and hills, lots of trees, beautiful lake site, and lush ground cover gets a “10”
- Park Condition: the cleaner, well kept, and maintained campgrounds receive high scores
- Amenities: we are looking for lots of amenities like restrooms, dump stations, playgrounds, boat ramps, shelters, concession stand, rental toys, and more.
- Campsites: low scores are given for sites that are right next to each other (good for getting to know your neighbors, but not what we’re looking for when we’re camping); have no lantern holder, no water or electricity, no fire pit, no grill, or no picnic table (or it’s rotten wood); have no trees and no view; the ground cover is crushed rock (my bare feet hate that stuff!); and they require a lot of work to get your rig level.
- Things To Do: Bonus points are given for campgrounds that offer lots of fun things to do at the park or very nearby – this includes: biking, hiking, climbing, boating, entertainment, golf, swimming, fishing, volleyball, horseshoes, and more